Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales has made the pledge as part of a new five-year strategy, announced this week.
The ‘Building a Better Future‘ strategy prioritises equity, diversity and inclusion, and sees the Foundation commit to “helping small charities become more resilient, communities to grow stronger, and people to overcome complex issues and barriers so they can transform their lives.”
Building on learnings from its Reaching Further strategy, the Foundation’s 2022-26 plan will focus on small, local, and specialist charities with an income of £25,000 – £500,000. By supporting these charities – which it argues are too often underfunded, under pressure and underrepresented – with flexible, unrestricted grants of £75,000 over three years, Lloyds Bank Foundation will provide them with greater stability and freedom to use funds as they see best, particularly in the current climate.
It will build on its existing commitment to addressing racial inequity by allocating at least 25% of its core funding to charities led by and for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
Another 25% will be committed to charities led by and for D/deaf and disabled people.The Foundation is working with charities led by and for these communities on developing these programmes ahead of launching next year.
Other stepsThe Foundation will also increase its capacity development offer, which helps charities build and strengthen skills and knowledge so they can set and achieve their objectives and secure funding elsewhere.It will continue to work with organisations across civil society to influence policy and practice, focusing on seeking to secure change in three critical issues for people and charities: improving the availability of accommodation, the operation of the welfare system, and the support provided to refugees and asylum seekers.To create more space and opportunities for charities to work together and with other partners at the local level, the Foundation will also launch a funding and support programme encouraging impactful partnerships to help influence local systems, practices, and policy and improve people’s lives.Details of how to get involved in this work will be announced next year. The Foundation will continue partnering with six communities across England and Wales to support long-term transformational change.
Paul Streets, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation, said:
“Small charities, who were on the frontline during the pandemic providing a lifeline for communities, now face rising costs, increased demand for support, insecure income and staff burnout. Yet, small charities are best placed to create lasting change because of their size, unique understanding of the community they support, and ability to adapt.
“To ensure we use our resources effectively, we’re focusing on small, local and specialist charities, where our combination of funding, support and resources will help charities thrive, communities grow stronger, and people overcome complex issues and barriers so they can transform their lives.”
Varsha Parmar, executive officer at Equality Action, a small charity funded by Lloyds, said:
“It is thanks to funders like Lloyds that saw us through some of our toughest times and helped us to take stock again. Like many other charities and organisations, we get caught up in the delivery of day-to-day services needed by beneficiaries and overlook taking time to reflect on the organisation’s internal workings. We know we need to strengthen our internal structures and review our long-term strategy, but charities do not have the funding to do this, as most funders only give restricted funding for specific projects. The funding from Lloyds has been a blessing for our charity with the two years unrestricted grant and the amazing consultancy support in kind.”
Further details will be announced with applications opening from November 2022. Further information about the strategy is also available on its site.
To read more about the Foundations learnings, visit www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk/8-lessons