Wainwright Trusts: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Wainwright Trusts focuses its global development grantmaking on social injustices and advocating for the rights of vulnerable populations.

IP TAKE: This U.K.-based funder is relatively approachable. Small, local and grassroots groups that tackle the root causes of social injustice may have a good chance of securing grant support from Wainwright.

PROFILE: Based in West Yorkshire, England, the Wainwright Trusts comprises two entities: The Scurrah Wainwright Charity (SWC) and the Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust (AWRT). Both organizations are nonprofits, but SWC is a traditional NGO, while Wainright describes AWRT as "not [a] charitable trust, but a nonprofit making limited company.” Both SWC and AWRT support groups that address social injustices and advocate for the rights of vulnerable populations—or what the trusts refer to as “socially disempowered"—predominately in the U.K. and southern Africa, particularly Zimbabwe.

SWC’s grantmaking approach appears rather broad-based in that it supports groups that work with a variety of vulnerable and marginalized populations. For example, SWC has supported the Business Bridge, South Africa, which provides high-quality business skills training and other activities to small, micro and medium enterprise owners in South Africa. Additionally, Friends of Hlekweni, in Zimbabwe, has received backing from the trusts in the past. Grants were used to support Hlekweni’s programs in sustainable livelihoods training for rural youth with an eye on improving food security.

AWRT funds groups “[c]onsidered too political or radical to come within the Charitable Commission’s guidelines.” AWRT prioritizes giving to organizations that work “for a just and democratic society,” as well as those redressing “political and social injustices.” Unlike SWC, AWRT does not accept applications from registered charities. To get a sense of the types of organizations supported by AWRT, explore its Past Grantees webpage. 

SWC grants typically range from £1,000 to £5,000. The trusts offer general operating support as well as project-specific grants. Both SWC and AWRT accept unsolicited requests for funding and grant applications with deadlines for those submissions falling on January 14, May 14 and September 14 each year.


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