Case Study Grantmaking


Quantum 360 was commissioned to provide three key strategic projects for the National Citizen Service, a youth sector arm’s length body, and part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

This aspect of the project was focused on developing a grantmaking operation within their organisation.


The client wanted to direct funding to organisations who may struggle to engage with commercial procurement processes (for example, small-to-medium sized organisations, non-profit organisations, youth sector and community-based orgs).

Quantum 360 rapidly deployed and embedded an expert grantmaking team within the organisation to identify, analyse, and build the case to develop and embed this approach. Whilst very challenging and undertaken at pace, the team had a ‘can do’ attitude and diligently focused on managing and solving challenges as they arose in a rapidly changing business environment.

Insight & Action

Quantum 360 initiated the project by developing a robust market engagement plan which included webinars and roadshows, the aim of which was to explore whether grant-making was an appropriate method of commissioning for its services broadly and whether it was an activity that the client should pursue in the long-term.
Feedback from the sector resulted in Q360 developing an addendum to the business case (‘Case for Change’) including a delivery plan, with the objective of bringing grant-making in-house within a 9-month period. Quantum 360 supported the development of the business case (‘Case for Change’), the strategy and the programme plan. This was approved and signed off by the Executive Board, Sponsoring government department and HM Treasury.


To achieve this strategy, it involved partnering with youth sector organisations to demonstrate to the sector that the client was promoting partnership and collaboration with and across the youth sector, government, and community-based organisations.

The roadmap to grantmaking commenced with various rounds of market engagement with the sector to consult and inform the shift to grantmaking, communicating the theory of change and expected outcomes.

In parallel Q360 supported the client with assessing operational readiness and mapping out the key phases of the grant-making lifecycle to understand what needed to change within their existing organisation e.g., setting up processes, systems and resources in accordance with the grants functional standards and the subsidy control act (and other relevant legislation). A matrix grant-making team was established to drive forward the change management and transformation to embed the new ways of working.

We were dedicated to creating an insightful transformational experience with the client, which meant that we met disruption head-on with solutions that connect people to purpose, motivating stakeholders top-down, specifically creating grant champions to advocate the change and help unlock the value for the organisation.



The successful project demonstrated how to deliver effective market engagement, promote, and lead grant-making as an effective approach to the market and build long-term partnerships and collaboration across the youth sector, government and community-based organisations:

  • Over 700 organisations participated in market engagement events.
  • 387 applications were received.
  • 100 grants awarded.

The transformation delivered:

  • Effective end-to-end competitive application and assessment process, which included managing applications with 5 panels of 50+ assessors.
  • Implemented robust governance processes. Robust Grant agreement which focused on relational contracting.
  • Risk management is embedded into the organisation specifically for grants.
  • Built capability across the organisation (specifically the commercial and grants team). Introduced new ways of working across the organisation.

Fundamental to this was having excellent, project management, leadership, end-to-end procurement and stakeholder management skills and experience in order that the Procurement and Supply Chain transformation could deliver actual cost savings and more efficient service, with the operating model fully embedded within the organisation.