The Allen Lane Foundation is a grant-making trust which was set up in 1966 by the late Sir Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books, to support general charitable causes. The Foundation has no connection with the publishing company, but five of the Trustees are members of the founder’s family.

The Foundation typically makes around 150 grants in a year with a total value of between £720,000 and £800,000.

The Foundation makes single grants, or grants split over two or three years.

One-off grants of between £500 and £15,000 are available. The average grant is between £5,000 and £6,000.

Grants repeated for more than one year vary from around £500 per annum up to £5,000 per annum, for a maximum of three years.

Small registered charities, voluntary groups and charitable organisations in the UK can apply.

To be eligible, the work must directly benefit adults from the following groups, or generalist work which includes significant numbers from more than one such group:

  • Asylum seekers and refugees (but not groups working with a single nationality).
  • Gypsies and Travellers.
  • Migrant communities.
  • Offenders and ex-offenders.
  • Older people.
  • People experiencing mental health problems.
  • People experiencing violence or abuse
  • Young People (people aged approximately 12-21 from across a broader range of backgrounds).

The following types of activities are eligible for support:

  • Provision of advice or information.
  • Advocacy.
  • Arts activities where the primary purpose is therapeutic or social.
  • Befriending or mentoring.
  • Mediation or conflict resolution.
  • Practical work, such as gardening or recycling, which benefits both the provider and the recipient.
  • Self-help groups.
  • Social activities or drop-in centres.
  • Strengthening the rights of particular groups and enabling their views and experiences to be heard by policy-makers.
  • Research and education aimed at changing public attitudes or policy.
  • Work aimed at combating stigma or discrimination.
  • Work developing practical alternatives to violence

Grants may be used for start-up, core or project costs, for example:

  • Volunteers’ or participants’ expenses.
  • Venue hire.
  • Part-time or sessional staffing costs.
  • Work aimed at strengthening the organisation such as trustee or staff training.

The Foundation is particularly interested in unusual, imaginative or pioneering projects which have perhaps not yet caught the public imagination.

The Allen Lane Foundation | Social Cohesion Programme


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