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Funding policy

Our Broad Approach

We fund initiatives that have the potential to make a disproportionate impact in the world’s poorest countries on the underlying causes of poverty and the advancement of human rights.

The work we fund is limited primarily to two areas: (a) effective and focused campaigning (for instance, arms control, women’s rights, tax justice, transparency), and (b) innovative projects delivering critical services to poor people which additionally have the potential to influence government policy. 

We believe that relatively small and highly focused initiatives are the best use of our funds in order to make an appreciable difference to the lives of as many poor people as possible.

Our criteria for making grants

Strong leadership

Narrow focus

A compelling, realistic analysis of the issues addressed

Practical solutions to those issues

Hard to fund from other sources

Where our limited funds can make a real difference

Run by organisations with annual income of less than £5 million

Geographic focus

We have a particular focus on Anglophone Africa. This does not exclude wide-ranging initiatives focused on the developing world as well as Anglophone Africa (for instance, arms control or taxation).

Characteristics of grants we make

We are comfortable funding initiatives that have a reasonably high level of carefully considered risk.

We do not limit ourselves to funding specific projects and are willing to support organisations as a whole that meet our criteria.

Wherever possible, we expect our funding to contribute to longer term sustainability of the work being undertaken.

Our funding process is relatively light and flexible. Our Trustees have wide experience of supporting and assessing this kind of work. They aim to build supportive relationships with the principal individuals involved in any initiative.

To date, we have identified the majority of our successful funding applications through our networks.

What we will not fund

The Trust does not fund work that only delivers direct services to poor people.

In addition because of its narrow focus, the Trust is not able to fund:

Emergency relief Individuals  
Micro credit Work primarily in the field of HIV/AIDS  
Physical infrastructure The arts  

Grant size

The Trust normally makes grants in the range of £5,000 to £40,000 per year for up to three years (ie a total grant of between £5,000 and £120,000).  We receive a large number of high quality applications and so the Trust is only able to make a very limited number of new grants each year.

Which organisations we will fund

Normally only charities registered with and controlled by the UK Charity Commission or its equivalent in other countries.  In exceptional cases we will fund work by organisations that are not registered charities where we are satisfied that the work is wholly for charitable purposes and for the public benefit.

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