Heritage Endowments evaluation, October 2020

This is the second interim report from our evaluation of the Heritage Endowments Programme. The findings in this report are divided into two sections: early findings and interim findings.

The early findings section concentrates on elements of the grant set-up and early campaign development phases. It includes grant purposes, what an endowment means to the organisation and its donors and how organisational characteristics might affect the ability of the organisation to achieve its ambitions. The interim findings section looks at successful fundraising tactics and overcoming challenges.

As with the Catalyst Endowment programme the match funding aspect of the scheme has so far been shown to be a very positive and the reason that some applied for the grant. It has supported some to combat the perception that in an economically difficult time the endowment will not bring the required return on investment to achieve sustainability. It has certainly been a key lever for gaining major donors, some on hearing about the potential match giving a higher sum than they originally intended. All grantees are agreed that having a fixed deadline for the campaign is essential in creating a sense of urgency and the momentum required to drive fulfilment of financial targets.

The Heritage Endowments grant programme builds on the learning from the Catalyst Endowment which preceded it, including having the option of a 10% resource grant and offering lower-level grants of £250,000. The recommendations in this report are light touch at this interim stage. They will be further developed as the evaluation concludes in 2022. Recommendations are divided in to two at the end of the report – those for The Fund and those for grantees and those considering establishing an endowment fund.