Centre for Social Impact: Grant-making for social impact


More grantmakers are increasingly moving from a focus on low-risk short-term one-off grants to a portfolio approach. This sees some investment in multi-year and targeted grants to support innovation to address major social issues.

Grant-making for social impact usually sees a grant-maker or funder invest in initiatives where there are no easy answers or quick fixes. It may take several years for measurable impacts to be identified – and much longer for an evidence base for systemic change to emerge.

Grant-making for social impact is about exploring the possibilities of finding new approaches to complex issues. There are a few certainties about outcomes. What is critical is to monitor and evaluate investments, to learn what works and what doesn’t. This allows refinement of the approach to an issue, and for identified successes to be captured and further developed.