About us

The Foundation was set up as a generalist grantmaking trust in 1971. We continue with the broad philanthropic interests of our benefactor Sir John Ellerman, while reflecting changing times.

Our aim is to advance the wellbeing of people, society and the natural world. 

We like to support smaller organisations whose work has reach and significance across the UK. In order for our funds to have as wide an impact as possible we look for charities that have a national footprint.

As a responsive funder, we listen to what applicants judge is important rather than pursuing our own agenda.

We will support core costs or projects, depending on what is most needed. We are happy for our grants to be used as matched funding.

We value our relationships with grantholders. Our Trustees are involved at each stage of an application and we like to meet all applicants who reach the second stage.

We seek to learn from the grants we make. That means hearing about the outcomes and understanding why some do not go to plan.

Because we want our funding to make a practical difference, we like to know about the changes a grant has helped to make.

We wish to be flexible in our funding. We do have funding criteria but there are times when we will venture outside them if we believe it would be more effective.

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We achieve our aim by:
  • funding organisations working in Arts, Environment and Welfare
  • generating income for grants from investments.