Monitoring Your Work
Monitoring and evaluating our grants enables LCF to better understand the results of our grantmaking. It helps us to understand community need, enables us to learn from our grantmaking and inform future strategies, and also enables us to show donors the benefits of funding and hopefully encourage them to give more!
It should also help you to collect valuable information on how service users benefit from your work, what works and what doesn’t, how you can make your services more effective, and also demonstrate to funders (and donors) the value of your work.
Our expectations and requirements
We understand that small groups do not necessarily have the capacity and resources to undertake large in depth evaluations and instead we focus on project monitoring in proportion to the size of grant you have received.
If you have received a small grant (usually up to £10,000) you will be asked to complete a short monitoring form telling us how you spent the funds, how your project was delivered, how your user group benefitted, and any learning you have gained during the project. If you have a received a larger grant or a multi-year grant (not including multi-year Grassroots Grants), you may be asked to provide a more detailed report under specific headings, in addition to statistical information.
LCF considers organisations’ previous track record in managing Foundation grants whenever we receive new applications. This applies to all of our funds and across funds. It is important that you are honest about the results of your project in your reporting – if the project didn’t work, we would encourage you to show us that you can take the learning on board and use it to develop your work in the future.
Monitoring forms are sent out at the beginning of your project. This is to help you ensure that all of your monitoring systems are in place at the start of the project, providing you with the necessary data when you submit your report.
Returning your monitoring form is a condition of grant. You will usually have 12 months to spend your grant and we need you to return your monitoring 6 weeks after the 12 month period. If you have been awarded a multi-year grant, you may be asked to submit shorter reports annually, with a more detailed report at the end of the grant period.
Funded organisations will be notified at least a month before your monitoring is due. It is vital that your monitoring is submitted on time. The Foundations’ policy is not to consider applications from organisations which have overdue monitoring across any of our grant programmes. For example, if an organisation’s monitoring for a Grassroots Grant is overdue, we will not consider an application to Comic Relief until satisfactory monitoring has been submitted.
Submitting strong monitoring on time is as important as submitting a strong application for funding , and it is important to factor in time for this within your project planning.
Monitoring for multiple funders
If you are already providing monitoring to other funders for the same work, we are happy to discuss how you can use your existing reporting format for any LCF grant. Please contact us at the time of grant award to discuss this.
Case studies, a couple of photos, feedback forms, user/volunteer comments and samples of any publications produced can all be used to supplement the written report and to show your achievements and learning. We also welcome any comments (positive or negative) you wish to make about the application process and LCF’s management of the grant process. Your feedback, good or bad, helps us to develop our services where we can.
LCF carries out a number of monitoring visits for each of our grant programmes. During the period of your grant, you may be visited by one of our members of staff. The purpose of the visit would be to discuss any issues arising from your work, your progress, and learning gained to date. We can also offer you advice or refer you to training providers or support agencies if you need support in a particular area.
If you are selected, we will contact you directly to arrange a visit at your convenience.
The London Community Foundation
Tel: 020 7582 5117
Charities Evaluation Service
Provides advice, support and training on all aspects of monitoring and evaluation for the voluntary and community sector. CES has a sliding scale for training fees to help smaller organisations.
Charities Evaluation Service: Key Terms
First steps to Monitoring and Evaluation
Become More Effective - An introductory guide to Refugee Community Organisations
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