Our approach

We promote the development of people and organisations, through art, science, education and charity, for a more equitable and sustainable society.

We are an international foundation developing innovative programmes and projects. We support, through grants and scholarships, social institutions and organisations in Portugal, the United Kingdom and France, as well as in the Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) and Armenian Communities worldwide.

To maximise our impact, we focus our resources and activities where there is the greatest need and where we are best able to make a difference. All of this is guided by the Foundation’s overall strategic priorities of Equity and Sustainability.

We develop multi-year programmes, focusing on specific areas of action: Access to Culture, Access to Care, Access to Education, Climate and Ocean, Democracy and Civil Society, Armenian Communities, and Partnerships with Africa. For each, we select the appropriate mix of philanthropic instruments, such as grants, scholarships, investments, proactive approaches, open calls, prizes, convening, advocacy, and direct action.

Our scholarships are targeted at specific objectives, value all knowledge, and seek to engender greater equality of opportunity and to encourage international exchanges.

Our approach

We incorporate international grant-making best practices and build on our relative strengths.

Long-term thinking

We set long-term goals, address root causes, and invest in the enablers of change rather than just alleviating symptoms. Like most large independent foundations, we are fortunate in being able to take a long-term view, look over the horizon, and seek impact beyond political cycles and market uncertainties.

International impact

Our founder wanted the Foundation to benefit “all of humanity”. We are well-positioned to deliver impact at national and international levels through our physical presence in three countries on the west coast of Europe and long-standing relationships with funders in these and other countries.

Acting systemically

We seek transformational change and recognise that we operate in a complex ecosystem. Systems—and their associated problems and solutions—tend to cross national borders and traditional disciplinary lines. We position ourselves to act systemically by operating in a broad range of disciplines and promoting collaborative, cross-sector approaches to solving problems.

Cultural and scientific heritage

We are fortunate in having an Arts Centre and a Science Centre. We are experienced at putting our ideas into practice through cultural and scientific programmes. We recognise both the arts and science in improving societies and enhancing people’s lives, promoting the intersectional value of culture and knowledge.

Convening power and partnerships

We have developed a strong track record of bringing together partners and working closely with communities in the geographies and areas in which we have acted, along with foundations in other countries, to share approaches and learning. This enables us to “think global, act local”.

What we do not do

Impact requires focus, and focus means making difficult choices. We do not support initiatives that fall outside our defined areas of action. We hope these pages will help potential partners evaluate whether and how their initiatives might fit.




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