How we fund

We support organisations rather than providing direct support to individuals. The work we fund ranges from front-line services, through to policy influencing and narrative change, and insofar as possible we provide unrestricted funding.

Strengthening organisations

We recognise the challenges facing many organisations working in our priority areas.

In particular we understand the complexity of their operating environment, and that organisations working in these sectors are often underfunded and overstretched. So we look to help build capacity – at the sector level, the organisation level, and the individual professional level – by giving unrestricted funding when we can, and working with partners in the field and other funders to identify gaps and opportunities.

We appreciate the importance of small to medium sized organisations working to deliver change. Most of our funding goes to organisations with a turnover of between £150,000 and £1.5 million.

Our funding streams

Our largest funding stream is the open programme. While special initiatives and the anchor programme are by invitation, organisations funded through these streams are sometimes already known to us through applications to the open programme.

Open Programme

This programme aims to support and strengthen small to medium sized charities, and the wider ‘eco-system’, in our priority areas.

We usually fund single focus organisations working solely in our priority areas. For these organisations, we generally give unrestricted grants.

Special Initiatives

Working with others, this programme aims to identify and address gaps and opportunities in our priority areas.

These grants can be larger or smaller than those made in the open programme and usually involve working closely with partner organisations and other funders.

Applications are by invitation.

Anchor Programme

This programme aims to support specialist infrastructure organisations that are indispensable to their sector.

Anchors contribute to a stronger and more resilient sector by providing infrastructure support across their field and laying the path for change. Unrestricted funding for a period of five years.

See FAQ on what A B Charitable Trust means by specialist infrastructure.

Applications are by invitation.

How we make decisions:

We are always focusing on ensuring our decision making is as fair and transparent as possible.

Funding decisions are made by our Board and Grants Committee (a subgroup of four members of the Board), both of which meet quarterly. Grant decisions up to £30k pa are made by the Grants Committee, whereas anything above £30k pa is considered by the full Board.

We take account of the following factors when looking at applications.