by Author Sam Williams

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Youth Music Stakeholder Survey 2022: Summary of findings

Two young people playing percussion instruments


The Youth Music Stakeholder Survey is an annual survey we undertake with our funded partners, as well as with those who applied for a Youth Music grant. We conduct the survey to evaluate our performance as a funder and determine areas we can improve our performance. We also use it to gather insights about the grassroots organisations and young people we work with. This year’s survey collected benchmark data on three topics: the cost-of-living crisis, environmental sustainability, and youth voice.

The survey findings are analysed by Youth Music’s Insights team and a set of recommendations are produced. These can be found at the end of this blog.


Key Findings

The survey received a total of 106 responses, with the majority being current/previous funded partners (75%). The remaining responses came from unsuccessful applicants (22%) and those who have never applied (4%). A comprehensive survey summary, which includes more detail on respondent information, can be found at the end of this blog.

Here are some of the key findings from this year’s Stakeholder Survey.

Relationships with Youth Music

  • Respondents rated us highly across all aspects of our application process, including 79% rating our applicant guidance notes as above average/excellent
  • Youth Music’s relationship management was rated highly by most respondents, including 95% agreeing/strongly agreeing that they felt comfortable approaching Youth Music staff with a problem
  • 81% of respondents agreed/strongly agreed that they could use the evaluation data they collected for Youth Music reporting for other purposes (e.g. other funders, own organisational use), with added comments emphasising that our processes had helped to improve their practice moving forward

Youth Music’s Impact

  • 93% of respondents who have received funding from Youth Music rated us as having an above average/significant impact as a funder
  • The impact of Youth Music was rated at varying levels across different areas, with 79% of respondents saying we have had an above average/significant impact on their organisation


Flexible Funding Principles

At Youth Music, we are committed to being a Flexible Funder. So we signed up to eight funding principles to inform how we work, as well as adding an extra two of our own: ‘We will be accessible’ and ‘We will involve people in our programme design and decision-making’.

We then asked respondents to rate us against these principles, using a scale from 'Very poor' to 'Excellent'. 

We were rated highly across all the funding principles, with a range between 68% and 85% rating us as above average/excellent.

A table can be found at the end of this blog containing more data on how we were rated on each principle.


New Insights

Cost of Living

Respondents were asked the following question, along with being given 10 statements plus an ‘Other’ option: ‘In what ways is the cost of living affecting your organisation? Please select all that apply and rank your concerns, with 1 being most important.’

  • The three most pressing concerns were:
    • 'Impact on children and young people you work with’ (36%)
    • ‘Increased demand for services’ (23%)
    • ‘Fall in donations or income’ (16%)
  • Concerns that most frequently ranked in respondents’ top three were:
    • ‘Impact on children and young people you work with’ (71%)
    • ‘Increased demand for services’ (43%)
    • ‘Fall in donations or income’ (41%)

‘Impact on staff wellbeing’ was another significant concern. It scored highly in weighted ranking analysis due to a higher volume of selection with a tendency to rank lower in importance against other concerns.

Environmental Sustainability

The survey questions provided eight statements relating to environmental sustainability and asked ‘Do any of the following statements apply to your organisation?’

  • The three most common activities organisations were doing for environmental sustainability were:
    • ‘We creatively embed environmental themes in our work with young people’ (57%)
    • ‘We take active steps to improve our environmental impact – but these are not formalised into a specific plan’ (56%)
    • ‘We plan to develop an environmental action plan’ (44%)
  • 67% said responded ‘No’ to ‘We have a dedicated environmental working group’, making it the least likely activity to have been put in place by respondents.

Youth Voice

Respondents were given 11 statements relating to youth voice and asked ‘Do any of the following statements apply to your organisation?’

  • The three most common statements that applied to respondent’s organisations were:
    • ‘Children and young people directly influence what we deliver on our creative programmes’ (96%)
    • ‘We consult formally with children and young people using surveys, focus groups or other means’ (86%)
    • ‘We regularly feedback to children and young people about what we’ve heard and how we are acting upon it’ (79%)
  • 66% said responded ‘No’ to ‘Young people are part of our Trustee board’, making it the least likely statement to apply to a respondent’s organisation.


Recommendations and how we've responded

Recommendation 1. Provide support to counter impact of the cost-of-living crisis

Further to the findings from the Stakeholder Survey, Youth Music launched its programme in January 2023 to support projects during the cost-of-living crisis. See our response here: Is the cost-of-living crisis threatening the future of grassroots music projects? We have also developed a Cost of Living resource hub.

Recommendation 2. Provide guidance on fundraising

Stakeholders requested guidance on fundraising practices. Backed by this new insight, Youth Music’s learning programme, Exchanging Notes, is running a cost-of-living-crisis resilience programme that includes guidance on fundraising. The sessions began in March 2023.

Recommendation 3. Raise awareness of the #ShareTheMic: Youth Voice Hub

Guidance for implementing youth voice in an organisation was also requested in the survey. However, 40% of respondents said they weren’t aware of our #ShareTheMic: Youth Voice Hub. So, we’re going to raise awareness of the #ShareTheMic hub to ensure Stakeholders are aware of the resources available to them.

Recommendation 4. Support in gaining knowledge so organisations can improve their environmental sustainability

Stakeholders told us  they wanted to be doing more towards environmental sustainability. As a first step, Youth Music will provide initial training via its Exchanging Notes programme in summer 2023.

Recommendation 5. Consider how future resources and Exchanging Notes sessions are relevant to different contexts and settings

Stakeholders requested guidance that was specific to their organisation’s focus. In response, we hosted an Explore Evaluation session that was Early Years focussed. Moving forward and will continue to do this for other contexts.

Recommendation 6. Combine the Youth Music website and Youth Music Network website

Survey respondents reported issues with navigating and using the Youth Music Network website. In 2023, Youth Music will be re-launching the Youth Music and Youth Music Network websites, combining the two into one website.



The Youth Music Stakeholder Survey is an annual survey sent out to our funded partners and Youth Music fund applicants from the last financial year. We conduct the survey to evaluate our performance as a funder, as well as gather insights on the key challenges currently being faced in the sector.

Survey respondents are asked questions around their history with Youth Music, their experience of applying for funding and using our resources, and their view on our impact in the sector. This year, we also collected benchmark data on the cost-of-living crisis, environmental sustainability and youth voice.


Flexible Funding Principles (continued)