With Grant Makers now major players in shaping civil society Lloyds Bank Foundation have teamed up with New Philanthropy Capital to look at how else they can use their influence as funders to strengthen the sector.

As a country, we face huge challenges. These challenges present questions for everyone who funds charities. It’s time to ask whether charitable foundations in the UK are doing enough—and are doing the right things—to support the voluntary and community sector.

NPCNPC and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales have teamed up to address these questions, looking at funding practices around the globe. In More than Grants we present our findings, and call upon funders to consider how they can use their brains, as well as their financial braun, to support a much relied-upon voluntary sector.

These global examples provide a fresh and exciting challenge to UK funders on the need to do more, but simultaneously offers a wealth of experience to draw upon to highlight the possibilities for doing so and to ensure that practice is of the best quality.

Philanthropy is changing. Trusts and foundations have long played a vital role—with, through and alongside grantees—in changing the world. Good grant making of course remains fundamental, but for many, providing more than grants is key to their success.

Through two reports on funders using their influence and supporting grantee effectiveness More than Grants provides best practice examples of funder innovation from around the globe and recommendations for how funders can pick up this challenge here in the UK.

At their best, the UK’s foundations can be entrepreneurial, transformational catalysts for social change, bringing all of their assets to bear on the challenges we face as a society. But not enough do this. We must learn from those that are one step ahead and then follow suit.

Commenting on the analysis, Paul Streets, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales said: “The climate for charities is tough and the demand high. As they constantly evolve to ensure their survival, it’s our job as grant makers to change too. We need to be more vocal on behalf of the causes, charities and communities we fund and broaden our support for them to ensure they can thrive for the long term. The global insights from these reports will be key for us in shaping and improving our own offer, and we hope raising the bar for other funders across the UK.”

Dan Corry, Chief Executive of New Philanthropy Capital said: “Grant makers matter to a healthy voluntary sector and how they spend their money matters too. While many strive, they can do a lot better. In particular, if you want to create positive, lasting social change, funders must not shy away from supporting campaigns that charities do to promote policy, behaviour and system change.”

You can find both reports and our provocation piece here.

Do share these reports, and your thoughts with us, on Twitter via @LBFEW and @NPCthinks using #MoreThanGrants.