The Royal London Foundation is changing

Orange purse

We’ve widened the threshold for applications and introduced continuation grants to provide even more support to the organisations helping your communities.

The Royal London Foundation helps members support local not-for-profit organisations that make a difference in your communities.

In 2018, a record number of members nominated causes in local areas to receive a donation. As a result, in 2019, we made the decision to review the Royal London Foundation to ensure we’re providing the most effective support to your chosen local organisations. In order to do this, we made key changes to how the Foundation works.

Change is in the air

SOPHIE LOVE: My name is Sophie Love and I’m the Social Responsibility Executive at Royal London and I oversee our community programme and the Royal London Foundation. 
The Royal London Foundation was set up in 2011 to help members support their local communities. Since our re-launch in 2017, we’ve seen fantastic amount of member engagement with the foundation, and then in 2018 that grew even more and we were able to donate £350,000 last year to those local organisations that really mattered to our members.

We decided to make some changes to the Royal London Foundation for 2019 to enable us to reach more organisations – as we know there are so many great organisations out there. So the first change we’re making is the introduction of continuation grants, so each year we’ll be giving out 10 grants of £10,000 to organisations a year after they receive their first grant of £5,000. We decided to introduce these continuation grants to enable organisations to continue funding the great work they’re doing in local communities.

The second change we’ll be making for 2019 is by changing our nomination criteria. We’ll be increasing the maximum income of organisations from £500,000 to £1m. We’re hoping by making these changes to the Foundation we’ll be able to help even more organisations out there that are making fantastic differences to their local communities.
CAPTION: Find out more about the Royal London Foundation at


Widening the net

Unfortunately, we had to say no to some applications in 2017 because the organisations nominated were outside of our terms and conditions due to their turnover. So we worked with UK Community Foundations (UKCF), the national network for community foundations that helps us manage the Royal London Foundation, and agreed to increase our maximum turnover threshold from £500,000 to £1m. Doing so will enable us to reach more brilliant organisations doing amazing work in your communities, as well as helping some of those that we couldn’t help before.

Watch our video to find out more about how we work with UKCF and the London Community Foundation to provide grants to worthy grassroots organisations.

Giving local community organisations a boost

Kate Markey, Chief Executive of the London Community Foundation, explains how they work alongside the Royal London Foundation to provide grants to worthy grassroots organisations.

CAPTION: The Royal London Foundation works alongside the London Community Foundation to find and support local grassroots charities across London.

KATE MARKEY: My name’s Kate Markey, I’m Chief Executive of the London Community Foundation. We are a funder of grassroots charities across all London boroughs.

The UK Community Foundation movement has been going for many years and there’s 45 of us around the country. Between us we are granting over £98 million a year and we have an endowment of over £600 million that we raised from individuals and from corporates.

We’re actually part of a global network of 1,800. Community Foundations started in the US and in Canada, but now has spread across the world.

Typically we fund organisations that are under the radar organisations that don’t have the brand and profile that possibly some of the bigger charities do. They are the social fabric of communities and as a result of that, because they are working at a very hyper local level, they are struggling to get funding. They are organisations that might be tackling loneliness; also it’s often things around working a lot with elderly people around isolation. It can be around youth engagement services; sport clubs. Those very, very hyper local organisations that build real trust and connectivity in our communities.

What Royal London has allowed us to do is provide organisations with core funding that they often get from other funders. So, for example, Maxability received a fund of £5,000 and if I tell you that their turnover is £35,000 that gives you some indication of how important that grant is to them. They work with adults with learning difficulties and the funding that was provided [for] workshops and outreach, and allowed them to express their creativity.

What those kinds of things allowed them to do is people to feel connected and normal in their communities. It was providing core costs. By that we mean everyday costs that are things like salaries, office space, etc. Those are really, absolutely key things that organisations need. In this day and age actually it’s quite difficult to get core funding. Everything we want to do with Royal London is help: how we help organisations have better resilience, because that means they can increase their impact. That’s being good for business, being good for their employees and actually being good for the community.

I think we’re increasingly seeing businesses wanting to support local communities. That is about how they demonstrate their social footprint. So if you imagine you’re a small organisation, we often describe it as being on that ‘hamster wheel’ of fundraising, they recognise they want to work with organisations like ourselves because they know it’s good for business, it’s good for the community and it’s good for employees.

CAPTION: Find out more about the Royal London Foundation at

Continuation grants

As well as helping a wider group of organisations, we’re also keen to continue working with some of those that we’ve assisted before. Therefore, we’re delighted to announce we’ve now introduced something called ‘continuation grants’. These will provide a second grant of £10,000 to 10 of your nominated organisations, a year after they received the first one, in order to help them continue their good work.

How will it work?

A year after receiving their first grant, each organisation is asked to submit a report to UKCF about how it has spent that grant. UKCF will then shortlist 10 organisations to receive a continuation grant, based on their due diligence process, which looks at how effectively the first grant has been spent.

The new continuation grants will still be unrestricted, in terms of how the organisations use them. This means the grants can be used for core costs, such as the running of the group, rather than just for specific projects.

We’re extremely proud of the good use our grants have been put to by all these amazing organisations over the last few years. The aim of the continuation grants is to help your chosen organisations to continue to grow, supporting your local communities, and making a real difference to people’s lives.

Royal London Foundation: coronavirus update

We’re changing how the Foundation runs this year so we can immediately support local charities and organisations providing vital help to people during the coronavirus outbreak. Read our Q&A to find out more about our decision and how the funding will be used. 

Find out more about Royal London Foundation: coronavirus update