Lloyds Bank Trust have undergone a digital transformation that makes it easier for the small and local charities that they partner with to apply for and secure grant funding.
Lloyds Bank Foundation has recognised the important role that small charities have in local communities. As part of its digital transformation and simplification of the grant process, the Foundation has committed to helping charities deliver further impact. As part of this digital transformation process, a new website has been launched, which will advise a charity whether they are eligible to apply and, if they are, whether they can apply for £45,000 or £100,000.
Lloyds Banking Group has recently embarked on its digital transformation strategy, with a £3 billion investment to upgrade and improve its digital offering. A core part of its new UX design is to simplify the customer journey. The bank has also partnered with the Good Things Foundation, which works to improve individuals, small businesses, and charity digital skills.
Small and medium-sized charities make up 96% of the charity sector, yet larger charities take the lion’s share of funding – these smaller organisations only receive 18% of available income. The competition has made it increasingly difficult for local charities to continue their work.
“Small charities are undervalued and under more pressure than ever, but they are reaching people and communities that big charities and organisations simply can’t. That’s why I’m delighted our new approach to grant-making, developed alongside the charities we work with, will aim to make the process even easier to navigate, more transparent and led by the needs of the applicant,”
- Harriet Stranks - Director of Grants, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
Partnering with small and local charities, the Lloyds Bank Foundation helps tackle complex social problems. The complementary grant programme supports people with mental health issues, parenting, reduction in recidivism, and vulnerable people.
The new web design highlights the simplified grant process. Responding to the needs of local charities, the programme has been made more flexible:
Taking a view from delivering on-the-ground services and influencing policy, the Foundation has helped small and local charities upskill vulnerable people and issued impact reports.
Liverpool’s Refugee Women Connect has been supported with a £75,000 grant over three years. The charity’s work focuses on helping refugee women overcome social barriers – women are able to connect to social services, access to the justice system, and the asylum process. The Enhance assistance programme from the Foundation has also helped the charity modernise and digitise.
Refugee Woman Connect CEO Alison Moore said: “Before our database support, we had used paper and excel which made reporting really difficult. Our new system’s so flexible – we use it for everything now. When we were first offered Enhance support I did think can’t you just give us the money? But actually, I’m so glad because it would’ve been gobbled up in our running costs. It’s nice to be given trusted consultants rather than having to identify these ourselves.”
The Foundation also influences policy. The “Start Somewhere: An exploratory study into making technology imaginable and usable for small voluntary organisations,” shared findings on a study of small charities and the use of digital. Conclusively the authors found that while smaller charities were slow to use technology they did see that tech was more than just about IT or social media. As a broad policy target, these studies show just how important digital design investment is across an entire organisation