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Writing a great report for your small award

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

We appreciate reporting is not always easy.

Even when you know you're making a difference, articulating this effectively can be challenging and, despite the abudance of fantastic resources now available from various sources (see our Links and Resources page for suggestions), sometimes it takes seeing real-life examples to really bring the tips to life. With this in mind, one of our current funded organisations has kindly agreed to us sharing its latest report, which we identified as being a particularly strong example of a small award report. 
This examples features a charity operating in an area of multiple deprivation, home to an ethnically diverse population, which runs a number of initiatives designed to promote positive health, training and employment opportunities within the local community. 
The Robertson Trust awarded the charity a three-year Small Award of £7,500 per annum, towards the costs of its Wellbeing Programme, which provides a range of classes, activities and volunteering opportunities for local people. Their recent end of grant report can be viewed here, and below I've provided some of the reasons it really stood out to us.
  • The report clearly and concisely sets out what the project aimed to do (i.e. its activities) and what it actually did during the funding period, in the ‘What we actually did’ section. It was easy for the Funding Officer reviewing the report to see whether the project delivered what it set out to. 

  • The report refers specifically to the outcomes we agreed with the charity in the ‘What Difference We Made’ section, giving an overview of the benefits participants experienced in relation to their mental wellbeing and employability; also providing some specific examples. 

  • The case study included helps to show the difference the project is making for local people. For Small Awards, we don’t expect you to provide reams of evidence about the benefits of your work – case studies can be a simple yet effective way of illustrating these and bringing your work to life. 

We know that charities are often reporting to a number of funders, so we aim to be proportionate in our approach. For Small Awards, we’re really not looking for a lengthy report. In general, we’re interested to know: whether you did what you set out to, in relation to your agreed activities; what difference you made, in relation to your agreed outcomes; and where things didn’t quite go to plan, why this was the case and what you learned or did differently. That’s it! 
Many thanks to the funded organisation for letting us share their report and case study. We hope it provides a useful example for other organisations. Remember, if you have any questions about reporting, please feel free to contact our Giving Team. You can also read our reporting guidance here.