The Trust sees itself as a change-maker rather than a grantmaker, creating portfolios of work through which are trying to bring about systemic change. We decide on the structural change we are aiming to bring about and work with partners to bring it about. For example we wouldn’t look at what can be done to alleviate poverty, but at what can be done structurally to prevent it. We wouldn’t fund a food bank but we might fund a piece of work to find out why food banks are thriving and what can be done at a policy level to prevent them from needing to be opened.
Barrow Cadbury Turst is an endowed foundation with relatively modest resources so we have to use more than just our income to achieve our goals. We see ourselves as agents of change with access to a financial resource base, using all of our assets and resources for our mission, including having an involvement in social investment. We do a lot of things like serving on boards and advisory groups. We encourage our partner organisations and grantholders to use our boardrooms for their own meetings. We try to use all of the things at our disposal to achieve a healthy civil society. This is a different model of working than seeing ourselves just as a source of money, but of course we understand that being resourced and having money is a key advantage.
We aim to bridge the divide between local communities and policymakers. Our strap line is the eighteenth century Quaker imperative to ‘speak truth to power’ and to this end we aim to bring the voices of marginalised and disadvantaged people to be heard in the ‘corridors of power’. The Trust works with think tanks, campaigning organisations and the media to increase informed public dialogue about some of the difficult issues of our age. We provide opportunities for grantholders to influence policy makers and also for them to come together and share learning. The Trust also funds research which is designed to influence public policy and practice in order to bring about structural change.
Who do we work with?
We tend to work with the same partners on issues until they’re resolved. We stick with things for a long time because we realise you can’t bring about social change with short-term measures.
How do we work?
If we are giving money to a large organisation with significant capacity we are likely to just give them funding to do whatever it is that needs to be done. If we are working with smaller, more fragile organisations we are likely to give them other capacity support.
We have an enduring commitment to racial, gender, criminal and economic justice and this looks different in every decade. So our values remain the same but the form that our work takes changes over time.
The Trust spends an average of £4m a year on around 100 grants of varying amounts.