Community matters

The Royal London Foundation helps members support local organisations that make a difference in your communities

Across the UK, not-for-profit organisations are working to help others and change lives. The Royal London Foundation was established in 2011 to mark our 150th anniversary by giving donations to community groups nominated by our members. In this way we support the often unsung heroes whose work makes such a big difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

We re-launched the Royal London Foundation this year after engaging members in a review. You told us that you want to support smaller, local causes. When we launched we worked with our partner, UK Community Foundations (UKCF), to identify examples of organisations around the country, from Calderdale in the foothills of the Pennines to County Durham and Derry, that would benefit from our help. You can click here to see examples of 12 organisations that have received grants from us.

Case study: 4 Winds, Cardiff

4 Winds is a user-led, open-access mental health resource helping people work towards recovery. ‘J’ was struggling – and had negative experiences of other support services, but 4 Winds opened up a whole new world for him, where he began to see hope and opportunity. This increased his confidence and he is becoming an ‘involvement champion’ for 4 Winds.

Could £5,000 help your organisation?

The Royal London Foundation offers an award of £5,000 to support the core work of community groups nominated by members. In 2017, we’re aiming to award at least £100,000.

We are currently assessing nominations made by members in April.

Guidelines and terms and conditions

We support organisations that have a local impact, rather than ones that operate nationally. They don’t have to be registered charities, but they do have to be not-for-profit organisations that fit within our theme of ‘supporting people with a chronic or long-term condition’.

Understanding the theme and who you can nominate

This is a very broad theme to allow us to support a wide range of organisations but they must support an identifiable cause or group of people that are directly affected by either chronic conditions or by longer-term challenges such as poverty or social mobility issues.

Examples include organisations supporting those with chronic illnesses or disabilities, or their carers or loved ones; those working with refugees or with alleviating the effects of poverty directly – for example, working with a specific social mobility group. The recipient could be a hospice, day centre or homeless shelter.

The organisation may be a registered UK charity, Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Company Limited by Guarantee, not-for-profit registered Community Interest Company, or constituted community and voluntary sector organisation. It must have an annual income under £500,000, and must be based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. We are unable to fund individuals or organisations that have a religious or political affiliation or activities and equipment that should be provided by statutory services – for example, activity in school hours. And all organisations need to have governance documents in place.

The award does not have to be for a specific project or programme, it can be to benefit the overall organisation’s activities. Unfortunately there is a finite amount of funding available, so we may only be able to donate to those groups that best fit the criteria. Only one award can be given per organisation in each calendar year, regardless of the number of separate submissions the organisation receives. Current Royal London charity partners are not eligible for nomination. The decision of our partner, UK Community Foundations (UKCF), is final.

The organisation must be able to identify their beneficiaries rather than be a general community organisation.

Please note: As of August 2017, our guidelines have been updated to align more closely to our chosen theme. We have also increased the annual income from under £400,000 to under £500,000.

How to nominate

To nominate an organisation, you must have a Royal London membership reference number. You’ll complete a short form to nominate the organisation of your choice. Once all nominations are in, and reviewed, the organisation will receive an email from UKCF with a link to a full online application form. They will need to complete some further information in order to be considered for funding. This information includes answering questions about their activities and beneficiaries, submitting copies of governing documents (e.g. constitution, memorandum and articles or set of rules), a copy of the most recent annual accounts, a photocopy of a bank statement no more than three months old, copies of safeguarding (if they are working with children or vulnerable adults) and equal opportunities policies, and a list of the names and addresses of the management committee. If they don’t have some of this information the organisation will be invited to submit an explanation to UKCF for consideration.

Please note: If you are nominating you may wish to send the charity a link to this page to review in advance.

UKCF will assess each application against the fund criteria before final decisions are made. Nominations are open twice yearly, from April to June and from August to October. You must tell the organisation that you have nominated them so they are ready to complete their form!

When can I nominate?

Look out for more information on the Royal London Foundation in April 2018.

Case study: The Open Door

The Open Door supports vulnerable people in Morningside, Edinburgh, by providing friendship, inclusion, practical support – or just a cup of tea and a chat. Before she found The Open Door, Doreen was living alone, struggling to prepare meals and dress herself, and feeling increasingly alone. The Open Door referred her to an advocacy organisation that helped her move to a sheltered housing complex with social activities and friendly neighbours. A volunteer rings her up every evening to make sure she is doing well and feeling loved and supported.

Please note: We do not give any other donations or support beyond those outlined above.

You can nominate an organisation and read our full terms and conditions here

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