Grant makers discriminate against ethnic minority led charities, survey claims

Charities have accused grant makers of discriminating against charities led by ethnic minorities.

A survey of more than 1,000 charity professionals found that eight out of ten do not believe that the current application system is fair.

One in eight believe the grant making process discriminates against organisaions led by people from ethnic minority backgrounds. A similar proportion believe that charities focused on supporting minority issues such as LGBTQ+ and based on ethnicity are discriminated against.

More than half (57%) believe the current grant application favours well established charities with strong brand recognition. A quarter (27%) believe grant funding discriminates against charities based outside large cities

Meanwhile, a third believe the current grant making process discriminates against organisations without “well connected people” on their trustee board, found the survey, carried out by funding platform Brevio.

The survey found that UK charities are spending a total of £442m in staff time to chase funding amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It found that one in eight charities spend at least three working days a week on applying for funding. This collectively equates to £442m in staff time a year.

Some charities (7%) are spending as much as 40 hours a week on grant applications and three quarters say that a more streamlined grant making system would help save time.

Complaints include outdated and overcomplicated application processes, the survey found.

Brevio founder Marcelle Speller said: “The pandemic has brought into sharp relief what funders and charities have known for years: the current grant model soaks up too much valuable time, energy, and ironically, money.

“With many charities now battling for their very existence, it’s clear we need to grasp the nettle and begin to create a level playing field that will help brilliant organisations across Britain do what they do best in their communities and beyond.”

In August the National Lottery Community Fund and Global Fund for Children created a £1m Phoenix Fund to support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) led charities.

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