Last year, The Charity Service awarded grants totalling £1.4m from our Donor Advised Funds. This article provides insight into the charitable causes we have supported.
The Charity Service aims to promote philanthropy and empower impactful charitable giving. We do this by providing Donor Advised Funds, which enable philanthropists to engage in long-term charitable giving. Donor Advised Funds allow donors to make a charitable gift to The Charity Service, immediately claim Gift Aid and then make grants to charities over time.
All our donors have their unique interests and pursue grant-making that is meaningful to them. As a result, our grant-making is diverse. That said, we tend to work with thoughtful and engaged donors that have a deep concern for humanity. The word ‘philanthropy’ is derived from the ancient Greek for love of humanity and, in this sense, our donors are genuine philanthropists.
During the year ended 31 March 2022, The Charity Service administered 204 grants with a combined value of £1.4m. The pie chart below summarises the charitable causes supported.
Health, Social Welfare and Society
The most popular cause was Health. Our grants in this area covered many different charities, although women’s health was a popular theme. For example, we supported Operation Fistula, an international charity dedicated to ending fistula (a childbirth injury caused by obstructed labour) for every woman. We also supported the Abortion Support Network, which helps people who need to access safe abortions.
Grants awarded under the Social Welfare category were also wide-ranging. They reflect the fact that many different people in society need support. For example, we supported Women for Refugee Women, a charity that supports and empowers refugee and asylum-seeking women. We also gave to Once Upon a Smile, a charity that provides bereavement support for children.
Society was the third largest cause we supported. This category includes grants made towards charities working on human rights, equality and diversity, racial justice, the promotion of democracy and the advancement of citizenship. These causes are of increasing interest to our donors. In recent years, we have seen growing populism and the polarisation of political debate in the UK and worldwide. There is an urgent need to promote and improve our democratic institutions and create a more tolerant and inclusive society. Our grants help to do this. For example, we granted funds to Galop, a charity that supports LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence. We also supported Women for Afghan Women, a civil society organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls.
Across all of the causes we support, some grants are made overseas. Indeed, we awarded a tenth of our grants, by value, to foreign not-for-profit organisations in 2021/22. The option to make overseas grants is appreciated by many of our donors because it helps them to give to areas of the world that are meaningful to them and where needs are greatest. We sometimes use our international payments expertise to get funds to not-for-profit organisations in some of the world’s poorest countries, for example, Nepal, Pakistan and Palestine. With all overseas grants, we do extra due diligence checks to ensure that funds will be used for charitable purposes and comply with UK regulatory requirements. We charge a small fee of £90 to cover this extra work, but our donors consider this a small cost given the range of possibilities this service creates.
Grants to individuals
Although the vast majority of our grant-making is to charitable organisations, we also make a small number of grants to individuals. We currently do this through three funds, two of which are awards programmes. The Human Rights and Nursing Awards provides a grant to two exemplary nurses each year to celebrate their outstanding commitment and work to promote human rights. You can read about last year’s inspiring winners in the Nursing Ethics journal.
Through the Dick Camplin Education Trust scholarship programme, we support students from Loreto College in Hulme, Manchester, who have overcome significant barriers to take up a place at university. Most scholars come from families with low household incomes, typically below £20k per annum. They are usually the first in their families to go to university. Whilst the scholarship monies are important, the scheme’s success is underpinned by a network of supporters who assist the scholars’ development by, for example, offering paid work internships during their university years. The scholars also benefit from the support of their peers and former scholars. You can read some of the scholars’ stories on the Dick Camplin Education Trust’s website.
We also manage the Chronicle Cinderella Home Fund, which awards grants to families from the Greater Manchester area to support the costs of respite care and support for the benefit of children and young people under the age of 25 who are sick, convalescent, have special educational needs or are disadvantaged for any other reason. Last year we helped provide a break for over 30 children and young people.
Greater Manchester Grants
Finally, The Charity Service has its roots in the Greater Manchester voluntary sector and several of our funds are focused within the city. Our Greater Manchester grants are typically small at around £3,000 each. In totality, they account for less than a tenth of the value of our grants. However, they are a vital component of our grant-making. They help keep us grounded and close to our local community.
And the work goes on……
Our work continues. Three months into our current financial year, we have already paid out over £0.4m. We are grateful to our donors for their curiosity, compassion and commitment. The world in which we live is often unfair and unjust, but our donors feel that they can and should do something about it. We are a growing organisation, and we look forward to working with ever more donors who share the same philanthropic spirit.