Great Grant Making Series: The Baring Foundation

In this edition of our Great Grant Making Series we're taking a look at the wonderful grant-making charity, The Baring Foundation.

The Baring Foundation was created in 1969 as a corporate foundation of Barings Bank, growing to become the tenth largest grant making charity in the UK by 1995.

When Barings Bank collapsed in 1995, the income of the Foundation was reduced and it subsequently became an independent funder.  The Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people experiencing disadvantage and discrimination.

What type of funding do they offer?

The Foundation focuses its grant-making into three programmes: Arts, International Development and Strengthening the Voluntary Sector. In 2014, they awarded 39 grants totalling just under £1.5 million.

Arts funding looks to engage the talent and enthusiasm of older people in the creative arts, particularly focusing on participation arts with people over the age of 60 who have faced disadvantage or discrimination. It is worth noting that grants are made by invitation only, unless an open programme is advertised on the website.

Launched in 2015, the International Development programme aims to empower locally based civil society organisations to address discrimination based on gender and seal orientation in sub-Saharan Africa. Grants work using an invitation only application system. Previous grants have been awarded to UHAI EASHRI and the Other Foundations.

Strengthening the Voluntary Sector seeks to support law and human rights based approaches in the voluntary sector. For example, the programme offers project-based funding to train and support frontline organisations in using the law and human rights based approaches as well as creating links between frontline activity and policy change in organisations and the wider sector. Keep an eye on the website for application opening dates and further information.

Case Study

This June, The Baring Foundation renewed its partnerships with UHAI EASHRI and The Other Foundation to support LGBTI activism in Africa. Their three-year investment amounting to £1,050,000 aims to nurture the growth of activism by civil society in East and Southern Africa, where discrimination and violence is a commonplace experience for members of the LGBTI community.  The new grants build on initial grants to both organisations in 2015 that supported organisational development and provided funds for onward grant-making.

Application tip

Check the website regularly for information on funding round dates and open programmes, as well as the blog section for updates about the charity. Due to the high volume of enquiries, we recommend ensuring you match the criteria and guidelines for the programme you are applying to very closely.