Northern Rock Foundation was an exceptional initiative in corporate and charitable giving. It was established as an independent charity when Northern Rock Building Society de-mutualised in 1997 and until 2007 was funded through a covenant whereby it received 5% of the new bank’s pre-tax profits annually – a much higher level of support than almost any other corporateorganisation has given to its charitable foundation. In total between 1997 and 2010 the Foundation received £235 million from Northern Rock.
By 2007 the Foundation was amongst the larger grant making trusts in England. It became known for the quality of its grant making, its willingness to experiment and innovate and also its support for less popular causes, for example help for sexually exploited adults and children. The scale of funding but also the commitment to one geographic region allowed the Foundation to develop long-term programmes and in-depth relationships with voluntary organisations. This way of working was demonstrably successful in enabling voluntary organisations to grow and improve their services and led to nationally significant advances in support for vulnerable people. Between January 1998 and December 2014 the Foundation awarded £225 million in 4,400 grants.
Between January 2015 and January 2016 the Foundation made six large awards totaling £10.3 million as part of a programme of legacy projects to achieve long term positive impact on the lives of children and young people in the region, and also to support the development and sustainability of voluntary organisations.
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