Black voluntary groups claim discrimination

Black and ethnic minority organisations in the voluntary sector
lack fundraising skills, but encounter red tape, an absence of
empathy and discrimination when applying for grants, according to
new research, writes Craig Kenny.

A survey of 115 black voluntary and community groups by the home
office’s active community unit found that 83 per cent of
these organisations perceived a lack of fairness in the
distribution of funding.

Many felt that their causes were seen as unimportant by the
mostly white grants panels, or that panels simply assumed that they
were dishonest or unable to manage the funds.

Organisations felt they were ‘belittled constantly’,
or were mistrusted because a different ethnic minority organisation
had mishandled funds in the past.

Many complained that grant application forms were full of
jargon, were unnecessarily complex or sought irrelevant
information; and not enough account was taken of the fact that
English may not be the first language of the person completing the

In addition, ‘adverse publicity about bogus asylum seekers
caused funders not to support any black and minority ethnic
causes’, the report notes.

‘Finding the funds’, by Maggie Taylor and Ilene Hoyle. Copies
from Kelly Consultancy on 020 8868 0207.

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