What we do

The Swire Charitable Trust’s aim is to help deliver positive and lasting change to UK society. We do this by making grants to UK registered charities working in one of our three core funding programme areas.

Our funding programmes:

1

Community and social welfare

Supporting positive change in the community

Fostering long-term positive change in the lives of vulnerable & disadvantaged people and their communities, we particularly welcome funding requests from charities working with:

  • Care experienced young people
  • People with physical and learning disabilities
  • Homeless people
  • Ex-servicemen and women
  • Victims of slavery and human trafficking
Case study
2

Education and training

Nurturing potential

Helping children and adults from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential and make the most of their talents. For example, we fund charities that are:

  • Working to narrow the attainment gap for disadvantaged and marginalised children
  • Targeting improvements in essential skills such as literacy and numeracy
  • Empowering young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs), or marginalised adults, to engage with education or training
Case study
3

Heritage

Regeneration through restoration

Restoring neglected buildings and landmarks which can contribute to community regeneration, particularly in areas of deprivation.

We would especially like to hear from smaller heritage charities that focus on providing employment or volunteering opportunities for the local community – and contribute to the regeneration of the area.

Case study

The Trust’s discretionary fund, which is inspired by John Swire & Sons’ stakeholders and steered by our trustees, is able to make gifts to charitable organisations that fall outside of these funding areas.

About our grants

Across our three programmes, we take a consistent, well-defined approach to the type of charity we support and how we make and structure our grants.

Who do we support?

We prioritise charities that:

  • Can clearly demonstrate the needs they are addressing
  • Know what they are aiming to achieve and plan to monitor and evaluate outcomes
  • Are well placed and well qualified to deliver the work
  • Have the potential to change the way issues are tackled more widely
  • Can show a proven track record as well as solid ambitions
  • Take an effective approach to using volunteers and mentors (where appropriate)
  • Are seeking to make their income streams more sustainable
  • Have strong leadership
  • Keep a tight rein on finances
  • Operate in some of the most economically disadvantaged parts of the UK

What can’t we fund?

Please note that our core funding programmes are unable to consider:

  • Applications received by post or email, i.e. not via our online funding request form
  • Organisations that are not UK registered charities
  • Requests from charities that have applied to us in the last 12 months
  • Individual applicants or proposals that will benefit only one person
  • Activities taking place outside of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Work that has already taken place
  • Statutory bodies or work that is primarily the responsibility of statutory authorities (e.g. residential, respite and day care, housing and provision of mainstream education through individual schools, nurseries and colleges)
  • Activities of local organisations which are part of a wider network doing similar work (e.g. uniformed youth groups, YMCA, MIND, Mencap, Homestart, Relate, Citizens Advice, Age UK)
  • Medical-related charities, including those that provide residential care (including care homes, hospitals and hospices), equipment or fund research
  • Animal welfare charities
  • Academic research, scholarships or bursaries

The Trust’s discretionary fund is not subject to these funding exclusions.

Types and conditions of funding

Types of funding

Grants from our core programme will aim to meet the needs identified in your application. We will fund individual projects that are aligned with our funding priorities but we also recognise that charities themselves are often best placed to allocate resources within their organisations. Therefore our grants can be awarded on a restricted or an unrestricted basis and we are willing to support core costs, capital expenditure and salaries.

There is no maximum or minimum grant size and, although we base our grants on the amount requested and the size of organisation, we may award more or less than you applied for.

While most of our grants are for one year only, we appreciate that charities welcome security of funding. So, where a longer-term commitment can be clearly justified, we are willing to consider multi-year grants of up to three years. But these are likely to come with additional conditions, such as reporting requirements.

Our small team processes a large number of requests and grants each year. With such limited resources we are unable to consider more complex funding arrangements, like loans – or offer other types of support such as advice, feedback or networking opportunities.


Standard conditions of funding

We aim to provide funding with as few strings attached as possible, but our grants usually come with a set of simple conditions. Any additional requirements will appear in the grant letter. Payments are generally made by cheque, usually soon after a grant is awarded.

If we are funding a specific project that is subsequently found to be unviable, grantees will need to seek our approval before reallocating our grant to another purpose.

We are happy to be named in charity donor lists, such as in annual reviews, but we ask you to get in touch if you wish to highlight the Trust in any other way.

 

Sadly demand for our grants far exceeds supply so inevitably we have to turn down many requests, even if they fall within our current priorities.