Grants strategy

IICF Grant Making Policy 

Introduction 

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) is a registered charity whose mission is to help communities and enrich lives by uniting the industry in grants, volunteering, and leadership.The IICF is governed by the Board of Directors  (trustees) and an Executive Director has responsibility for day-to-day activities of the Foundation. IICF is a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1163896) and in Scotland (OSCR SC047495).

Purpose 

The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles, criteria and processes that govern how the IICF selects and manages grants. A grant is defined as a financial award the Foundation makes from its funds to support activities carried out by charitable organisations operating in the UK.

This policy also includes The Foundation’s guidelines for selecting grants and safeguarding statement, set out in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2, respectively. 

 

Types of Grants 

IICF awards three types of grants to a wide range of charitable organisations in the UK with a focus on social mobility. Together, these grants make up the IICF Grants Programme. 

  1. Community Grants: member-nominated grants that fund a specific programme. 
  2. Campaign Grants: responsive grants awarded with funds raised for a particular cause or campaign; for instance, the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis. 
  3. Founders Grant set up to recognise founding board members. Each January, the Associate Board chooses an IICF grant recipient to receive funds raised by the Associate Board that year. 

Governance 

The Board of Directors ensures proper governance of the Foundation’s grant-making in four ways: 

  • Through the Grants Committee, which manages the selection process and oversees monitoring and engagement with charities awarded a grant each each year.  
  • The Grants Committee Chair sits on the Executive Committee of the Board and works alongside the Executive Director of IICF.  
  • The Chair raises issues (e.g., a new fundraising campaign) with the Board as appropriate. 
  • Through published grant-selection criteria, which set out the agreed types of organisations and activities the board will and will not support in alignment with IICF’s charitable objectives.   
  • Through the grant-selection processes, which sets out how decisions are reached for awarding grants from different types of funds. 
  • Through IICF UK Board of Directors, which approves grant recipient charities recommended by the Grants Committee as well as the amount of each grant.  

 

Grant Making Principles 

The principles that underpin governance of the Foundation’s grant making reflect the feasible amount of grants and strike a balance between proper oversight of decision-making and responsiveness to both applicants and donors. The principles are as follows: 

 

  • IICF invites its members (corporate partners) to nominate charities to receive an IICF Grant so that the Foundation’s donors play a role in its impact. IICF does not accept unsolicited grant applications. 
  • The Grants Committee, alongside the Executive Director, has day-to-day responsibility for grant-making and engagement of grant recipients. 
  • The Board has ultimate collective responsibility for all grant-making decisions in line with the Foundation’s charitable purposes.  
  • The Board reserves the right not to approve any recommendation if they determine that the resulting grant would conflict with the Foundation’s stated policies or damage its reputation. 
  • IICF will award a grant to a particular non-profit organisation for up to three years and then pause funding for a minimum of one year.  The Grants Committee will then decide if they wish to invite the organisation to apply for a further grant. 
  • Should a grant recipient wish to use a portion or all funds for a purpose other than the one stated in the signed engagement letter, the Grants Committee will ask the charity to submit a new project description and budget for approval by the Committee and, if needed, the Board. 


Grant Selection Criteria 

The selection criteria for grants have been defined by the Grants Committee and approved by the Board. IICF is particularly keen to support grassroots charitable organisations in line with the Foundation’s focus on social mobility and the typical grant amount of £5,000-£10,000. 

The Foundation’s published guidance on criteria for applications from charitable organisations is set out in Appendix 2 of this policy.  


Selection Process
 

IICF aims for its grant-making processes to be transparent and to recognise the investment of its funding partners. To this end, the Grants Committee follows a consistent selection process each year:  

1. Executive, affiliate, and associate board members nominate charitable organisation/s registered in England & Wales or Scotland whose focus and activities reflect the agreed selection criteria.

– Individuals who nominate a charity are asked to declare any interest in the organisation  
(e.g., as trustee or volunteer) on the nomination form to mitigate potential conflicts.  

– Grants Committee members who nominate charities are asked to withdraw from decisions regarding that particular charity. 

2. The Grants Committee reviews nominations against the agreed selection criteria and selects a long list of charities. The Executive Director invites these organisations to apply for a grant. 

3. The Grants Committee reviews applications and selects a short list of charities to present – to assess ‘fit’ and opportunities to build a relationship with each charity.  

4. The Executive Director requests DEI and Safeguarding statements from each short-listed charity and performs due diligence on governance, financial performance and key individuals of each charity and communicates any red flags with the Grants Committee. 

5. The Grants Committee recommends charities for Board approval and presents a summary of charity applications and decisions about each charity to the Board to allow members to make an informed decision.  

6. The Board of Trustees approves charities to receive a grant and the wider group of Executive Members endorses this decision. 

7. The Executive Director sends engagement letters to each charity specifying terms of the grant.  


Monitoring & Evaluating Impact
 

The Foundation has put the following measures in place to ensure robust monitoring and evaluation of projects funded for each charitable organisation: 

  • Members of the Grants Committee and Associate Board Volunteering Committee serve as Relationship Manager for one charity. In this role he/she will coordinate communications and coordinate volunteering projects throughout the year. 
  • The Executive Director requests quarterly reports from each grant recipient charity and shares these with the Grants Committee, noting any red flags as well as outcomes and impact. 
  • The Chair of the Grants Committee will provide updates on grant projects at quarterly Board of Directors meetings. 

Right to Withdraw  

The Foundation reserves the right to withdraw a grant offer at any time during the process if deemed in the best interest of the Foundation to do so. 

Risk Management 

Through the governance measures put in place, the Foundation takes reasonable steps to mitigate financial, reputational, and other risks that may arise through grant funding and ensures appropriate checks have been carried out on each recipient to ensure that it is a suitable organisation for the charity to work with.  

 

Appendix 1: Grant Selection Criteria 

Issues we will Support 

  • Social Mobility. Specifically:  
  • Create access to opportunities and improve life chances for people facing disadvantage  
  • Help people gain self-confidence and develop the skills, networks and experiences needed for success in school or employment or to make a new start in life 

Target Beneficiaries 

  • Preference will be given to charities that support individuals and groups from underserved communities, who are from marginalised or disadvantaged backgrounds or who are facing disadvantage 

Geographic Focus 

  • Charities registered in England & Wales or Scotland 
  • Charities with a presence in locations that reflect IICF member companies 

Charity Size & Diversity   

  • To allow IICF to make a distinct impact, the charity will typically have annual income of £250K to £15M, or an opportunity to support a specific branch or programme with lower income  
  • To mitigate the risk of the charity ceasing operations or pausing programmes due to unforeseen events, preference will be given to charities established for at least two years 
  • We will take into consideration each charity’s support of diversity and equality of opportunity 

Preferred programmes and projects will… 

  • Benefit people from disadvantaged and marginalised backgrounds or underserved communities   
  • Seek funding of between £5,000 and £10,000, with the intent to make a significant difference to the programme or project concerned 
  • Fund a specific project with defined outcomes (e.g., 10 students are mentored and enter university) rather than general activities or running of an organisation such as a school or community centre   
  • Fund a project directly rather than fund grants to fund projects indirectly 
  • Be for one-off grants lasting no longer than one year, though successful charities may apply for further grants for up to two further years. Charities may reapply after one year. 

IICF UK will not presently make grants…  

  • To projects outside the UK  
  • To organisations that have a charitable purpose but are not registered charities; for instance, state schools and scout and guide groups, or to schools to support general activities or core operations  
  • To religious or party-political organisations  
  • To registered charities to fund employee salaries or core operations  
  • To support named individuals, or for scholarships or bursaries or academic research 
  • For contributions to endowments, general appeals, or work that has already taken place 

 

Appendix 2: Safeguarding Statement 

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) does not work directly with children or vulnerable adults; however, it does provide funding to charitable organisations that work with these populations. 

The IICF aims to meet its commitment to support grant recipients and their programmes to ensure that they are safe for the children, young people and adults at risk. It does so through a structured grants selection process that seeks to ensure that grant recipients take their responsibility seriously and that safeguards are in place in these charities to protect vulnerable people. 

In particular, the IICF completes the following checks as part of its due diligence process and selection of grant recipient charities: 

  • Identify any matters that have come to the attention of the applicant’s regulatory body (i.e., OSCR in Scotland, The Charity Commission in England & Wales);  
  • confirm a safeguarding policy is in place for children, young people and adults at risk; and 
  • in areas of funding where it is considered particularly relevant, formally ask the applicant of any safeguarding incidents within the past year. 

The IICF also asks grant recipient charities to describe any risks or issues associated with the funded project in quarterly reports submitted by each charity and will contact the charity to discuss any issues considered relevant to safeguarding.  

 

Revised June 2024

 

Contact us

Contact us to learn how you can get involved.

Executive Director IICF UK
71-75 Shelton Street,
London WC2H 9JQ
Email: wwilder@iicf.org