Freelance grant assessors required

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Freelancers required to undertake assessments and write up recommendation reports for City Bridge Trust grant applications

Illustration showing a man working on a laptop in a home office while talking to a female colleague on a screen.

As London’s largest independent funder, we want our freelance assessor pool to reflect and represent the diversity and expertise of London’s communities and voluntary sector. We are keen to hear from you if you identify with a community (or communities) not well represented in the funding sector.

Deadline for applications is midnight on Tuesday 26 July 2022

About City Bridge Trust

City Bridge Trust is the working name for the activities that the funding team of Bridge House Estates (BHE) undertake. BHE is a registered charity (No. 1035628) for which the City of London Corporation is the sole trustee. Each year, it gives grants or social investment loans of more than £25m to charitable causes, in accordance with its Bridging Divides Strategy.

City Bridge Trust’s vision is for London to be a city where all individuals and communities can thrive especially those experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation. Our mission is to reduce inequality and grow stronger, more resilient and thriving communities for a London that serves everyone. Our work is carried out in line with our values of being progressive, adaptive, collaborative, inclusive, environmentally responsible, representative.

Background to the work

Due to a historic accumulation of surplus income we’ve developed ambitious plans, which include several one-off funding programmes, to spend an additional c£200m over the next two to five years.

We’ve hired some new team members to manage the additional grants administration. However more support is required to undertake ad-hoc grant assessments and write up of the recommendations only (not the further management of the grants).

About the work

 Most of our grants are for project/running costs (AKA revenue grants) for up to five years, but we also offer core and capital funding. Freelance assessors’ main point of contact will be a Funding Director or Head of Programme who will oversee assessments, ask questions/follow up queries with the assessor and provide feedback.

Freelance assessors will:

  • Work from home/own premises.
  • Familiarise themselves with City Bridge Trust’s funding policy and report style.
  • Undertake assessments for grant applications received predominantly under City Bridge Trust’s responsive grant programmes but potentially under other programmes or streams too.
  • Dictate their own hours and, outside of the guidance in the grants’ manual, conduct the assessments however they see fit (for example the order in which assessment tasks should be undertaken, the specifics of how information is analysed, the length of time spent on each task etc is up to them).
  • Have access to training and a grants manual with general guidance.
  • Save relevant documentation to the grants database and undertake some database administration activities relevant to the assessment and write up of recommendation.
  • Undertake assessment which is proportionate to grant size and duration. The City Bridge Trust assessment approach is robust, and most assessments take at least two full working days, more complex assessments will take longer.
  • Undertake due diligence (analysis of provided documentation, online presence, and governance).
  • Undertake assessment tasks such as forming a view of:
    • fit within the funding stream applied for and within City Bridge Trust’s vision and mission
    • current and ongoing financial sustainability of the applicant
    • City Bridge Trust’s funding/potential funding within the context wider income/potential income of the applicant.
  • Work collaboratively with in-house finance staff, who sign-off the financial assessment element for grants of more than £50k.
  • Undertake an in-person site visit for most assessments, which will take place in London (expenses within London are paid).
  • Write up a recommendation report for each assessment, using a standard template.
  • Respond to queries/comments from City Bridge Trust.

A typical grants assessment

  • “Desk review” of application materials from City Bridge Trust’s database (currently Blackbaud Grantmaking).
  • Email and phone contact with applicants for any information required to complete the desk review.
  • In-person visit to discuss the application further.
  • Further discussion with the applicant after the visit to gather any further information required to complete the assessment.
  • Communication back and forth with in-house finance staff to complete the finance assessment elements of grant recommendations.
  • Preparation of high-quality, proofed written reports in City Bridge Trust’s house style for consideration by decision-makers.
  • Usually a full assessment involves up to two days’ work (others can be much shorter), with this time spread over several days.

Freelancer requirements

Applicants must be registered self-employed for tax purposes (or have set up a limited company to undertake freelance work) and have a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) (which means that you complete a self-assessment tax return each year). There is further information about UTR numbers on the Which website.

We want our freelance assessor pool to reflect and represent the diversity and expertise of London’s communities and voluntary sector. We are keen to hear from you if you identify with a community (or communities) not well represented in the funding sector.

We are looking for freelance assessors who have:

  • Experience of undertaking grants assessments to inform grant recommendations/awards (e.g., inform decision makers such as trustees, grants committee members, advisory panels etc). Relevant examples might include project, running costs, core, or capital grants.
  • Assessment experience which includes activities such as undertaking general due diligence, financial due diligence, assessment of project and organisational fit.

This experience does not necessarily have to have been gained through a permanent role in an established funder – fixed term contracts, apprenticeships, voluntary work, training programmes etc could all be relevant experience.

  • An understanding of the voluntary and community sector through professional, learned or lived experience (understanding of the sector in London is a bonus).
  • An understanding of barriers faced by those most impacted by injustice and inequality – in society and in the voluntary and community sector. This understanding may be informed by professional, learned, or lived experience.
  • Strong understanding of issues of diversity equity and inclusion in civil society, from professional, learned or lived experience.

 Freelance assessors will receive:

  • Training on City Bridge Trust’s responsive funding streams, eligibility criteria, funding policy and database
  • Access to a grants manual with general guidance on the assessment process
  • Ongoing support with database or assessment queries
  • Initial, high-level assessment notes from City Bridge Trust funding team members on any grant allocations you receive
  • A laptop and a dedicated City of London Corporation email address to enable you to complete the work

You will not be expected to manage grants – following your recommendations, grants will be overseen by City Bridge Trust funding staff.

Timeline and pay

 We are hoping to recruit a pool of assessors as quickly as possible, with a view to beginning to assign assessments by September 2022.

  • We think that work will be available for a minimum of six months, but this can’t be guaranteed as it will depend on other factors like amount of submissions received and how some of our other programme launches go.
  • We’re planning to ‘spot purchase’ consultant time depending on application volumes.
  • Training will take up to two days (in sessions spread across a period of time), for which assessors can invoice.
  • We are open to working with freelancers with a range of capacity but would need assessments to be completed in a timely fashion.
  • This work is paid at a day rate of £400 and freelancers will be expected to submit regular invoices. Most assessments take a minimum of two days, but we operate on a case-by-case basis and assessments are bespoke to each applicant’s individual circumstances.

How to apply/contact

The deadline for applications is midnight on 26 July 2022.

To apply, send a copy of your CV and a cover letter to ea.funding@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Want to know a bit more first?

Sam Grimmett Batt, Funding Director, would be happy to chat with you. Contact Frankie on ea.funding@cityoflondon.gov.uk to arrange an informal conversation.

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