Grant maker Paul Hamlyn Foundation to use digital to attract younger applicants

The UK grantmaker has highlighted the need to develop digital and online tools as it looks to reduce the average age of its grantees.

Joe Lepper | 2nd Oct 19

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) is to boost its use of digital as it looks to attract younger applicants for its grants.

The grant making foundation says in its latest Review of Grant Making report that it is “focusing particular attention on shifting the dial to increase diversity, particularly reducing the average age of grant recipients.”

It adds that the diversity of its applicants and grantees “especially in terms of age – is not where we want to be”.

Areas of improvement are using an online forum for peer networking, which currently has “limited engagement” says the report but “presents opportunity to adapt this approach” in the future.

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The foundation is also continuing to review “online application process accessibility” to help attract a broad array of grants.

Digital support to those considering applying is also being looked at. “This includes exploring potential for using digital tools to deliver pre-application support,” says the report.


Challenges and opportunities

The report analyses 650 grants, looking at challenges and opportunities across its portfolio of UK grant making.

“The review demonstrates how the foundation has been responding and where we could go further,” says PHF Chief Executive Moira Sinclair.

“From start-up funding for pioneering ideas, long-term commitments to keep good organisations going, or partnerships with others to extend our support in new and important areas – we know that there cannot be a one size fits all approach to philanthropy.

“In an increasingly complex world, the importance of reflecting on what we hear and the impact of what we fund, continue to be important tools to guide our approach and ensure our strategy is working to its fullest.”

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Among analysis of 111 grants handed out through its Ideas and Pioneers Fund around a quarter (28) were for developing a prototype of a new product or digital platform

Tom Wylie, Trustee and Chair of PHF’s Evidence and Learning Advisory Group, added: “As a funder, knowing about important societal challenges and the solutions being pursued, then sharing what we know has become even more important, not just to our work as grant-makers but to others who share our goals of extending opportunity and promoting social justice.”

In addition, the report’s findings have been released via a short film on social media.

Review of UK Grant-making 2019 from Paul Hamlyn Foundation on Vimeo.