Our approach

Our approach


The Fellowship promotes change in every area of society. We achieve this through our approach to grantmaking, which is universal and inclusive.

Yvonne Field with three of her programme beneficiaries outside in woodland area
Yvonne Field (CF 2012, right) explored social leadership development in African-Caribbean communities Download 'About us_Our approach_Yvonne Field.jpg'
"The most far-reaching, visionary initiative I've ever heard of." - Jenny Kendall-Tobias, BBC

Universal grants

We offer grants within a comprehensive framework of universal themes, which allows us to address all areas of society.

Our eight universal themes cover every aspect of modern life. They are:

  • Arts and culture.
  • Community and citizenship.
  • Economy and enterprise.
  • Education and skills.
  • Environment and resources.
  • Governance and public provision.
  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Science and technology.

Within each of these themes, we offer a programme of Fellowships that addresses a particular topical issue or challenge in the UK. These programmes are developed in consultation with our Advisory Council of subject specialists and are refreshed every few years.

Our current programmes are:

  • Arts and communities.
  • Caring for our natural environment.
  • Children and young people with experience of care.
  • Climate change.
  • Education in schools.
  • Palliative and end of life care.
  • Physical activity for healthier lives.
  • Resilient economies and communities.
  • Rural communities.
  • Suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.
  • Tech for all.

A programme of Fellowships usually lasts for three years and creates a cohort of approximately 30 Fellows who are addressing the same issue, often from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. They become a network for collaboration and momentum in their area, and their collective learnings are published as a public resource.

We also offer an open option for Fellowship projects which fall outside this range, providing they fit our general criteria.

Inclusive grants

The Fellowship is open to all UK adult citizens, regardless of their background, qualifications, professional experience or age. We prioritise people and projects from under-represented and under-funded groups, and those who would not receive funding from other sources.

Fellows may bring professional knowledge or personal experience of the issue they wish to address. These provide powerful insight and authority in their topic.

Fellows define their own Fellowship topics and pursue their own vision for change in that field. We select Fellows who have the commitment and courage to do this, and we assess their success on their own terms. We believe in the potential of the individual to lead the change they wish to see.

Fellows are funded to research their topics with practitioners anywhere in the world that they choose. This enables them to access the key expertise and evidence for their topics.

A unique model for change

This approach has created a unique and effective model for change. The Fellowship offers inspiring individuals the funding, recognition and support to unlock their ideas and pursue a cause that is often their life’s mission.

The result is a community of committed individuals addressing society’s most pressing challenges – locally, nationally and increasingly globally.

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