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Duty of Care

The role of trusts and foundations in supporting voluntary organisations through difficult times

October 2012

Eliza Buckley, Ben Cairns, Alison Harker, Romayne Hutchison


This report from 2012 outlines findings from the ‘Recession Watch’ research project led by IVAR and working with six foundations: Comic Relief; the Cripplegate Foundation; The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund; Esmée Fairbairn Foundation; Henry Smith Charity; and The Tudor Trust.

The research aimed to generate and share learning about changes in grant need (primarily among social welfare voluntary organisations) and grant-making in the context of a rapidly changing and challenging policy and funding environment – with a view to modifying or changing practices and relationships.


This report outlines findings from 59 interviews with voluntary organisations that had received, or were in receipt of, funding from at least one of the participating trusts.


The report explores the current operating environment of grant holders; the kinds of support that organisations require at the moment; and, finally, the role that trusts and foundations might play in supporting voluntary organisations and, by extension, their beneficiaries.



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