Lankelly Chase Foundation announces its decision to close after renouncing the traditional philanthropy model

The Lankelly Chase Foundation, which hasn’t been accepting any open applications for grant support for a while now, has announced that it is to close and distribute its endowment of £130 million over the next 5 years. The Foundation was the 79th biggest charitable foundation in the UK in 2021, according to the Association of Charitable Foundations.

The Chase Charity was established on 18 May 1962 and the Lankelly Foundation on 18
March 1968. On 9 December 2004, the two Trustee bodies amalgamated the trusts, and the
new Lankelly Chase Foundation was incorporated.

The Foundation is known for its social justice grant-making to bring about change to transform the quality of life of people who have multiple disadvantages, such as homelessness, substance misuse, mental illness, violence and abuse.  In 2017 it announced that:

“We are not accepting or considering proposals for the foreseeable future so that we can spend our time investing properly in the relationships we have with our existing partners. We ant to focus on helping them to make wider societal change and realise that continually developing new initiatives means that we have little time to do this”.

The Foundation has now decided to close, stating that:

“We have recognised the gravity of the interlocking social, climate and economic global crises we are experiencing today. At the same time, we view the traditional philanthropy model as so entangled with colonial capitalism that it inevitably continues the harms of the past into the present,” it said in a statement.

“We will relinquish control of our assets, including the endowment and all resources, so that money can flow freely to those doing life-affirming social justice work. We will make space to reimagine how wealth, capital and social justice can co-exist in the service of all life, now and for future generations.”

The Foundation will move £8m of its capital (6% of its endowment) to the Baobab Foundation, an organisation set up in 2021 with a focus on funding Black and Global Majority communities in the UK.

Lankelly Chase said it would now “develop the map for redistributing the remainder of our assets and resources” and would be driven by several aims:

o Promoting mutuality and collectivism.
o Enabling resources to flow with ease to communities doing social justice work.
o Investing capital in ways that are aligned with the visions and values of communities.
o Allowing a diversity of resourcing approaches to flourish that reflect the necessary diversity of life-affirming work, and
o Supporting the deep embodiment of alternative ways of living, knowing and being in the world.

Further information about the Foundation’s decision to close can be found on Civil Society News, Fundraising UK, on The Guardian newspaper website (no pay wall) and on the Lankelly Chase Foundation’s website.