The Wembley National Stadium Trust (WNST) trustees have adopted the call from the Institute of Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) to provide our funded organisations with a clearer understanding of our activities through the adoption of policies to ensure that our funding practices reflect the extraordinary times through which we are all living; and that we do what we can to ensure the strength and good health of the voluntary and community sector. (https://www.ivar.org.uk/flexible-funders/)
This step for WNST is, in reality, a formal reflection of how we have worked during the pandemic. Indeed, many of the commitments are statement of how we hope people consider that we have operated as a funder for many years.
One of WNST’s key strengths and our work in LB Brent is our ambition to get to know organisations over the longer term and supporting their development with more than just money. And we know that there are many different resources that clubs can access, so working in partnership is critical. That is how we believe we can help to ensure a vibrant and sustainable sports sector in the borough.
The Flexible Funder charter
The IVAR Flexible Funder charter signs us up to eight commitments:
- Don’t waste time – be clear about what we will and won’t fund
- Ask relevant questions – make sure that our application questions are clear and do not overlap
- Accept risk – be realistic about the assurances that applicants can provide and be clear about our risk appetite
- Act with urgency – we will publish and adhere to timetables; and will act without any undue delay
- Be open – offering feedback, data on success rates and we will share our data
- Enable flexibility – we accept that things change and will make the use of funding as flexible as we can
- Communicate with purpose – being clear and positive about our relationship with grant recipients
- Be proportionate – reporting should be meaningful and the requirements reflective of the level of awards made
We recognise that some of these issues are quite subjective and people may have different expectations of us. Even in non-Covid times, we, like all charitable foundations, have to operate within limited resources and we cannot help everyone. But we aim to be fair and equitable at all times.