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Barrow Cadbury Trust and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales are looking for expressions of interest from organisations keen to get involved in the development and delivery of a pilot community leadership programme. The programme is specifically aimed at Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic leaders of voluntary and community organisations supporting people in, or at risk of getting caught up in, the criminal justice system.   

 Informed by conversations with leaders of Black, Asian and minoritised  ethnic led charities working in the criminal justice system, the pilot will aim to support enable organisations to give them the tools to have their voices heard in the national policy debate, build personal and organisational resilience and network with other criminal justice leaders. 


In the UK, the voluntary sector plays a vital role in providing services, supporting those most at risk of engagement in the criminal justice system, campaigning for policy reform, informing the media and influencing public debate.  

 The sector is diverse but, due to historic underfunding, organisations run by and for people from Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic groups tend to be smaller and find it harder to achieve critical mass and sustainability.  

 Informal conversations between independent trusts and foundations and organisations run by and for people from Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic backgrounds concluded that investing in leadership development could be transformative and contribute to positive social change for people in the criminal justice system and wider society.  

Barrow Cadbury Trust and Lloyds Bank Foundation now wish to commission an organisation (or a partnership) to design and deliver the pilot programme over two years to support Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic leaders.  

About the Community Leadership Development Programme 

What is the primary objective of the programme? 

The overarching objective of the programme is to challenge and change the criminal justice system, from policy through to service design and delivery. To do this a stronger and more experienced specialist sector should be empowered and enfranchised to promote radical change and advocate for new approaches. The programme should be a unique leadership development programme tailored to Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic leaders working in criminal justice. 

The pilot programme will have four core elements:  

  • wellbeing; 
  • networking;  
  • policy development and influencing; and  
  • organisational development.  

The aim is to increase the resilience and capabilities of current leaders, supporting them to lead social change.  

What sort of knowledge and expertise is needed? 

We expect the provider to be, or work in partnership with, an organisation which is led by people from Black, Asian or minoritised ethnic communities, and have knowledge of the policy context for criminal justice charities and leadership development for charities. The provider/partnership should have clear demonstrable experience of delivering work in line with the programme design brief. 

Will the programme be monitored and evaluated?  

Over the course of the programme the provider will be expected to capture learning and feedback. The provider will be expected to design and implement a robust monitoring and outcome evaluation framework as part of the programme delivery model.  The Barrow Cadbury Trust and Lloyds Bank Foundation are considering an external evaluation this which will be funded separately. 

How much budget is available?  

The Barrow Cadbury Trust and Lloyds Bank Foundation have a budget of up to £200K for this programme.  

What is the Application Process?  

This is a two stage application process. The deadline for the first stage is 5pm 27 March, with the preferred supplier appointed at the end of June. 

Download a copy of the full programme design brief
Download a copy of the bidder profile form

Barrow Cadbury Trust is one of the trust and foundations which signed up to IVAR’s Open and Trusting Grantmaker initiative a year ago.  This blog, cross-posted from the IVAR website, written in February 2022 by Ben Cairns and Kamna Muralidharan, looks at the changes one year on.  

On 10 February 2021, the first grantmakers signed up to IVAR’s eight commitments to funding charities in an open and trusting way. One year on, over 100 trusts and foundations are working actively with each other and with charities to make these commitments a reality.

Looking back, we are struck by six imperatives that shape this work and will help drive it forward in 2022 and beyond.

  1. Change is urgent

COVID-19 has been a wake-up call on funding practice. Its key challenges to funders – relieving pressure on charities; freeing them to respond flexibly to the evolving needs of the communities and causes they serve; and facing up to biases and assumptions that perpetuate entrenched injustice and inequity – long predate the pandemic. But events of 2020 – the first COVID-19 lockdown and the murder of George Floyd – showed that communities’ needs are evolving; and funders’ responses demonstrated that change is possible. The time for a simpler, more respectful, and more inclusive philanthropy is now. We all need to play our part in building greater momentum.

  1. Charities must be the judge of progress

A strong, diverse charity voice is critical to this effort – but hard to achieve. Power dynamics mean charities are wary of giving robust feedback to funders. And too often new rhetoric makes little or no difference to what funders do in practice. With extreme pressure on capacity and widespread cynicism about the influence they have, many charities see no point in engaging. We will all benefit from broader and deeper conversations between the charity sector and the funding sector. But only if these conversations lead to visible and meaningful change.

  1. Confident practice comes from deep roots

Even small changes in practice by grantmakers – a more streamlined application form, the opportunity to pick up the phone and ask a question, quick replies to emails – make a real difference to charities. But open, trusting and respectful practice cannot flourish unless it mirrors and is supported by organisational culture, structure and leadership. In a busy foundation, it can be hard to step back and scrutinise – at all levels – how well-established assumptions and ways of working are supporting the commitment to be more open and trusting. But this is an essential step in achieving the best possible alignment between ‘how we do things’ and ‘what we are trying to achieve’.

  1. ‘Making our thinking visible’ is a powerful mechanism for change

Thinking out loud with each other provides an opportunity for people to offer alternative perspectives or identify the powerful questions that enable action. By working together, sharing ideas, difficulties and experiences in a spirit of positive challenge, we are all encouraged to act, learn and do better next time.

  1. Acting like a partner, not an auditor

Open and trusting grant-making calls for a new mindset – one that starts from the assumption that charities know their own business, and will make informed judgements about how to adapt and adjust as things change. They can be trusted to be thoughtful and reflective, to know what ‘success’ looks like, to collect useful data, and to share it as part of their own commitment to improve the quality of what they do. A trusting relationship is ultimately about shifting power, not shifting paperwork. And the single most powerful thing funders can do to be more trusting is to give charities greater control over their own spending and reporting through unrestricted or highly flexible grants.

  1. Making good progress means ‘starting from where we are’

Independent grantmakers are far from uniform in their scope, size, interests, priorities and governance. They face different opportunities and constraints. Being more open and trusting does not look the same everywhere – one size does not fit all. But, together, we are uncovering the principles that frame an open and trusting approach, enabling funders of all kinds to start from where they are and take positive steps to improve.

Now is the moment for transformative change in UK grant-making. To achieve this, funders, charities and their learning partners will all need to be persistent, determined and in it for the long term.

IVAR Trustees and staff are committed to supporting this momentum for change. Please join our Open and Trusting grant-making community by signing up to through our webpage or getting in touch. Charities can  hold funders to account by signing up here.

With thanks to Shaady Salehi at Trust-based Philanthropy and to our community of open and trusting grantmakers for helping to inform and develop our thinking over the last year.

This blog is cross-posted from the IVAR website.