A major charitable foundation says that the standard of applications it receives from Northern Ireland is poor.
John Mulligan of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, speaking this week in Belfast at a seminar on trust funding for arts and culture projects, said that too many of the applications it receives from Northern Ireland charities focus on the impact of the 'Troubles' and the high levels of social deprivation. Mr Mulligan said that many areas of Britain also have high levels of deprivation and they are aware of the divisions in Northern Ireland.
In addition, Mr Mulligan said that applications it receives often try to wrap core costs into projects, a term he called 'projectifying', when more honesty about the need to fund these costs was desirable.
He said that trust staff want organisations to convey the uniqueness and innovation in their applications and urged applicants to remember the importance of the organisation's track record.
In 2010 the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation provided grants of £413,954 to projects in Northern Ireland.
Other foundations and funders represented at the seminar organised by Arts and Business were the Wolfson Foundation, the Hamlyn Foundation, BBC Children In Need, BBC Performing Arts Fund, Jerwood Foundation, Ulster Garden Villages and Lloyds TSB Foundation NI.