Harmonising Reporting history

Harmonising Reporting is a good practice guide to make reporting less burdensome and more useful for funders and funded organisations and was published in 2010 by the Scotland Funders’ Forum and ESS.  ESS led an implementation programme over several years and many Scotland funders now use Harmonising Reporting as the basis of their reporting practice. 

Although old, most of the guide’s messages are still relevant.  They are:

  1. Harmonising Reporting does not advocate one single report for all funders.  One size does not always fit all.  But harmonising requirements and language is possible – and necessary.  Most funders want to know the same things: what funded organisations did, the difference they made, and what they learned.
  2. When more than one funder is funding the same piece of work or project, they should all get the same report.
  3. Relationships matter: when funders and funded organisations communicate clearly and understand each other, reports are better.
  4. Funders’ reporting approach or forms should be flexible enough for organisations to tell the story of the funded work.  
  5. Organisations that get support to build evaluation and reporting skills often report more effectively than those with no support.

Our 2017 review with funders and the third sector found improvements since 2010 including more consistency amongst funders and better guidance, but there was still work to do.  See: “Funders and Funded in Harmony – where are we now”  

Other more recent relevant work includes Principles for Positive Partnership guidance for Scottish Government and its grantholders.

Harmonising Reporting resource:

  • Harmonising Reporting

    Please note that the following resource is historical as it was published in 2010. Although old, most of the guide’s messages are still relevant. Research on reporting found that funders