Grants, Trusts and Foundations

There are about 8,800 independent grant making trusts and foundations in the UK, giving about £2 billion each year. They vary enormously: some give grants nationally or internationally, some only fund local projects or initiatives. Some are restricted to a particular area or particular beneficiaries. Larger trusts give tens of millions of pounds each year whilst smaller ones (the majority fall into this category) will only give a few thousand. All trusts are controlled by a board of trustees but larger ones will have paid staff and administrators who deal with applications.

The Association of Charitable Foundations exists to promote good practice among trusts and foundations and to educate the public about them.

Most trusts and foundations like to fund areas the government does not provide for such as:

Where do trusts and foundations get their income?

Mostly, trusts get their income from endowments - a lump sum given to them by an individual or a company. This could be in the form of cash, stocks, shares or land and will provide them with a tax-exempt income. Some trusts may get their income from gifts from a company’s profits or from national appeals.

Making an Application to a Trust

It is vital to make sure you know what the Trust’s priorities are and that your proposal meets these criteria. Nothing irritates trust administrators more than sifting through piles of irrelevant applications!

Many larger trusts and foundations will have standard application forms but may also ask for supporting evidence as well. In general, its useful to make sure your application includes the issues below. At every stage you should assume that the person to whom you are applying knows absolutely nothing about you, your sector, the groups you may be planning to work with or what your project is:

Grant Making Trusts and Foundations

The ADAPT Trust (Access for Disabled People to Arts Premises Today)
Exists to improve accessibility for disabled and older people. Assists arts and heritage venues to create access for all. Runs grant aid and an awards scheme that recognises good practice in access.
The Administrator, The ADAPT Trust, Cameron House, Abbey Park Place, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 7PZ
T: 0131 346 1999

Allen Lane Foundation
Established by the late Sir Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books, this foundation funds projects and advocacy nationally but rarely those in London.
Suite 4, Parr House, Broadway, Bracknell RG12 1AG
T: 01344 311866 F: 01344 319199

The Arts and Humanities Research Board
Special project funding - Details will be available later in 2001. £250,000 has been set aside. Special project funding for Higher Education Museums, Galleries and Collections - to increase access to collections for the benefit of both the higher education sector and the wider community. Research exchanges - to promote and support collaboration between researchers in academic departments and colleagues working in museums and galleries. An exchange normally takes the form of a 3-4 month secondment to undertake a specific research activity.
Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1FL
T: 01793 416000

Baring Foundation
Funds locally, nationally and internationally. Current priorities are strengthening the voluntary sector, arts in education and the community.

Bridge House Estates Trust
Part of the Corporation of London. Gives charitable grants for projects with benefits for inhabitants of Greater London, particularly those benefiting older people, the environment, young people, or people with disabilities. The website has a simple interactive eligibility test to check if you are able to apply.
Bridge House Estates Trust Fund, Corporation of London, PO Box 270, Guildhall, London EC2P 2EJ
T: 020 7332 3710 F: 020 7332 3720

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Gives grants to projects that fall into its specific programmes in arts, education, social welfare, and Portuguese culture in the UK. Priority is given to original and new developments and to projects which are strategic or seminal and outside of London and the South East.
98 Portland Place, London W1B 1ET
T: 020 7908 7580

The Carnegie UK Trust
Established in 1913 by Andrew Carnegie to “improve the well-being of the masses”
Runs a range of grants but usually only considers applications from registered charities. Gives grants from £1000-£30,000 from 1-3 years. Has 3 deadlines per year but applications can be submitted anytime.
Comely Park House, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 7EJ
T: 01383 721445
F: 01383 620682

Charities Aid Foundation
Helps out major charities if, for instance, a major source of funding dries up. Also helps them to become more efficient.
T: 01235 820044

Chase Charity
Based in Oxfordshire but works nationwide except in London. Supports registered charities, particularly those that are small and/or in rural areas. Gives grants of between £1000 and £10,000 to help the arts, historic buildings and social welfare.
The Chase Charity, 2 The Court, High Street, Harwell, Didcot Oxfordshire OX11 0EY

Church Urban Fund
Project grants - specifically to projects in Urban Priority Areas (UPAs) with the aim of helping specific communities face their challenges. Development grants - to tackle the effects of urban poverty. Small grants - small initiatives and project support. All projects need to be linked to an Anglican Church.
Small grants - awards range up to £2,000
1 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JZ
Tel: 020 7898 1729 Fax: 020 7898 1601

Cumbria Community Foundation
Manages charitable funds set up on behalf of individuals and companies in Cumbria. Seeks to improve the quality of community life for people in Cumbria and acts as a broker between donors and grant seekers.
Cumbria Community Foundation, Unit 6b Lakeland Business park, Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 0QT
T: 01900 825 760 F: 01900 826 527

Clore Duffield Foundation

Small Grants Programme for Museum and Gallery Education
Funds education work in museums and galleries in the UK. Promotes the use of museums and galleries as centres of learning by people of all ages.
Its purpose is to support institutions striving to set in place successful education projects and to develop and extend excellence and innovation in education work. Funds are usually between £2000 and £25,000
The Clore Foundation, Unit3, Chelsea Manor Studios, Flood Street,
London SW3 5SR
020 7353 6061

Community Foundation (Tyne and Wear and Northumberland)
Provides a way for people and businesses to help communities by managing individual named funds that can be used to benefit chosen causes.
Sun Alliance House, 35 Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1YF
T: 0191 222 0945 F: 0191 230 0689

Community Foundation for Calderdale
Supports local charitable activity that improves the quality of life for the people of Calderdale especially hardship, education, artistic, sporting or leisure activities.
Room 158, Dean Clough, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX3 5AX
T: 01422 349 700 F: 01422 350017

County Durham Foundation
Funds grass roots groups working with socially disadvantaged in County Durham and Darlington.
Aykley Vale Chambers, Durham Road, Aykley Heads, Durham DH1 5NE
T: 0191 383 0055 F: 0191 383 2969

Esmèe Fairbairn Foundation
One of the largest UK independent grant making bodies. Aims to improve the quality of lives, especially for those facing disadvantage.
About £25 million will be distributed throughout the UK during 2001 through its 4 areas: social development, environment, housing and education
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
T: 020 7812 3700 F: 020 7812 3701

Francis C Scott Charitable Trust
Funds charities or groups with charitable aims addressing disadvantage in Cumbria and North Lancashire.
3 Lambrigg Terrace, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4BB
T: 01539 741610 F: 01539 741611

Frieda Scott Charitable Trust
Gives grants to charities in the old county of Westmorland and the area covered by South Lakeland District Council.
3 Lambrigg Terrace, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4BB
T: 01539 741610 F: 01539 741611

Goldsmith’s Company’s Charities
3 major and 6 minor charities funding 3 main areas: support of the goldsmiths craft, education and general charitable support.
Goldsmith’s Hall, Foster Lane, London EC2V 6BN
T: 020 7606 7010 F: 020 7606 1511

Greater Bristol Foundation
Provides a long term source of support for charitable activities in the Bristol area by managing and distributing charitable funds on behalf of individuals, companies and charities in the Bristol area.
Royal Oak House, Royal Oak Avenue, Bristol, BS1 4GB
T: 0117 989 7700 F: 0117 989 779

Jack Petchey Foundation
Supports schools, youth groups and communities in East London and West Essex.
Exchange House, 13-14 Clements Court, Clements Lane, Ilford IG1 2QY
T: 0208 252 8000 F: 0208 252 7892

Kleinwort Benson Charitable Trust
Funds community work and schools in east London.
20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3P 3DB

Lloyds TSB Foundation
Funds regionally based charitable organisations.
PO Box 140, St Mary’s Court, St Mary at Hill, London EC8R 8NA
T: 020 7204 8276 F: 020 7204 5275

Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland
Funds charities aimed at addressing the needs of Scottish communities.
Henry Duncan House, 120 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4LH
T: 0131 225 4555 F: 0131 260 0381

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
Launched in 1999, NESTA has an education programme for which it seeks out institutions it feels are of merit and then asks them to submit proposals. Organisations cannot make applications for education funding.
Applications can be made to the Invention and Innovation fund for which NESTA will develop a package of financial and non financial support to help projects. Will support from £500-£50,000 and between 50 - 100 projects each year.

Nationwide Foundation
Makes charitable grants to UK based organisations that aim to improve quality of life, promote social inclusion and achieve real sustainable benefits for communities.
T: 01793 655113  F: 01793 657569

Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust
Funds community development and groups that tackle the causes and effects of inequality.
22-24 Mount Charles, Belfast BT7 1NZ, Northern Ireland
T: 028 9024 5927 F: 028 9032 9839

Northern Rock Foundation
Mostly funds work in North East England but will also fund Scotland, Cumbria and the North West. It has recently announced funds to aid communities hit by foot and mouth disease.
21 Lansdowne Terrace, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1HP

Ove Arup Foundation
Named after its founder, Sir Ove Arup. Its objectives are the advancement of education directed towards the promotion, furtherance and dissemination of matters associated with the built environment.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation
The foundation has 4 priority areas:
Arts, education, publishing and overseas projects. Arts grants focus on participation and audience development, particularly partnerships between schools and other organisations, schemes to give teachers access to best practice and out of school activities. Education grants are to support community projects that aim to ensure that teenagers at risk stay in school, particularly those that focus on issues of social exclusion, the professional development of teachers and work with young offenders.

The Pilgrim Trust
Awards £1.5 million each year to registered charities through its Art and Learning, Social Welfare and Preservation Schemes.
Cowley House, 9 Little College Street, London SW1P 3XS
T: 020 7222 4723 F: 020 7976 0461

The Prince’s Trust
Helps 14-30 year olds develop confidence, learn new skills and get into work. Also offers grants and loans to help young people set up in business.
18 Park Square East, London, NW1 4LH
Tel: 020 7543 1234

Ragdoll Foundation
Supports projects activities or events which promote the education of children through the arts. Particularly interested in funding work with early years (0-8) and work that is creative and innovative.
Russell House, Ely Street, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6LW

Rufford Foundation
Funds nature conservation, environmental and sustainable development. Only gives grants to registered charities.
Babmaes House, 2 Babmaes Street, London SW1Y 6HD

Scottish Community Foundation
Supports charities and community groups in Scotland. Matches the interests of donors with the needs of communities.

SHINE (Support and Help in Education)
Initially focussing on London and the South East, this is a new trust which funds work which broadens horizons for disadvantaged young people and gives them an experience they would not otherwise have had.

The Sutton Trust
Educational opportunities for young people, particularly the academically able from non-privileged backgrounds and experimental schemes addressed to early learning, including the involvement of parents in stimulating children’s early mental development. Art projects will not be funded.
Heritage House, 21 Inner Park Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 6ED
Tel: 0208 788 3223 Fax: 0208 788 3993

Tesco Charity Trust
Operates a community award scheme giving one off donations of between £2000 and £5000 based in areas where Tesco has stores to build links with the community. Closing date for applications is the end of January each year.
Tesco Charity Trust, Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross,
Hants EN8 9SL
T: 01992 646768

Thames Community Foundation
Operates in the areas of Kingston, Richmond and Hounslow in London and is funded by large companies based in the area.
LGC Victoria House, Queens Road, Teddington Middlesex TW1 0LY
T: 020 8943 5525 F: 020 8943 2319

Wates Foundation
Exists to support young and disadvantaged in London and alleviate distress and promote quality of life.

Weston (Garfield) Foundation
Supports a broad range of activities in the field of education, the environment, the arts and other areas of general benefit to the community in the UK.
Weston Centre, Bowater House, 68 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LR
Tel: 020 7589 6363 Fax: 020 7584 8560

Wellcome Trust
The world’s largest medical research charity. Gives a number of grants including for research into the history of medicine and for public engagement in science.
The Wellcome Building, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK
T: 020 7611 8888 F: 020 7611 8545

William A Cadbury Charitable Trust
Funds registered charities working in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Particularly interested in supporting women and people from ethnic minorities.
2 College Walk, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6LQ

The Wolfson Foundation
Funds the advancement of health, education, the arts and humanities, with continuing emphasis on science and technology, research, education, health and the arts.
The Wolfson Foundation, 8 Queen Anne’s Street, London W1M 9LD
T: 020 7323 5730

Individual Giving

People give to good causes for many and varied reasons. Some of the most common include:

National Heritage is among one of top areas of interest for wealthy donors according to a recent Mintel survey. There are many methods of encouraging wealthy donors to give to your organisation:

Major Gifts

The aim with a major gift programme is to encourage a small number of large gifts. Peer giving (where wealthy people encourage others to give) is a very effective way of doing this. The main and most time consuming effort here is in researching who to approach. Once these people have been established the key to success is networking and personal contact. It is vital that this task is given to someone senior in the organisation with the right skills and personality.

Direct Mail

Some organisations might have fundraising databases. Alternatively, if you have a database for publicity purposes, it could be used for awareness raising leading to a fundraising campaign. But you must make sure that you don’t fall foul of the Data Protection Act. In order to comply, people joining the database must have indicated that they are happy for their details to be used for fundraising purposes.

Fundraising Events

A large event may be a good way of generating awareness about your project and raising funds too. Its important to decide in advance what you want to get out of a fundraising event. Is it primarily about awareness raising or do you have a target sum that you would like to achieve? The event that you organise has to be appropriate for the audience you intend to invite. Fundraising events can be costly - can you afford to stage one and will it be worth it? Could you attract any sponsors for the event that might help to offset costs? There are also many other logistical factors to consider such as local authority permission, entertainment licences, police notice and first aid cover.


A legacy is when someone leaves a bequest to your organisation in their will. There are several good guides to legacy fundraising (see our section on ‘books and references’) but generally this kind of fundraising will take time and relies on relationships to be built up over many years.

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