2027 – A Look To The Future On Expertise in Grant Making

By 19th July 2018Comment

The Big Lottery Fund, the UK’s largest funder of community activity across the UK, has today announced a grant of more than £500k of National Lottery funding to support 2027’s work to bring new experts into the grant making sector.



The Big Lottery Fund’s grant to 2027 will last over ten years and seeks to achieve long-term lasting change by diversifying the voices, expertise and experience in a field that was last week revealed to be 99% white, 68% male and 74% above median income at trustee level.

The Big Lottery Fund’s ambition is to support people to have the confidence and power to influence decisions that affect their life and their community. What better place to start than ensuring those involved in funding decisions are reflective of the communities funders seek to support.

Most people know little about the world of grant making and wouldn’t see themselves as working for a trust or foundation. People who are frontline workers themselves from working class communities are likely to feel that such careers simply ‘aren’t for them’ even though the value they can bring to us as grant makers is vast.

This is exactly the challenge that the 2027 coalition is helping us and other funders to overcome – they are running a leadership programme for brilliant frontline workers from diverse, working class communities to help them take placements (and later careers) in the world of grant-making.

This is a really exciting opportunity for the foundation and grant-making sector to reap the benefits of having diversity in our staff teams. We can become more knowledgeable, innovative and well-rounded – making better decisions about the issues impacting on communities. Momentum is building and 2027 provide reason for optimism!

Hannah Paterson

Hannah Paterson

Hannah Paterson is the UK Portfolio Manager for Big Lottery Fund. The Big Lottery Fund distributes 40% of the National Lottery Good Causes funding across the UK, around £650-700 million per annum, as well as making grants on behalf of others. Big Lottery Fund is the largest UK grant-maker in our field. We operate a blended funding model – part responsive funding, part strategic interventions – across social change, the environment, health and education.

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