Trust for London

Trust for London invests its endowment in a way that delivers on its charitable mission.


Key stats

  • £14.3m

    Amount Trust for London has committed to social impact investments

  • £400,000

    Amount Micro Rainbow International borrowed to expand its services supporting vulnerable LGBTQI+ migrants.

  • £1.87m

    Amount invested to help create the Foundry

  • Challenge

    Trust for London is an independent charitable foundation that aims to tackle poverty and inequality in London. It funds voluntary and charitable groups, making around £10 million in grants each year, supporting up to 300 organisations at any one time. It also funds independent research and provides knowledge and expertise on London’s social issues to policymakers and journalist.

    Like many charitable foundations, Trust for London wanted to invest its endowment in a way that delivered on its charitable mission, as their grants do. Social impact investment provides that opportunity.

  • Approach

    Trust for London has a long history of making investments for impact. In the 1920s, the Trust bought and equipped 350 acres of land for recreational activity, initially to support London’s emerging polytechnics, but later widened to include green spaces for all Londoners.

    By the 1990s, the Trust launched Resource for London in Holloway, refurbishing a disused department store to provide fair and flexible office space for social enterprises and charities. The investment enabled social sector organisations to thrive while also providing a realistic return on investment. This model was developed to create the Foundry Human Rights and Social Justice centre in Vauxhall in partnership with the Ethical Property Company and other social investors – including Big Society Capital’s very first investment.

    Now, Trust for London has committed just under 10% of its total endowment to social impact investment. They have a dedicated Social Enterprise Committee to oversee investments and have established a dual investment approach where capital is available directly to social enterprises and charities, and through fund managers and intermediaries such as Bridges Fund Management, Social and Sustainable Capital and Big Issue Invest. The Trust is currently exploring some strategic opportunities, including how to make social investment more accessible to smaller and more diverse social entrepreneurs.

  • It makes sense that our investments as well as our grants deliver on our charitable mission

    Peter Baxter

    Trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee

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To find out more about how trusts and foundations can get involved with social impact investment, please get in touch.