Merchant Taylors’

Charity Management

Introducing Merchant Taylors’ Charity Management

  • Becoming overwhelmed with administration?
  • Could your charity achieve more through syndicated funding?
  • Interested in short or long-term help?
  • Interested in help with focusing your giving?
  • Concerned about trustee succession planning?
  • Worried about changing statutory requirements?
  • Concerned about securing your charity’s future?
  • Seeking overall peace of mind?

Merchant Taylors’ Charity Management offers bespoke support to help you accomplish a wide range of short or long-term needs.

We have over 700 years of charitable tradition, which gives us a unique breadth of experience. By working together we can help you gain efficiencies, be sustainable and deliver first-class grant funding for your beneficiaries on a greater scale than can be achieved individually.

Contact Giles Hutchinson, Charities Officer, to explore whether we can help your trust by calling 020 7450 4447 or email

Taking away the burden

Whether your trust awards grants totaling £4,000 or £400,000 a year we can develop a support programme that best suits your individual needs, while ensuring that you remain in control.

For example we can:

  • Assist with the daily administration burden, helping with the basics through to budgeting, bookkeeping, completion of the annual report, trustee annual reports and accounts for which we have our own in-house accountants and specialist software
  • Prepare funding recommendations and other papers for trustee meetings
  • Deal with the grant-making process from receiving applications to making grants and monitoring effectiveness
  • Work with you to identify worthwhile projects for your charity to support whilst you benefit from our grant assessing expertise and resources
  • Seek appropriate trustees, even a whole trustee body should you require it, from the Company’s membership which is made up of highly experienced and motivated individuals, many of whom want to get involved in charitable works. This is a service the Merchant Taylor’s Company has provided for hundreds of years.

Tried and tested

The Merchant Taylors’ Company has managed charities to alleviate poverty and provide education and housing since the Middle Ages, and the assets have grown and are managed accordingly.

Our grant making trusts work with dynamic, grass-roots charities, which achieve high impact at low cost, often across the fields of health, education and inner city deprivation. Whilst we have a strong tradition of working with charities in Greater London we are not restricted to the area.

Did you realise?

A Master of the Merchant Taylors’ Company made the UK’s first recorded social investment. In the 16th century Sir Thomas White established a charity to make interest-free loans to apprentices to help them buy the tools of their trade. That charity still exists.

Currently we manage trusts which support work concerning:

  • Young people
  • Elderly people
  • Poverty relief
  • Health and social care
  • Medical research
  • Education

Our tried and tested management system, including face to face engagement where appropriate, allows us to identify the best fit applications quickly. Just as importantly, we have the resources to monitor the grants and ensure that funding recipients deliver on what they promise. Here are just a few examples:

Resources for Autism

We helped fund this charity’s service based in Southwark. Their skilled volunteers work with autistic children in low-income families to improve their child’s life skills. This helps reduce the strain on parents who are often at breaking point. We also helped identify and paid for a pilot project to increase the charity’s impact.

Inspired Directions School

We helped fund this charity which provides alternative provision for high-needs youngsters in Hackney who are struggling to access mainstream education. It helps them regain educational and personal confidence for a brighter future.

Age Exchange

We funded this charity’s regular reminiscence sessions in Lewisham. These bring together people with dementia and their carers to explore memories creatively, reducing loneliness and promoting wellbeing.

Meeting statutory requirements

Running a charity takes expertise, time and the confidence to interpret regulatory obligations. We can help ensure that your charity meets all the statutory requirements including:

  • Producing annual accounts and trustees’ annual reports
  • Data protection
  • Equality legislation
  • Guidance on due process for confident decision-making
  • Ensuring good investment management advice is secured.

Cost-effective management

It’s common for investment managers to make charges on a sliding scale: the higher your investment value, the lower the relative charges. We invest our funds through reputable, established managers and may be able to arrange for your charity to invest alongside our funds and so benefit from relatively lower charges.

Monitoring grant effectiveness

We start by conducting due diligence checks on grant applicants, to ensure a realistic, credible and effective project has been proposed and that the charities are sustainable and well managed. When appropriate, this includes personal visits. Once a grant has been made, we maintain a close relationship to build the charities’ capacity and ensure the funded work achieves its aims. The support we offer includes:

  • Personal visits to see work in action
  • Ensuring grant money has been spent on the promised work
  • Arranging trustee visits to the project
  • Pro bono advice from members of the Company on business planning, strategic renewal, funding strategy, etc.

Strategy development

Charities can sometimes benefit from a knowledgeable outsider’s perspective. By working with us you are able to access the advice of our highly skilled staff and experienced membership, to develop long-term strategies to secure your charity’s future. Using our strengths and resources we can assist with strategic planning on an ongoing basis changing our support levels as need arises.

We’re not for profit

We keep our management charges extremely competitive.

We can arrange a charging basis that suits you such as an hourly rate for short-term help, or for longer-term arrangements, perhaps a percentage of funds granted. You may also find that you save money by working with us because we can obtain economies of scale on insurance, software, accountancy and audit fees and similar services.


Case history

The Dudley and Geoffrey Cox Charitable Trust

In 1979 the Dudley and Geoffrey Cox Charitable Trust was founded by the Cox family, associated with the Haymills group of construction and property companies. Its focus is on helping young people, medical research, welfare and poverty relief, with particular sympathy for geographical areas where the Haymills group had a presence, and projects with a technical training aspect.

In a typical year the Trust awards over £200,000 in grants.

The trustees formerly administered this themselves with no paid help. It had become a significant burden.

Our help grew

Initially the trustees turned to us for help with administration and being the Trust’s correspondent for the public and regulators. Over time this role grew as they appreciated what we could offer. When trustees retired, the board was happy for the Merchant Taylors’ Company to provide replacements with top-level business and professional experience.

We now provide day-to-day administration, including managing the grant-making process, as well as thorough briefings and papers for board meetings.

Greater impact

The board has worked with us to refine their grant-making approach. This has resulted in achieving greater impact and securing the Trust’s longevity. We seek opportunities where the Trust can combine grants with other managed charities, which substantially increases its strength and impact on the lives of people in need.

To learn more about the charitable work which the Merchant Taylors’ Company carries out in its own right, including grant-making, almshouses and education, click here.