Our grant criteria

All applications are assessed against the following five criteria by members of the grant-making committee.

1 Need (why)

Applicants should clearly explain the need for their specific project.

Why is the project needed and how effectively is it articulated in the context of one of the core Charles Plater Trust funding themes of the leadership of laypeople, social action or applied research.

Charles Plater Trust assessors are looking for a detailed appraisal of how you know this work is needed. This could include knowledge gained from the evidence of work you have done before, consultations with beneficiaries, the research of others, or evidence of outcomes from a pilot. All claims about need should be evidenced by this type of data as far as is possible.

2 Beneficiary involvement (who)

Who are the target group for the proposed project? Have they been involved in the design and delivery model? How much user involvement is appropriate for your project and why? 

We ask all applicants to be clear about how they involve beneficiaries, how they get their feedback and how they use this to ensure that activities reflect their actual needs. We also ask you to think about what level of ongoing involvement in project decision making beneficiaries are intended to have. Our assessors know that user involvement is far from straightforward and that there may be many valid reasons as to why beneficiaries can only be partially, or even occasionally, not involved. So, we ask you to explain clearly in your application what level of user involvement you feel is appropriate for the project you wish us to fund.

We refer you to the useful ladder of participation tool here to help you to explain your own particular approach to user involvement.

3 Response (how)

How does the proposed project address and mitigate the identified need?

We want to understand what you plan to deliver and over what period. This question is likely to include details about: the type of activities provided, who delivers the activities, the average length of time you work with individuals, duration of sessions, frequency of contact, where the activity is delivered, how the activities are provided and the number of people you intend to help each year. 

Assessors will also consider overall project feasibility and whether the applicant has produced evidence of its capacity to undertake the proposal. There needs to be an explicit connection between identified need and the proposed response or intervention. 
It is also important that assessors are able to see how the proposal is distinguished from other projects delivering in the same area and/or how it adds value? Assessors will expect applicants to differentiate themselves from other organisations responding to similar needs, including the potential for partnership working with other organisations.

4 Outcomes (what will change)

What practical results, changes and/or improvements in the lives of the people you help do you hope to achieve at project completion?
 

Assessors will be looking for specific details of the measurable short and medium-term impact that your plan will have on the lives of those you seek to help. Such outcomes can be for individuals, families, your own organisation, communities and wider society. Assessors will also want to know how you will monitor and evaluate the work, how you will know whether, and to what degree, your project has been successful. Ideally, we recommend some baseline tool that can measure the changes before and after your work.

5 Sustainability (if, when and how) 

What will happen to the project after the Plater funding ends?

Assessors are realistic in knowing that sustainability is often hard to achieve and sometimes not relevant if the need identified is a specific short term one.

It is also important for assessors that organisations are proactive in sharing the project outcomes and learning. We want to know how you plan to make your work more sustainable by sharing its results. In the case of applied research projects, we want to know how it contributes to the ongoing task of building Catholic Social Thought and practice in the UK context. 

Each criterion is equally important. Members of the grant-making committee will score applications on a scale of 0 (not met) to 5 (fully met) for each criterion. Through a collective quantitative and qualitative assessment exercise by the grant-making committee, a shortlist of grant applications deemed the strongest, will then go to a full board of trustees meeting where final funding decisions will be made. The decision of the board of trustees is final.

Still have questions?

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us.

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