The Problem

One of the biggest problems facing the grant-giving sector is a lack of diversity.

But while many organisations are working hard to transform their gender and racial profiles, in most cases little or no attention has been given to class diversity.

Many trusts and foundations are there to help working-class communities but struggle to do this effectively without the value of the lived experience of these communities within their staff teams or at board level.

The Programme

2027 is a new, paid training programme that prepares brilliant professionals from working class backgrounds for decision making roles in the grant-giving sector.

The programme, which launched in 2018, will take on 15 associates each year over the course of 10 years. These individuals will start a movement that fundamentally changes the skillset, approach and class makeup of senior teams at foundations and trusts whilst valuing all forms of knowledge needed to create social change in society.

Why is it Needed?

We believe that a broader spectrum of class experience at the top of foundations and trusts will lead to better decision-making, happier workforces and more meaningful relationships with the communities that foundations and trusts serve.

We also believe that, in the long-term, our programme has the potential to make funding better and fairer.

We also strongly believe that 2027 can help lead the way in sector-wide understanding on the role, value and power of all in creating positive social change in society, including the need for more equitable and meaningful roles for the people and communities we serve.

Why 2027?

It’s our aim that by 2027, talented members of working class communities hold 40% of grant-giving roles.

2027 is also the year we hope to disband. It’s ambitious, but we believe that in ten years’ time our approach and thinking will be so deep-rooted in trusts and foundations that the programme will no longer be needed.

Who We Are

2027 is a coalition between some of the UK’s leading organisations and people dedicated to social change:

Charityworks is the UK non-profit sector’s graduate scheme, recruiting and developing brilliant talent to shape the leadership of third sector organisations.  Charityworks will host the 2027 programme.

Northern Soul is led by Ruth Ibegbuna, an activist and charity leader. She was the Founder of RECLAIM and is also the Founder of the Roots Programme, that aims to bridge the divide between London leaders with power and privilege and those working at a grassroots level in communities outside the capital.

Ten Years’ Time is a consultancy that pairs ambitious philanthropists with disruptive causes and ideas.

Koreo is a learning consultancy dedicated to social change. They mobilise talent to address the defining social issues of our time.

Baljeet Sandhu is an award-winning human rights lawyer, co-founder of the national Lived Experience Leaders Movement, and CEO of the Centre for Knowledge Equity – a groundbreaking national infrastructure body founded by lived experience leaders to elevate the power of all human wisdom to tackle pressing issues of our time. She is a Yale World Fellow, Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, and author of ‘The Value of Lived Experience in Social Change’ (2017) and ‘Lived Experience Leadership: Rebooting the DNA of Leadership’ (2019).

Thanks to our combined experience and comprehensive cross-sector knowledge, we’re able to deliver a supportive and highly effective 12-month programme, built carefully around the needs of both our associates and host organisations.

2027 is supported by Big Lottery Fund, Esmee Fairbairn and Barrow Cadbury Trust.


To apply for a place on our first year, click here.



To apply to become a host organisation, click here.