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DCMS findings: local people distributing grants a successful model

‘Community First Grants Database Description Background The Community First Neighbourhood Match Fund was an innovative small grants programme targeting deprived wards and getting local people involved in funding decisions and delivering projects. The £30m programme was managed by the Community Development Foundation (CDF) for Cabinet Office between April 2011 and March 2015. The programme was independently evaluated by IPSOS Mori and the New Economics Foundation through a combination of surveys of those involved, longitudinal cases studies within a small selection of communities and analysis of administrative data.

The evaluation found that distributing public money using panels of local people is a good model for small grant funding programmes. Nearly 600 communities (594) established panels, and these panels were able to attract bids for local projects in keeping with the needs of the local community. Importantly panels were able to attract matched funding in the delivery of actual projects. In total panels made £27.2 million in funding recommendations to 17,956 projects. This yielded £93 million in matched funding, including just over £15.3 million in cash match and over 5.5 million volunteering hours.’

Extract from DCMS publication.

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