February 11, 2021

Jerwood Arts one of over 40 funders signed up to open and trusting grant-making campaign

A new campaign has been launched by the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) and London Funders, in collaboration with a small group of UK foundations and charities. They are calling on funders to adopt more open and trusting practices that make life easier for those they fund, in light of the ongoing uncertainty caused by Covid-19. Their ambition is to see these commitments extend beyond the crisis: to become standard practice in the sector.  

Jerwood Arts is one of over 40 funders who have already signed up to the eight commitments and joined a community of practice with funders and charities to improve practice together. The eight commitments align strongly with our core values: responsible, imaginative and independent, and set out clear practical ways to be more open and accessible to potential applicants and grantees.  

As an arts funder supporting both individuals and organisations, we have made a number of changes in recent years to make our processes kinder to applicants which can be read about here. Many of these are reflected in the eight commitments such as working towards offering feedback to all unsuccessful applicants and publishing clear timelines. In other areas Covid-19 has seen us recommit to our core mission and we are looking forward to finding ways we can go further. 

The eight commitments are: 

  1. Don’t waste time – funders will be open, transparent and clear about all of their priorities, requirements and exclusions. 
  2. Ask relevant questions – funders will test their application forms to ensure clarity, relevance and avoid repetition, only collecting information that genuinely informs a funding decision. 
  3. Accept risk – funders will clearly explain how risk is assessed and be realistic about how much assurance applicants can provide. 
  4. Act with urgency – funders will aim to make decisions as quickly as possible by publishing and sticking to timeframes to ensure they work at a pace that meets the needs of applicants. 
  5. Be open –funders will provide feedback, including reasons for rejections. They will analyse and share relevant data, including publishing success rates. 
  6. Enable flexibility – funders will aim to give unrestricted funding; where they can’t (or are a specialist funder), they will ensure their funding is as flexible as possible. 
  7. Communicate with purpose– a funders contact is positive and purposeful. They will be realistic about their time commitments.
  8. Be proportionate– funders will ensure that their formal reporting requirements are well understood, proportionate and meaningful.  

Find out more on the IVAR website here.  


The open & trusting grantmakers are:  

AB Charitable Trust 

Access to Justice  

Allen Lane Trust 

Ballinger Trust 

Barrow Cadbury Trust 

Caretech foundation 


Charterhouse in Southwark 

City Bridge Trust 

Community Foundation for Northern Ireland 

Corra Foundation 

Devon Community Foundation 

Do-It Foundation 

East End Community Foundation 

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 

Haberdasher’s Company 

Halifax Foundation 

Harpur Trust 

Jerwood Arts 

John Ellerman Foundation 

John Lyon’s Charity 

Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust 

Legal Education Foundation 

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales 

The Mercer’s Company 

Millfield House Foundation 

Paul Hamlyn Foundation 

Pears Foundation 

Peter Minet Trust 

Pilgrim Trust 

Southwark Charities 

Spirit of 2012 

Texel Foundation 

The Blue Thread 

The Bromley Trust 

The Postlethwaite Music Foundation 

The Robertson Trust 

Tudor Trust 

Two Ridings Charitable Foundation 

United St Saviour’s Charity 

Walcot Foundation 

William Grant Foundation 

Youth Music 

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