How We Work
The UK Branch benefits from the endowment our Founder left and receives an annual grant from the Foundation. About a quarter of this covers the cost of staff essential to our way of working with the majority of our funds deployed in grants to organisations we work with to help meet our key priorities.
We tend to focus on early stage funding because of our relatively limited resources and therefore cannot provide large-scale or continuous support. The majority of support is determined proactively on the basis of the research we undertake.
We consider some unsolicited proposals to our open fund through which we hope to attract exceptional organisations and ideas that our research has not identified.
Rather than values we prefer to articulate statements about what those who work with us can expect of us: behaviours which we strive to exhibit in all that we do. We will demonstrate:
Challenge (including of ourselves)
We are bold and ambitious; we challenge ourselves and our partners to do better –charitable resources are precious and limited and we want to fund only the best work, likely to have significant impact, undertaken by the best people.
We endeavour to develop positive supportive relationships with all our partners, recognising that often they are developing and delivering projects with us that are new and difficult.
We recognise that we contribute to change by supporting a range of partners – with money and in other ways, but primarily our impact is based on their brave leadership, commitment, skills, knowledge and experience.
We seek to be authentic in the sense of being open and true to our aspirations and commitments and with human wellbeing at the centre of what we do.
Because we mostly fund proactively there is a greater onus on us to be transparent about what we are funding and why and to provide a clear rationale.
Working together in partnership
We are interested in working with organisations to identify needs and to develop projects which address them. We often play a role in the development of new initiatives. For example, we convened the organisations that form the Making Every Adult Matter coalition, which tackles the overlapping problems of homelessness, offending, addiction and mental health issues, and the organisations that developed the Campaign to End Loneliness which supports isolated older people.
Most of our support is proactive. We like to identify the organisations that we want to work with through a process ofresearch, engagement in a wide range of networks and open consultations. We sometimes issue ‘calls’ for applications.
We are very interested in working collaboratively with other funders to support projects that help us meet our priorities.
By recognising that our partners are the experts in the areas in which we provide support, we seek to add value beyond the funding that we provide by for example, convening organisations to share learning, by brokering relationships and by providing strategic advice to individual projects.
Please see How we work – a briefing for partners for more information.