The Wolfson Foundation undertakes careful and detailed review of all applications before any funding decision is made.
At Stage 1, the eligibility of the project is assessed to ensure it fits one of our current areas of funding (for details, see the relevant programme area via the links to the left). In cases where the project meets our criteria, a detailed financial assessment is undertaken. The aim of this is to establish the financial viability of the project and ongoing financial health of the organisation, as well as the need for our support.
All Stage 2 applications are subject to independent expert (or 'peer') review. While peer review is most commonly associated with the assessment of academic research, we use reviewers across each of our programmes. They are selected as experts in their field who are qualified to provide an informed and impartial review. The process is central to our decision-making and we are extremely grateful to those who undertake this work for us. Guidance for reviewers is here.
Nominating a reviewer
Each applicant is given the opportunity to nominate a reviewer (with the exception of those applying under our Secondary Education programme). This person is expected to have knowledge of the organisation and project but be able to provide an independent reference. We will also choose additional reviewers (the number will depend on the scale and complexity of the project). The confidentiality of the reviewers chosen is integral to the process. It is, however, an open process to the extent of providing feedback questions or queries to applicants where appropriate. This is done without compromising the identity of reviewers.
In the case of our Secondary Education programme, schools and colleges are usually visited by a member of our expert Panel, and this process replaces the peer review system carried out for our other funding programmes.
For our general policy on visits, please see our Funding FAQs.
Reviewers' comments (and any response from applicants to queries raised) or visit reports are considered alongside the application by expert panels, who make recommendations to the Trustees. Key criteria used by Trustees to assess applications include: the excellence of the organisation and project; the anticipated outcome of the project; financial viability, including value for money and adequate provision for ongoing costs/ maintenance.