Consulting

a group of people work around a table

Overview

Are you making grants for the first time?

Or are you looking for help with a major strategy review?

Or are you looking to improve your grantmaking services and systems?

We're here to help.​

We offer a range of grantmaking consultancy services

Whether you’re writing a grantmaking strategy for the first time, or updating a strategy that’s served its purpose, we can help.

We have deep experience in helping oversee and guide strategy reviews, from quick and informal to more intensive processes lasting several months.

As we discuss in our book, strategy reviews are vital to get right but often face challenges. We’re here to help you foresee those challenges and overcome them.

Setting up a new grantmaking organisation or funding programme can be overwhelming, with a great many questions and not so many answers available.

We offer advice on how to start out in a way that builds on modern approaches to grantmaking, and will help you avoid predictable pitfalls.

Our advice is based on a small set of key values, plus a long list of practical tips, from the simple to the sophisticated. We love helping new funders succeed, so get in touch.

Every grantmaking organisation has systems and processes that let it make grants. This can be as simple as a single individual with a chequebook and a pen, through to a complex digital system with many users.

We can help you to review what’s working well (and not so well). We bring extensive experience of building and rebuilding grantmaking systems, and of designing funding programmes that work.

We listen carefully and respectfully, and provide useful, appropriate next steps to help your organisation create better, smoother, more equitable systems.

Funding organisations often face tricky choices, with multiple stakeholders encouraging them to pursue different goals in different ways. This means that key decision-making meetings can be sensitive.

We specialise in helping groups of people – whether board members or staff – discuss, analyse and ultimately make clear decisions on difficult choices.

This can include not just whether to fund specific projects, but more strategic questions like policies or the use of endowments.

sufina ahmad standing in a formal location with gothic wall panelling behind her

“Gemma and Tom were brilliant to work with, and I never had any doubts that they would deliver this work to the agreed timelines and to exceptional standards.”

Sufina Ahmad MBE

Director John Ellerman foundation

Our People

Meet the team

Gemma Bull a blonde white woman in her late thirties
Gemma Bull
Gemma was Funding Strategy Director for the UK's largest community funder, which awards £600 million annually. Her responsibilities included leading hundreds of people and driving a redesign of the whole organisation’s grantmaking. Previously she was a Managing Director at Leonard Cheshire Disability and Head of Innovation at Save the Children. She now specialises in supporting organisations to innovate, improve and collaborate.
Tom Steinberg, a balding white man in his 40s, with glasses
Tom Steinberg
Tom is a nonprofit CEO turned grantmaker. He founded civic tech pioneers mySociety and worked at the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit before leading digital transformation at two of the UK’s largest institutional funders. Tom is an Ashoka Fellow, the co-director of an education project based at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a board member at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.