Merchant Taylors' Foundation tackles disadvantage and supports education

Disadvantage is any form of limiting factor that prevents an individual from reaching their full potential or enjoying a fulfilled life. The broad scope of this definition invites a wide range of organisations, from those tackling housing insecurity, prison rehabilitation, food poverty, domestic abuse to those supporting mental and physical health, to apply to us. We support educational charities and programmes so that anyone striving for a better future can achieve it.


There are two streams within our Disadvantage strategy: the first is our Proactive Funding which establishes long-lasting funding relationships with groups that are well placed to make a significant impact in Southwark or Lewisham. It is not possible to apply for funding for this stream.

The second of our Disadvantage streams, a Small Grants Scheme is for community-based charities operating exclusively in the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets

Any charity needs to work with people who are in need on account of age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or through some other form of disadvantage. If you meet our eligibility criteria (available here), please do apply and highlight to us how you tackle disadvantage.

The Small Grants Scheme Application window is now open until 29 February 2024

Merchant Taylors’ Foundation Small Grants Scheme Checklist

Please complete the below, honestly, to see if you are able to apply to the Small Grants Scheme. If you have any difficulties with the below form, please contact


Currently, we make proactive education grants to our associated schools and institutions. We don't yet accept applications or funding enquiries for our educational grant-making stream.

Nevertheless, if you are seeking funding for a programme with an educational aspect, please check whether you are eligible to apply instead under our Disadvantage: Small Grants Scheme (above).

Merchant Taylors in Need

The Foundation also helps:

  • 'Poor Freemen of the Merchant Taylors' Company'
  • 'Poor dependants or poor apprentices of Freemen of the Merchant Taylors' Company'

If either of these describe you, please contact us here, with a brief explanation of your circumstances including your connection to Merchant Taylors’ Company. 

As regards existing grantees, the Foundation has signed up to a joint funder statement on the Covid-19 pandemic, coordinated by London Funders. The statement can be viewed here. 

You can find more about the Foundation here.

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