Trusts & Foundations



We help charitable trusts and foundations give to local groups and individuals in a focused and strategic manner. Using our local knowledge we can provide help where you need it from promoting your own grants programmes to local groups through to providing a full grants management service.

Services to grant-making trusts and charities

With our full service, we will help with: promoting the scheme; accepting applications; performing due diligence checks; and presenting you with a shortlist of projects that fully meet your criteria. Your trustees then retain the final decision-making over which projects to fund.  You can choose to make the payments to the successful beneficiaries yourselves, or you can transfer a sum to us and we will make the grant offers in your name, as well as undertaking the monitoring, evaluation and impact measurement.

Working Locally

A good example of this is our work with the London-based Henry Smith Charity.  We are invited to visit local projects that have been shortlisted by their grants team and are able to provide a report based on our local knowledge and face-to-face meetings.  Any grant that is given is then managed by us, so that we can establish and keep in touch locally and intervene where necessary. Since 2008 we have partnered with the Henry Smith Charity to invest over £5 million in 51 projects.  Amelia Fitzalan Howard, Head of Grants for the Henry Smith Charity says: “Many thanks for all the work you do for us in Leeds. We do support some excellent projects and, at the same time, some quite remarkable people.”

Working Nationally

Our local knowledge is also of benefit to national organisations that need our help to understand local needs. One example is Comic Relief who raise funds through the popular Red Nose Day and Sport Relief Mile initiatives.

Managing Redundant/Dormant /Ineffective Trusts

Charitable trusts sometimes find themselves in a position where they can no longer fulfill their original aims and objectives for a number of reasons: the criteria may no longer be relevant; recruiting new trustees might be hard; or trustees may just find it difficult to find suitable projects.

The Leeds Community Foundation is quality-accredited in a scheme recognised by the Charity Commission and our staff have also received specific training about charitable trust transfers.  As such, we are in an excellent position to offer a package of services that can re-vitalise charitable trusts.  This can involve the Foundation:

  • Taking over the direct management of another trust by electing our trustees onto the governing body;
  • Transferring the trust under the Charities Act which, in effect, closes the original trust and transfers its assets to the Foundation. We can then use the assets and/or the income to begin an active programme of grant-making; or
  • Some trustees choose to retain an involvement once the trust has been transferred, acting in an expert advisory capacity.

Our Success and Experience

We have a vast amount of experience in transferring redundant and ineffective trusts, working in particular with Leeds City Council and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. One example is a small sum of money which was left by a lady called Mrs Gibson who died in 1963 to help people living in poverty in her area. This gift has grown over the years and today the funds are being used to support projects working with ex-homeless people in Leeds. This is a wonderful example of how important philanthropy is and that its benefits can – and do – live on for many years to come.

We are always pleased to answer your questions.  Please give us a call at 0113 242 2426 or contact us at