Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust shares lessons learnt from £80 million funding programme


Alliance magazine


In a report published today, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust shares lessons learnt from their time-limited funding programme. The report reveals the the Trust and its partners achieved a return of £12 for each £1 invested with additional financial benefits of more than £300 million to individuals affected by avoidable blindness.

In 2012, the Trust pledged nearly £80 million towards eliminating avoidable blindness. The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) reviewed the Trust’s experience of working over a relatively short time frame to deliver impact at scale.

In the report, IVAR have outlined five areas of learning to guide other funders:

  1. Developing strategic focus – Learning for foundations interested in framing their work around a tightly defined goal
  2. Values and attributes – Learning for foundations interested in thinking about how to frame their ways of working to meet the demands of a strategy delivered in close collaboration with others
  3. A partnership approach – Learning for foundations interested in developing effective, trust-based partnerships with grantees
  4. Risk and innovation – Learning for foundations considering their risk appetite and their approach to innovation:
  5. Advocacy approach – Learning for foundations interested in making best use of their potential to support effective advocacy for change

Speaking about the report, the Trust’s Chief Executive Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE said: ‘Established to deliver five-year programmes, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust had a short time frame in which to make impact at scale. We decided early on that we needed to work in partnership, and ruled out issues where the right partner did not exist. Underpinning the Trust’s work with a strong network of trusted, expert advisors and delivery partners has proved transformational and is something I would repeat without hesitation. In our closing months, we hope sharing what we have learnt over the past five years will prove useful to other funders who are looking to make a decisive contribution and help improve lives.’

Ben Cairns, Director of the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, added: ‘The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust’s collaborative and focused approach resonates across a number of contemporary debates about the role and contribution of independent funders. With a five-year time frame, they knew they needed to take risks to achieve impact at scale – the urgent problems facing the world today will require adaptation and innovation from both funders and the organisations they fund.’

The report Collaborative, credible and catalytic? is available to read here: ivar.org.uk

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