A small voluntary organisation which has a huge regional and indeed national impact receives a grant from its local council.
But it cannot get all of its grant in one payment because what it needs is funding to cover core running costs for its operations. And the council won’t fund such costs. So the grant is pieced together from three separate funds. This requires three separate applications on three different forms to be made to three separate departments. It also means three separate monitoring reports and reviews at the end of the grant period. Needless to say, this involves liaising with three different grant officers.
Fortunately the council agreed to provide most of the required funding for three years. So small mercy indeed, but one of the applications only needs to be made every three years. But because everything is broken down and euphemistically called project or activity funding, future funding for these projects or activities is not guaranteed, yet these activities are essential to the continued existence of the organisation and its ability to make the huge regional and indeed national impact.
A condition of one of the grants is that the organisation is based in a council owned building. The council charges the organisation rent for these offices, amounting to nearly 25% of the total monies received.
The organisation runs some activities in council owned buildings and facilities. Yep, you’ve guessed it, the council charges the organisation rental, janitorial and cleaning fees for running these activities. More of its precious core funding grant (which of course is not a core funding grant) is dissipated in payments back to the council.
By the time the organisation has finished paying council rents, fees and other charges, much of the funding is gone. And what it wanted the grant for originally has to be funded from other sources.
Councils: sometimes they couldnae run a bath.
(If you have a tale of bungling bureaucracy or of the madness of rules deployed by a Scottish council, feel free to submit it as a comment and by the wonders of modern technology I will convert it into a blogpost).