Support to funders

Evaluation Support Scotland provides the following services to funders: 

Evaluation Support Accounts

ESAs aim to help funded projects measure their impact, use learning to improve their work and report better to you.

Workshops for Funders

‘Getting the best from your grantholders’ workshop is for people who work for funders such as trusts and foundations, local authorities, Government and public bodies.

Shared Learning Programme as a way of ‘reporting’

Our Shared Learning Programme is a way of ‘reporting’ where ESS facilitates a series of learning events for funded organisations and writes reports with thematic analysis, instead of organisations submitting full written reports.

Resources for funders

We develop resources specifically targeted to funders, such as Harmonising Reporting and Getting the Best from External Evaluations – Principles for Funders.

Harmonising Reporting

Harmonising Reporting was published in 2010 to help funders and funded organisations improve reporting practice.

Funder and funded relationships

We facilitate events and develop resources with funders and funded organisations. Our Principles for Positive Partnership work is about good relationships between the Scottish Government and its grantholders. This page features our work with the Scottish Government.

ESS works regularly with independent Trusts and Foundations as well as Scottish Government and other Third Sector commissioners.  We have funders on our Board as well as developing partnerships through the Scotland Funders’ Forum and most major funders of the Third Sector.

We continuously develop our support in response to what funders tell us they need.

What difference have we made to funders?

Read about what difference we have made to funders since 2014 in the ‘What did ESS ever do for us? report

“I have learned a massive amount about the funded projects, self-evaluation, outcomes and the importance of evidence to support outcomes and the list goes on”. Elaine Black, Scottish Government  

Funder blogs


Funders and funded in harmony?

Steven Marwick, Evaluation Support Scotland Director, busts some myths about funders of the third sector

Funder case studies

Nicola Swan, ESS Evaluation Support Manager interviewed some third sector organisations and funders to explore issues around improving relationships between funder and funded organisations. She has written three case studies to illustrate the learning:

Funders and Funded Relationships Case Study: Clear communication and constructive feedback (Befrienders Highland)

Shows how the Big Lottery Fund supports the organisations they fund throughout the application and reporting stages.

Funders and Funded Relationships Case Study: Doing something different to feedback to our funders (Lightburn Elderly Association Project)

Shows funders how being flexible with reporting requirements can help funded organisations tell their story.

We’re here to help! Contact us for help and advice.