New Paul Hamlyn Foundation fund will help charities cover core costs

The Backbone Fund is awarding grants to a total of £1.5m to seven organisations that the PHF feels deliver vital work in civil society

The work of the Cultural Learning Alliance
The work of the Cultural Learning Alliance

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has created a new fund to help cover the core costs of charities it believes are delivering vital work in civil society.

The Backbone Fund will award grants totalling £1.5m to seven organisations in its first year of operation. All the charities have been invited to apply because of their contribution to the fields in which the foundation operates.

The money is unrestricted and will last up to five years.

The PHF has an endowment of about £750m, which makes it one of the UK’s largest foundations, and supports organisations that try to tackle disadvantage.

The PHF said in a statement that the Backbone Fund would allow the charities to fund core services and essential roles. It would also ensure they had funding that "can be relied upon for a significant period of time, free of political cycles".

Moira Sinclair, chief executive of the PHF, said in a statement: "We know that stable and flexible funding from an independent source is hard to come by, particularly for activities that are not ‘front-line’ or are less visible, but nonetheless incredibly valuable to enabling civil society organisations to do what they do well now and in the future."

The fund is invitation-only at this stage.

The first set of grant recipients are:

The Centre for Youth Impact (£250,000) 
The New Economy Organisers Network (£250,000)
Liberty (£250,000)
What Next? (£150,000)
The Cultural Learning Alliance (£150,000)
Clinks (£250,000)
Clore Social Leadership (£200,000).

Read a full interview with the foundation here about its new approach.

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