As promised in the previous posts 1 and 2, I now turn to Action Area and related variables, in the goal of understanding OTF strategy better. Just to remind you OTF action areas are as the following:
Active People, Connected People, Inspired People, Promising Young People,
Prosperous People, and Green People. Those areas supposedly organize grant application under sub-umbrellas, and allow better comparison between applications and grant outcomes.
The first analysis that came to mind was to compare areas (across years and types of grants) in respect to the Total awarded amount and monthly dollars. Interestingly enough, there are significant differences (F***) in both the total amount received and in monthly support, as the following:
The chart above clearly shows a tendency to support in higher amounts for Active People projects against all other types. It also seems, however, that the most funded areas in general are Green, Promising, and Prosperous. Inspired, Connected, and Active are somehow clustered together in the second priority.
Moving forward, I analyzed the connection between Action Area and Type of grant. Here, as well, differences are prevalent:
- 40% of the Capital projects are in Active people area, and 24% are in Inspired.
- Grow is more equal, but Promising Young get 25% of funding, seconded by Connected with 20%.
- Seed has an indefinite preference for Connected (25%), and all other areas get varying amounts in the neighborhood of 13-18%, besides Active which gets only 9%.
Looking at Action Areas in general, focusing on type of funding, it seems that:
- Active: 64% Capital, and 20% Seed
- Connected: 49% Seed, and 28% Grow
- Green: 53% Seed, 41% Grow
- Inspired: 39% Capital, 36% Seed
- Young: 45% Grow and 45% Seed
- Prosperous: 45% Seed, 34% Grow
All in all, OTF strategy is certainly not equal in the pots of money across areas, and shows a clear tendency to prefer certain areas over others especially when it comes to specific types of funding. Those may be the results of specific tendencies in applications (i.e. Active applications tend to be focused on Capital requests rather than Seed; or Grow projects are more relevant in Young and Green). However, this analysis cannot account for those explanations, as OTF published only awarded grant data, and not full application requests.
Regardless of the Type of funding, I was very curious to check out the frequent/prevalent Grant Results. Those who are more frequent certainly fall under at least one of the following category (if not all): selection committee favourites, OTF team favourites, most frequent in requests, most frequent in agencies/organizations need, significant elements in projects growth, significant in sector-wide stability and growth, capture/promise change and opportunity. You may add more reasons as you wish, and I am happy to include them here for the benefit of my readers.
So, here are the top nine (afterwards come all 3% or less):
It is clear that the first and foremost concern is: social isolation. This result is significantly prevalent than others, and this simply means that if your project is connected to this result, it will be wise to choose it (use discretion and caution here, and choose it only if really connected to your project).
Second in line are: physical activities and culture/heritage. My thinking is that these two are highly connected to social inclusion in this way or another, so we can say safely, that an application about bringing people together whether if for sports, arts, crafts, event, festival, social program, get-together, etc. is definitely going to get significant and positive attention in your favour. If you look at the rest of the list, you will easily see other variations of physical activity, social inclusion, and you will see it narrows down to children and youth.
In this case, I can clearly say there is an evident pattern to prefer projects that are focused on Social Inclusion, Group Activities, and more specifically projects that target youth, children, and suggest programming around culture/heritage and sports. This is not to say that most of the money goes to these areas, but undoubtedly, those results are the most frequently funded ones.
This analysis also shows the preferred result for each top area:
- Connected: People who are isolated have connections in their community (n=301, %=35)
- Active: Infrastructure for unstructured and structured physical activities (n=205, %=34)
- Inspired: Arts, culture and heritage have appropriate spaces (n=180, %=21)
- Young: Children and youth who are facing barriers develop strong emotional and social skills (n=165, %=19)
Next, I analyzed the four top frequently funded areas, to see if funding dollars are also different. Strangely enough, there are real differences and trends in the total amount funded and monthly dollars.
Total highest $ go to Infrastructure (makes sense) and Children/youth (unclear why or how it’s so different than isolated people in general). Highest total monthly $ go to Infrastructure (makes sense) and another version of Infrastructure (makes sense). All in all, again, when you are making an application, if you include the social isolation component, you have significantly higher odds to win.
It should be noted that I looked into two other variables: Population and Age. However, majority of the grants were awarded for “general populations” without any certain age limit (children over 12 yrs and youth comprise of about 30% of total Age; people with disability 15% of total Population Served).
That’s it for this post, I hope you enjoyed and learned. On my next post, I will wrap up the discussion and focus on major findings in this analysis in the goal of identifying better how OTF strategy works, and how you may improve you application in the next round.