Feedback on the recent John Moores Foundation update – 19th July 2017

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Phil Godfrey – Grant Administrator for the John Moores Foundation recently came to Wirral to deliver a presentation on their funding as well as take part in a Q & A.

Phil covered the background, and context to the fund, and also mentioned the 50th Anniversary celebrations.  He told us that the fund is in constant review, and showed us the new grant application guidance booklets.

Some of the salient points that he made were:

  • The fund prefers to fund running costs and salaries.
  • Funding can be for up to three years.
  • Applicants must wait for a year before reapplying.
  • Although they do not publish upper limits, and ask people to apply for what they need, it is unusual for them to fund over £10 000 and you may not get everything you asked for.  They give out 100 grants a year and the average grant is between £5000 and £6000.
  • They want you to tell them where the match is coming from if you are asking for less than the total project costs.
  • It is a two stage application process, on a rolling programme, with trustees meeting 5 -6 times a year.
  • They rate a proven track record for existing organisations more than innovation in a project.
  • Successful applicants are applicants who have shown how they meet the criteria, and that they are well run, and able to look after vulnerable people.  They are also able to show that they can deliver the project and have shown how the project is value for money.
  • They would expect an organisation to have no more than 6 months of free reserves.

The Q & A was informative and the following points were made.

  • Organisations stated they would like to see more of the networking events like the 50th anniversary event.  Phil mentioned that they may do something for organisations around monitoring and evaluation.
  • Organisations asked about the situation with projects that may have been previously considered statutory provision or may be run in school venues.  Phil pointed out that this is a grey area.  They would not fund a statutory organisation, but where a community group has taken up the slack due to need or it is a project run outside of school hours they may consider it.  It is important to speak to JMF first.
  • Organisations asked if there was any extra support for successful applicants and Phil confirmed that there was both a person who provides capacity support (where it is relevant) and monitoring worker who provides monitoring support.
  • Organisations asked what the value of showing social impact in money saved was. Phil said that it is useful, but not what it is all about for them.
  • Organisations asked if JMF belonged to a lobbying group.  Phil mentioned that they were members of ACF who do some lobbying, but also have some resources in terms of showing evidence of need and highlights developing trends.
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