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Dozens of charities face closure as Glasgow rejects over 100 funding bids

 

Charities say petty errors mean their applications rejected

Glasgow City Council has been accused of rejecting dozens of funding applications from charities in a cynical bid to save money.

Some 125 applications to Glasgow Communities Fund have been rejected due to petty administrative errors, such as failing to attach supporting documents.

It has led to the Maryhill and Springburn MSP Bob Doris writing a letter to the council urging it to reconsider the way it is dealing with applications.

Earlier this week TFN told how award-winning charity Action on Asbestos had its application for £50,000 rejected on the grounds it failed to include an attachment on time, leading to its director Phylis Craig warning the loss of the funds could force it to close.

Another charity, Kids and Adults Together in Sighthill (KATS), has said it too could face closure after its funding bid was rejected.

Bob Doris said: “While we appreciate that the City Council has taken this decision ‘in fairness to all applicants to the Fund’ and that therefore they ‘are unable to accept any missing documents after the closing date’; we would strongly urge the City Council to reconsider.

“We believe that organisations should be given the opportunity to provide any missing information over the next few weeks. This would allow those organisations who provide the required information during that time to be considered alongside other applications.

“We agree that fairness must be at the heart of this process. However that fairness must be to the communities and individuals that each organisation serves. To exclude an organisation for an administrative oversight without giving them the opportunity to address the issue, actually penalises the often vulnerable people who rely on the service and support offered by applicant organisations. That is both unfair and unacceptable.”

A total of 500 groups applied for funding from the Communities Fund, introduced to replace the Integrated Grant Fund (IGF) which comes to an end in March. Of these 125 were rejected because one or more of the six documents required had not been attached.

Tina Suffredini, director of KATS pre-school nursery and after-school service in Sighthill, applied for £141,000 from the fund, but forgot to attach the charity’s audited accounts ahead of the closing date in October and had her bid rejected in December.

She said: “There were six things that we had to attach, and we missed one of them,” she said. “It was just an admin error. It’s not as if we don’t have these things.

“It just doesn’t seem fair that we’re not even getting a chance to go in for the funding simply because we forgot to attach one thing.

“I believe this has been a way to weed people out without looking to see if you meet any of the criteria for funding.”

Some 10 members of staff are now at risk of redundancy while 30 children will have to be moved to alternative care providers.

A GCC spokesman said: “The new application process is rightly rigorous to ensure that applicant organisations are able to demonstrate good governance, as well as evidence that they can make an impact. We have advised organisations that we will revisit their request where there is evidence to show that all information and documentation was provided to us on time.”

 

Comments

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Alan
9 months ago
Looks like GCC's been studying the SFA's rule book
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Grant
9 months ago
Despicable of Glasgow City Council using this as a method of weeding organisations out. How can an admin error be a test of good governance? Organisations should be given a deadline to submit any other missing documents. They're just trying to find any old excuse to reject applications.
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Bob
9 months ago
Honestly, this is mostly on those charities! They knew when funding applications needed to be in for, they know as charities that putting all your eggs in to one funder basket isn't the wisest. I mean, c'mon £40k for Asbestos? Why not apply to Foundation Scotland's Express Grants, get 2k, apply to several smaller ones, then get match funding? Much more likely to get some of that £40k than none at all.It's not brilliant, but hopefully it'll emphasise the point that you work to the funder's deadlines and requirements, not the other way around, something a LOT of charities seem to have forgotten.
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Bob
9 months ago
This is pretty much all on the charities though. It's like annual returns for OSCR. You know when they've to be in for, what you need to do any why and I mean, lets be honest, some of those applications were wild. £40k from a single funding stream, for asbestos? Why not look at some of the mid-range grants focussed on historical or building repairs, get a few grants under yer belt and then look for match funding. That way you get good at applications, you make ties with smaller funders and may potentially yer £40k.Hopefully this'll teach a few charities that deadlines and applications are there for a reason. If you can't add attachments, how are you going to accurately spend large sums of money?
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Grant
9 months ago
Bob what your saying may be the case but wild applications or not, they should have been given constructive feedback as opposed to being told it was because they missed an attachment. Most mainstream funders will contact the applicant if they have accidently missed out a document and ask for it to be sent to them. If they fail to do this after being asked then fair enough.
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Bob
9 months ago
Grant, that's clearly spoken from a perspective that's never had to deal with funding applications.There are literally thousands within the Greater Strathclyde area alone. Most of these have similar aims, objectives and wants. Mainstream funders like Robertson Trust have the people to look through and vet all the applications before the cut off date.Does Glasgow Council? Pretty sure they don't and I'm positive they'll have been assessed AFTER the cut off period.At the end of the day, if you don't double check your own work and fail to do some of the basics. That's on you.As an Employer, if you posted a vacancy and asked for a CV and Covering Letter, but only got a CV from 17 out of your 150 applicants.Would you take the time to call those 15 back or get on with the 135 who were able to do what was needed? (If you tell me you would call them back, I'll be calling you a liar).
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Grant
9 months ago
Actually I have dealt with funding applications on many occasions and Im glad Glasgow City Council saw sense in the end and gave these organisations more time to submit the required documents. The money should be going to worthwhile projects where there is a clear evidence of need and sustainability - whether they have attached a document or not still seems very minor to me.