The City Bridge Trust, London’s largest independent charitable funder, undertakes a strategic review every five years in order to ‘stay relevant and alive to the changing needs of Londoners’.

Under the new strategy, charitable organisations will be offered flexible funding, including grants of different sizes and durations, social investment, match funding and access to increased levels of individual and corporate philanthropy.

The new strategy, ‘Bridging Divides’, has set out five funding priorities, full details of which will be available in 2018:

Connecting the Capital - This funding stream is about geographical communities, from a street/ward level to a multi-borough/regional level with funding for the following kinds of activities:

  • Supports community engagement and development work.
  • Champions social action and empowers individuals and communities to come together to create the differences they want to see; and provides them with the tools to do this.
  • Continues to encourage more philanthropic giving and fundraising across London, in multiple ways, for the benefit of different communities.
  • Promotes environmental justice activities or education, in terms of the reduced/restricted access to open spaces/environmental activities and the high levels of air pollution, with a particular focus on areas of deprivation.
  • Supports the work of civil society support organisations, working with a range of partners, to deliver lace-based work that is needed.

Reducing inequalities - This funding aims to tackle inequalities linked to: race; gender; sexuality; participation and physical access; social mobility; access to services (education, employment, benefits, health etc.) and culture and arts. Funding could cover the following kinds of activities:

  • Raises awareness and seeks to tackle the issues of the day that are facing groups experiencing inequalities.
  • Supports individuals and communities to achieve improved outcomes in terms of the poverty and inequalities they experience.
  • Recognises the additional prejudices that those experiencing inequality and poverty can face, such as Disabled People or people from BAME backgrounds being less likely to gain employment, or LGBT people experiencing mental health issues being less likely to have access to the right services and support.
  • Work that challenges hate and promotes inclusion: championing justice, tolerance and fairness for those who experience inequalities.

Positive transitions - This funding is intended for projects that empower Londoners experiencing inequality to make important transitions. Potential applicants should consider the following points:

  • The Trust is likely to work with a wide range of Londoners, with priorities and goals that differ from project to project.
  • Specialist support and expertise may be essential for ensuring that people are successful in their transitions.
  • Individuals in their communities may or may not be known to statutory services, but all would benefit from support from civil society and beyond to grow and sustain the progress they have made in their pursuit of a ‘thriving’ life.

Advice and support - This funding is intended to 'act as a safety net' and could fund activities that relate to:

  • Advice and advocacy services that support individuals who are either experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, issues relating to: indebtedness, unemployment/in-work poverty, social welfare reform and homelessness.
  • Services that support individuals and communities experiencing issues relating to hardship and crisis, including food poverty.
  • Support to improve the resilience of individuals and communities, including those who have experienced violent crimes or a loss of their safety, eg, sexual violence, and those who are experiencing mental health difficulties, including being at risk of suicide.
  • Advice and advocacy services that support individuals who are experiencing difficulties in relation to their status as a refugee, asylum seeker, immigrant or economic migrant

Every voice counts – This funding priority presents an opportunity to challenge the root causes for the divides identified in the strategy, and considers the ways in which to make London a city where everyone can thrive. The funding is intended for:

  • Work that develops voice and leadership skills for individuals and communities that lead to tangible and lasting change for them and their communities. This could include advocacy for targeted groups, the upskilling of ‘expert citizens’ to influence solutions, along with opportunities for representation that can help shape the journey from surviving to thriving for more people. The work funded is likely to link back to the previous four priorities.

The details of each funding priority will be provided as soon as they become available in 2018.