Thank you for applying to The Phoenix Way Children and Youth Round. We really appreciate the time and energy you put into applying for funding. In this blog post, we’ll explore the participatory panel process for decision making, and the main reasons applications were ineligible for funding.


The Participatory Grant Making Process:

The funding decisions for this funding round were made through a participatory grant making process. This process involved engaging with community members nominated by the Phoenix Way regional partners to carry out the decision- making, which emphasizes shared decision-making, transparency, and equal representation, allowing those that the funding will serve to make decisions about how it’s distributed. Participatory grant making encourages collaboration and inclusivity, allowing diverse perspectives to shape the funding decisions. The panel made a number of commitments to the way they worked and their decision making, which included:

  • Embracing diverse opinions and criteria debates.
  • Honoring the applicants and their work.
  • Valuing the efforts of grassroots organizations.
  • Providing equal attention and significance to every application, regardless of length

The panel reviewed all eligible applications and met virtually to discuss and make decisions on the applications. This takes more time than a staff led decision making body, but decentralises power and invites those who’ve been historically excluded to participate in the decision-making process. The panel voted on applications through two rounds of online voting and then finalised the decisions in a virtual session. They particularly acknowledged the difficulty of making these decisions, as there were some great applications but only a limited amount of funding to distribute.


Top reasons for ineligible applications:

Due to the nature of participatory panel process, we’re unable to provide specific feedback on individual applications for this round, however we have analysed the top reasons as to why organisations didn’t make it through the initial eligibility sift. The full eligibility criteria can be found here.

We received 397 applications, but of these just 286 were eligible. Of the total applications we received, 1 in 8 were funded, and out of those which were eligible, 1 in 6 applications were funded.

The top reason for an organisation being ineligible was that it didn’t demonstrate a strong enough link to reducing the likelihood of children and young people becoming involved in violence. This was the case for 98% of ineligible applications. In this round of funding we were looking to support projects which are supporting children and young people with the highest risk factors of becoming involved with serious violence. In order to understand how you measure this, we asked questions to further delve into how you assess this risk, and how you fund the young people you work with.

Ineligible applications often listed poverty or living in an area of high deprivation as a reason for why young people were more likely to become involved in violence. Whilst we acknowledge this is a risk factor, this is not a standalone reason as to why a young person might be likely to become involved in violence. Children and young people who are impacted by systemic issues and wider structural disadvantage are often affected by multiple risk factors, including experience of:

  • the care system
  • the youth justice system
  • abusing or misusing substances
  • abuse, maltreatment or neglect
  • negative educational experiences such as exclusion
  • trauma

We sincerely appreciate the considerable effort invested in your funding application, and we hope this information provides you with insight to understand the factors that may have influenced your outcome.


What’s next?

There will be future funding rounds taking place across 2024 so please keep an eye out for these. In addition to initiatives targeting youth violence reduction, we plan to introduce rounds with broader objectives.

The overarching goal of The Phoenix Way initiative is to support Black and racially minoritised organisations that are often overlooked to access grant funding, and we have been able to invest £2million into grassroots organisation through this funding round. Future funding rounds, designed and led by community panels, will take into account the need for further flexible, core funding, to be launched later this year.

We will also be offering opportunities for organisations to seek support and collaboration, including webinars, seminar and networking events.

To stay up to date with the latest opportunities, please follow The Phoenix Way, Ubele Initiative and Global Fund for Children.



Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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