Home Grant Advisor UK


Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to learn more about GrantAdvisor UK

Q. I'm a grantmaker and I'd like to register on GrantAdvisor UK, how can I do that? What benefits will I receive?

A. We're delighted to hear that. You can sign up to GrantAdvisor UK by completing this short registration form. We will then be in touch to support you to gather reviews from grantseekers. If you're a funder you get:

  • Granular feedback on what you are doing well
  • Advice on what you could do better
  • Data to help you make evidence-led decision and influence senior stakeholders
  • Ratings for your accessibility, length of application forms and strength of relationships with your grantseekers (similar to peer reviews for skills on LinkedIn)
  • Space to respond to reviews
  • Support to help you gather feedback and take action

"When you are exploring new approaches to grantmaking, internal discussion can feel a little bit entrenched at times. The kind of feedback we receive on GrantAdvisor UK really supports constructive discussion. Being able to read grantees’ experiences carries real weight. It helps us make decisions in a more scientific way." Liam Eaglestone, CEO at Steve Morgan Foundation

Q. I work at a social impact organisation, I want to write a review for a grantmaker but I can't see them listed on GrantAdvisor UK, can I still share my feedback?

A. Yes, you can share your feedback on any funder including trusts and foundations or corporates. Please write a review and select 'Other' from the list of organisations. You will then be able to write your anonymous review. If you prefer, you can also contact us and we can support you to share your experience. We will get in touch with the grantgiver to register them on the site. Thank you for helping us grow our community.

Q. Why is GrantAdvisor UK good for social impact organisations?

A. GrantAdvisor UK helps improve communication between grantgivers and grantseekers so we can learn and improve. If you’re a social impact organisation you can:

  • Leave anonymous reviews for any funder, even if its not yet listed - the more feedback funders receive the more easily they can spot common themes and make changes to improve
  • Get help with your funding applications and research - the reviews your peers share include insight that can support your application, such advice on how to build good relationships with a funder, how much time to set aside to complete the application form, and more practical top tips

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.

Q. Is the feedback anonymous?

A. All reviews are 100% anonymous. We hope this will encourage real and honest feedback. Funders will have the opportunity to post responses and comments using the real name of their foundation.

Q. If all feedback is anonymous, how do you know it is legitimate, and not just a disgruntled grantee who didn’t get funding (or an alternative grantmaker looking to discredit a rival)?

A. Social impact organisations have a lot of integrity so we don’t expect this to be a considerable issue - certainly not a high enough risk that we won’t publish everything openly. Still, it’s on the internet, so as always we advise readers to use their judgement to determine which reviews sound credible.

Q. Have funders made any changes based on the feedback they have received so far?

A. Yes! We're excited to see a huge amount of tangible change taking place as a result of the feedback funders receive. City Bridge Foundation have used anonymous feedback to improve their learning visits programme, Joffe Charitable Trust have reduced their reporting requirements and Steve Morgan Foundation are using the anonymous feedback to evaluate their unrestricted funding trial. Find out more in this blog, we share regular updates on our CAST Medium - follow our journey!

Q. How do you monitor the submission of multiple reviews? Do you check IP addresses? If not, how do you know the results are not skewed by multiple submissions?

A. We do not take email addresses or IP addresses, as this would mean reviews were not truly anonymous. Even if we encrypted them, traffic analysis could still be used to predict with quite a lot of accuracy who the reviewer was. We are confident that multiple submissions are rare.

Q. How is feedback moderated / checked? Is it vetted before it is uploaded?

A. Feedback doesn’t go live straight away. It is passed to - and checked by - CAST.

Q. Once feedback has been uploaded, what is the process in terms of a funder being notified / having the opportunity to respond?

A. Once submitted, the status of a review is listed as ‘pending’; the CAST team is notified and will check the submission; it will then either pass or fail moderation. If it passes, the funder is notified and can then log in and respond to the comment.

Q. Is this for all types of grantmaker: independent / corporate / community?

A. Yes, open to any funder who want to get honest feedback and to support the grantmaking/grantseeking communities.

Q. What is the complaint / investigation process, if a funder requests that feedback be removed or edited? How is the decision made?

A. At the moment the final decision sits with CAST. The only feedback that has been removed or edited has been spam - no actual feedback has ever been taken down due to a funder’s request.

Q. How are you working with The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR)? Why do some funder pages have IVAR's Open and Trusting Grant-making badge?

We are exploring opportunities to align, starting with letting grant seekers know which funders are signed up to IVAR's Open and Trusting commitments. If you see this badge on a funder page, it means this funder is signed up to Open and Trusting Grant-making, a pledge to actively work on managing the grants process in a way that reflects their confidence in and respect for the organisations they fund. Find out more here.

Q. Has the GrantAdvisor UK platform relaunch been funded by any of the funders being reviewed? Does this represent any conflict of interest?

A. GrantAdvisor UK started in the UK with funding from Joseph Rowntree Charitable Foundation and Indigo Trust. It now has funding from Joffe Charitable Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, City Bridge Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Yapp Charitable Trust and Tudor Trust. Each of these funders supports GrantAdvisor UK's mission and they do not receive preferential treatment in any way.

Q. I have a different question. How can I get in touch?

A. You can complete this form, or email us at grantadvisor@wearecast.org.uk and we’ll be sure to get back to you.