Investment Guidelines

Grant-making Goals

The Foundation aims to focus its charitable investments towards strategic initiatives that will strengthen and scale up registered not-for-profit organisations that are widely recognised as making an impact in their sector.

As an investor, we look for organisations that can demonstrate a sound strategy, a resilient business model with a broad base of revenue streams and high calibre management. We examine the context and market that organisations work in, we seek to understand the needs of their stakeholders and beneficiaries and we look for an independently evaluated evidence base of positive outcomes.

We look for projects that offer the potential to transform an organisation’s ability to achieve its mission. We examine the strategy which the project supports and we look for significant funding from other sources. In our due diligence, we seek evidence of a detailed implementation plan, a credible budget which demonstrates value for money and a plan for performance management and evaluation.

We seek to make investments that have significant potential for measurable return, wider leverage and fundamental, lasting change.

Types of Projects

The Foundation's aim is to work with organisations on strategic, transformational projects that have the potential to substantially increase the grantee's impact, reach, effectiveness, earned revenue, operational efficiency or long-term financial sustainability. The types of project we typically fund are as follows:

Capital improvements

Large-scale projects central to the overall growth and sustainability of the applicant, such as new construction, renovations, expansions, equipment and other initiatives that support the organisation’s strategic vision.

Technology projects

High-impact technology projects that can substantially increase an organisations efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability. Projects may include:

Please note that funding is not provided for replacement of dated IT hardware, routine system upgrades or ongoing website content.

Organisational development

Projects which seek to establish a new, transformational strategic path. This could include support for an initiative that helps a growing organisation achieve scale efficiencies, the development of a franchise model or helping charities to yield consolidation efficiencies through mergers

Planning initiatives

Funding for expert/external consultants to develop strategic, business, technology and other types of plans.

Sector Focus

Charitable investments are mainly directed towards organisations operating in the following sectors:

Arts, Culture & Heritage

Including nationally significant heritage sites, internationally recognised museums and class leading organisations in the visual and performing arts

Community

Particularly early interventions and charities which help young and/or disadvantaged people achieve their potential.

Education

Particularly initiatives which improve education outcomes for the disadvantaged, from early years through to transition to work.

Health

Including disability, palliative care and centres of excellence involved in ground-breaking research and treatments to address chronic illness (with a particular focus on investment in specialist equipment).

Environment

Particularly preservation and sustainable initiatives that have a positive impact on the natural world.

Scale of Organisation and Project

Grants are generally made only to organisations with an annual operating budget in excess of £500,000 (or local currency equivalent).

Grants are normally made towards significant, transformational projects with a total budget of £50,000 or more. Grants are one-off investments; they are rarely awarded for, or across, multiple years and will not normally be awarded to the same organisation in successive years.

Grant Size

Grant size depends upon the impact and scope of the project. The majority of awards fall in the £25,000 to £150,000 range. Grants for projects with a particularly compelling investment case including significant measurable outcomes can exceed £150,000.

Grants will not normally cover the entire cost of a project. You may wish to request a sum related to a specific budget item or grants already received from other funders.

Exclusions

Grants are not made to start-up, political or sectarian organisations, organisations which have been running for less than three years, or to individuals. Grants are typically not made to private schools.

Grants are not made for sponsorships, scholarships, corporate membership, advertising and promotional projects, exhibitions and general running costs.

Grants will only exceptionally be made towards programme costs and, if considered, will typically be to organisations that have an outstanding track record of delivery and clear plans for future funding.

Grants are for planned expenditure; they will not normally cover costs incurred prior to application and/or the grant being awarded.

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