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Publications by Topic


Published reports, occasional papers and notes of some of the more important meetings at the Baring Foundation are listed below, grouped under topic headings, in chronological order. Hard copies are only available where indicated in orange.


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Creative ageing in Germany: a view from North Rhine-Westphalia

A collection of creative ageing projects from across the arts in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

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Towards the end

Why the Baring Foundation has been funding arts for older people and what we have funded for the first eight years of our grantmaking. This new report updates our 2015 publication Getting on and concludes with our plans for the final two years of the programme (2018 and 2019).

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Dutch Old Masters – and Mistresses: Creative ageing in the Netherlands

An overview of participatory arts for older people in the Netherlands, with inspiring examples from across art forms, including music and dance, literature and spoken word, visual arts and museums and digital arts.

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Late opening: Arts and older people in Scotland

Late Opening was commissioned by Luminate and the Baring Foundation. It seeks to summarise the remarkable range of creative ageing projects across Scotland and asks what needs to be done to help this activity continue to thrive.

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Arts in care homes: online resource

This online resource of arts activities for care homes was developed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence with the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA).

Involving people who live in care homes in the creative arts can delight, inspire and even bring health benefits. This resource offers care teams, including activity providers, many practical ideas on how to get started and covers a huge range of art forms from theatre and dance to puppetry and gardening.

Access the resource

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The role of local authorities in creative ageing

Local authorities are in a ideal position to encourage and facilitate arts for older people because of their unique combination of roles and interests, which include citizens’ health and wellbeing, local arts and culture, older people’s services, social inclusion and community leadership.

This short publication looks at how a focus on the arts for older people can enhance local authorities’ delivery and effectiveness in each of these areas, often without huge financial resources.

It includes case studies from each of the four corners of the UK showcasing examples of great work by local councils with very different populations and using different approaches, to support creative ageing in their areas.

This is a second edition of a report first published in 2013.

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Growing the creative ageing movement: international lessons for the UK

This report showcases and synthesises the learning and experiences from a ‘Creative Ageing’ fellowship scheme run by Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) and supported by the Baring Foundation.

The WMCT funds UK citizens to investigate inspiring practice in other countries. In total, 47 fellows over four years took up creative ageing fellowships, including arts practitioners, dancers, therapists, care workers, writers, trainers and directors.

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Long Live Arts Manifesto – Feel the Arts

The Baring Foundation has had a three year collaboration with colleagues in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Along with a call to action and essays from experts this publication gives a rich series of case studies from the four countries themed by practice, research, training and policy.



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West Yorkshire Playhouse Guide to Dementia Friendly Performances

West Yorkshire Playhouse has been leading the way in dementia-friendly performances. We have funded this new in-depth guide based on their unique experience to inspire more venues to take up this opportunity across the UK.


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Not So Cut Off

Not So Cut Off is a new publication from the Arts Council Northern Ireland funded by the Baring Foundation. It gathers evidence from case studies funded by our joint Arts and Older People project on the benefits of participation in the arts for isolated older people. It includes a series of beautiful illustrations using shadow casting and tracing.



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Ageing in Public – creative practice in ageing and the public realm from across the UK

This publication, edited by Daniel Baker, from Cubitt largely draws together a series of contributions to a one day conference funded by the Baring Foundation in 2014. 20 authors give their perspective on the use of the arts (broadly conceived) to enable older people to feel more valued and comfortable in the public realm.


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A New Form of Theatre – Older people’s involvement in theatre and drama

This report, by Kate Organ, for the first time maps  the growing phenomenon of Older People’s Theatre Companies throughout the UK and puts this exciting development  in the context of broader developments in older people’s participation in professional and amateur theatre.


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Older People, isolation and civic engagement – a national symposium

This is a report of a one day  conference held at the Albany Theatre in Deptford in December 2014, organised by Entelechy Arts and funded by the Foundation.

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Becoming a dementia-friendly arts venue: A practical guide

This new guide has been produced by a working group chaired by David Cutler, the Director of the Baring Foundation. It has been written by a group of people with practical experience of making arts and cultural venues dementia friendly.


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Technically Older – an update on digital arts and creative ageing

This report updates Joe Randall’s ground-breaking paper for the Foundation on digital arts and older people. Based on interviews with artists and ten new case studies it looks at new opportunities such as self-directed activity, personalised care and scaling up of work.

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Living national treasure – arts and older people in Japan

This short account is based on a study tour organised by the British Council in Japan in April. Japan has a super-ageing society but also a super- creative society and a number of case studies are described of arts work with older people. These include the extraordinary Gold Theatre of Saitama, created by the internationally reknown Director Yukio Ninagawa.


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Getting On – arts and older people

This report explains why the Baring Foundation has been funding arts and older people activity and describes what we have supported for the first five years of our programme.

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A Handbook for Cultural Engagement with Older Men

At last! Advice on the perennial problem of involving older men which many arts organisations have found challenging. This guide by Ed Watts working at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, is both practical  based as it is on six case studies, as well as a work of art in its own right.

Speech by David Cutler to a Conference in Perth

This is  a version of a speech made by David Cutler in October 2014 to a conference in Perth on arts in care as part of the Luminate Festival.

Fifth International Conference on Arts and Health

This is a version of a speech delivered by David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation, to the Fifth International Conference on Arts and Health, given on 12th November 2013 in Sydney, Australia.


Local Authorities + Older People + Arts = A Creative Combination

This publication by David Cutler describes the unique combination of roles and interests by local authorities which make them the ideal champions for arts and older people. These are; health and well being; arts and cultural services; older people’s services and social care; social inclusion and leadership and coordination. These are illustrated by six case studies.


Arts and Older People in Finland

An article by David Cutler on a study visit to Helsinki focused on good practice in care homes.



After You Are Two

Based on visits to a wide range of projects funded by the Baring Foundation, our Arts Adviser Kate Organ has in this publication sought to distil what is important in working with older people and the significance it has for an artist’s own practice. She asks: is the process as important as the product? What is the relationship of reminiscence and life story work to arts in older age? What role does participatory arts with older people have in the wider public realm? Who is in control – the artist or the participant? Is it useful to think of a field of practice that specialises in Arts and Older People?
Hard copies are available free of charge from the Baring Foundation’s office.


Tackling Loneliness in Older Age – The Role of the Arts

The Baring Foundation has joined forces with the Campaign to End Loneliness in this publication by David Cutler. It uses case studies from many arts projects funded by the Foundation and is accompanied by an essay on the power of the arts to break down isolation and a series of resources to help those starting new work. Hard copies are available free of charge from the Baring Foundation’s office.


Winter Fires: Art and agency in old age

This book by Francois Matarasso examines creativity in old age, its implications for our lives and for our culture. It draws on interviews with older artists, many of whom are supported by projects funded by the Baring Foundation. This is part of the ‘regular marvel’ series of publications by Francois Matarasso, one of the UK’s leading cultural commentators and thinkers. More about regular marvels can be found at

A new age. An examination of the changing state of health funding for arts activity with, by and for older people in England.

This paper from the London Arts in Health Forum has been commissioned by the Baring Foundation. Using a series of case studies and including a report of a roundtable discussion at the Foundation, it looks at the opportunities and dangers presented by the unprecedented changes in the NHS for arts with older people.


Digital Arts and Older People. What is distinctive about working with older people using creative technology?

Report by Joe Randall. A roundtable discussion by artists was held at the Baring Foundation in September on this important and fast developing topic.

Older People and the Arts: a mid term programme review

The Baring Foundation is half way through its initial five year programme of work to support arts and older people. We commissioned independent arts consultant Francois Matarasso to consider how far we have travelled and priorities for the future.


Roundtable on health funding for arts work with older people

As part of our Arts and Older People programme, the Baring Foundation held a roundtable discussion in April 2012 on the theme of health funding for arts work with older people.


Report on national conference on arts and older people

On 19th October 2011 the first national conference on arts and older people in the UK was held at Manchester Town Hall. Over 200 people attended the free, day-long event. The Foundation which funded the conference is extremely grateful to our partners All About Audiences and the Valuing Older People Unit in Manchester Council.


Creative Homes: How the Arts can contribute to quality of life in residential care

This is a joint publication with our partners NCF (the National Care Forum – the umbrella body for not for profit care providers) and NAPA (the National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People). It is intended to celebrate existing good practice in the use of the arts with and for older people in residential care and to inspire more and better work.


An Evidence Review of the Impact of Participatory Arts on Older People

This independent review by the Mental Health Foundation was commissioned by the Baring Foundation and is the first synthesis of the evidence base for the effects of participating in artist-led creative projects on older people. It is based on 24 peer reviewed studies and a further seven good quality evaluations which have not been peer reviewed (‘grey literature’) and lists more than 50 other studies. It concludes that ‘it is evident that engaging with participatory art can improve the wellbeing of older people and mediate against the negative effects of becoming older.’ It explores these impacts in terms of mental and physical wellbeing and the broader effects on communities and society.

Creative Ageing Conference Perth 29th March 2011

A speech by David Cutler to an all day event at Perth Concert Hall organised by Creative Scotland and the National Forum on Ageing. The conference launched a funding collaboration between the Baring Foundation and Creative Scotland for a national arts festival for older people.

Arts and Refugees Exchange Day October 2009

Each year the Baring Foundation has invited organisations it funds under this programme to an all day practice exchange and discussions. This is the closing speech of Kate Organ, Arts Adviser to the Baring Foundation to the final such event. In it she summarises some of the achievements and outcomes of this programme.


Ageing Artfully: Older People and Professional Participatory Arts in the UK

Report by David Cutler. To accompany the Foundation’s core costs grants programme for arts organisations working with older people, we have published the first UK wide mapping study of this work. 120 case studies of organisations were identified and numerous examples of all art forms; especially dance, drama, music, singing and the visual arts. The report looks at the history of the movement and puts it in a policy context. The main benefits of this work, beyond artistic expression are seen as improved physical and mental health and better personal and societal relationships. The report concludes with thirteen recommendations as to how this work can be strengthened. Ageing Artfully has a foreword by Dame Joan Bakewell, the Government’s ‘Voice of Older People’.
Hard copies are available free of charge from the Baring Foundation’s office.

Stories Old and New

Between 2004 and 2009, the Baring Foundation has focused its arts programme on arts organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers. In relation to this we made an exceptional grant to the Institute of Public Policy Research (ippr) to part fund an investigation into the representation of migration in museums and galleries. This was published as Stories Old and New. In response to this report, the ippr working party that commissioned it, has written a short paper called A Moving Story, advocating the creation of a specific museum on migration in the UK.

Participatory Arts with Young Refugees

Six essays collected and published by Oval House Theatre. This collection of essays explores projects in drama, video, photography and music developed by a range of artists who work with young refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. There is also a funder’s perspective included in the collection.

Living Here Project Evaluation

An in depth evaluation by Mary Ryan of a three-year project run by Oval House Theatre for young refugees and asylum seekers between 2006 and 2009.


Arts and Refugees; History, Impact and Future

Along with two other funders, the Arts Council England, London and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Baring Foundation commissioned Hybrid Consultancy to look at work over the last fifteen years across the UK to involve refugees and asylum seekers in the arts. The researchers identified over 200 arts organisations working with refugees across all media. The report was launched at the Baring Foundation on 20th May.
Hard copies are available free of charge from the Baring Foundation’s office.

Small Arts Grants 1997-2004: An Overview

Report by Phyllida Shaw.
Over this period the Baring Foundation received 3,328 eligible applications and awarded 535 grants worth £1.75 million. Most grants were around £5,000. The Foundation’s Arts Adviser (1997 – 2007) analyses these applications, trends over time and puts them in context of changes in wider arts funding policy.

Climate Change

Unexamined Truth Update

This report by the former Deputy Director of the Baring Foundation, Matthew Smerdon, gives an update on the Foundation’s Climate Change Special Initiative. This has sought to encourage non-environmental charities to examine the impact of climate change on their work and their beneficiaries.


An Unexamined Truth

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change in 2006 concluded that climate change threatens the basic elements of life for people around the world. We also know that the people who will be most affected are those that are already the most vulnerable. This is a truth that has gone largely unexamined by non-environmental voluntary organisations working in the UK. This report by Matthew Smerdon, Deputy Director of the Baring Foundation, describes a pilot project that has supported non-environmental voluntary organisations to explore how the impacts of climate change will affect their primary charitable purpose. The approaches taken by the four groups of organisations that led the work will be of interest to all those in the voluntary sector, the independent funding community and in government that are interested in practical ways to widen the circle of organisations involved in action on climate change.


Report on Conference at Wilton Park

In February 2009 the Foundation part sponsored a residential conference on climate change and international development at Wilton Park.

The new politics of climate change; why we are failing and how we could succeed

The Foundation has supported a new pamphlet by Stephen Hale of Green Alliance which outlines the role that the third sector can play in persuading politicians to take action to combat climate change on the scale that is needed. You can dowload the report from this link to Green Alliance’s website The new politics of climate change; why we are failing and how we could succeed.



Environmental auditing

Report of a roundtable meeting on environmental auditing.

The links between climate change and the charitable purposes of non-environmental organisations

Report of a roundtable meeting on the links between climate change and the charitable purposes of non-environmental organisations.

Climate Change

Notes of a Core Costs Club Meeting. In October 2007 our Core Costs Club met and discussed the topic of climate change and the third sector.


Interculturalism: a handbook for promoting action

This latest publication, by Joy Warmington, from brap (Birmingham Race Action Partnership) is the product of a grant by the Baring Foundation to generate lessons from our recent Special Initiative on Interculturality. It is intended as a handbook for facilitators both for work with grassroots communities and to help to shape policy.

Interculturalism seminar

In May 2012 the Baring Foundation hosted a seminar for leading thinkers and practitioners on the theme of intercultural dialogue. It was organised by brap (Birmingham Race Action Partnership) as part of its work for the Foundation to generate lessons from the Awards for Bridging Cultures.


Interculturalism. A breakdown of thinking and practice: lessons from the field

Between 2008 and 2010, the Baring Foundation funded the annual Awards for Bridging Cultures run by the Institute of Community Cohesion. These rewarded and celebrated grassroots practice in intercultural dialogue. Since then we have commissioned the Birmingham based human rights organisation, brap, to examine what can be learnt about good practice from the award winners. Their first report is now published and will be followed by a series of shorter manuals later this year.

Interculturalism: social policy and grassroots work

Report by Malcolm James. In 2008, for the first time the Baring Foundation funded the Awards for Bridging Cultures, run by the Institute for Community Cohesion. The awards are for grassroots work. This paper looks at the implications for social policy of the winning and commended applications. It builds on the author’s previous (2008) paper for the Foundation: Interculturalism: Theory and Policy. It offers a critique of the notion of interculturalism and its relationship to social cohesion policy arguing that they are often too focused on fixed notions of ethnicity and geography, denying the complexity of identity.


Interculturalism: Theory and Policy

Report by Malcolm James.
The Baring Foundation has decided to launch a Special Initiative on Interculturality – but what is ‘interculturality’ anyway? To help analyse the thinking behind what for many people is a new concept, we have commissioned this paper.

International Development

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Funding Civil Society in the Global South – A Discussion

 The Baring Foundation was one of a number of funders to support a one day conference in London run by Bond to examine how we can best support civil society in the Global South. A note of the conference is available to download below.


Monitoring and evaluating Participatory Grantmaking

The Baring Foundation is funding two LGBTI participatory grant-makers in Africa. This paper by Ceri Hutton was commissioned to help us consider, what if any, specific challenges this brings to monitoring and evaluation.



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Struggle for Autonomy and Relevance – Landscape Analysis of Trans*-led and Lesbian-led Organising in Sub-Saharan Africa

This study by Mariam Armisen is the first to map the state of Lesbian and Trans organising in Southern and Eastern Africa. It identifies 67 groups and describes the challenges they based on a  survey and numerous interviews. An Executive Summary  can be found here.


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Breaking the Silence – Criminalisation of Lesbians and Bisexual Women and its Impacts

The Baring Foundation has supported this publication from the Human Dignity Trust as part of our International Development programme for LGBTI civil society in Africa. Although global in scope, many of the jurisdictions considered are in Africa and indeed many criminal laws stem from British colonial rule. The report shows how criminalisation, oppressive in itself, then plays a significant part in wider discrimination, undermining broader development.



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Transforming Our World Through Investment

The Baring Foundation is a member of ShareAction’s Charities Responsible Investment Group. Given this and our role as a funder of international development, we were pleased to co-fund this report which looks at the role of investors in relation to the most important recent  development in international development, the agreement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Joint International Development grantee gathering

Note of a meeting held on 30 January 2013 hosted by the Baring Foundation and the John Ellerman Foundation.

Supporting Civil Society in Africa -Key messages

A new publication from INTRAC. The Baring Foundation’s international development grants programme supports civil society organisations to help displaced people in Africa. In October we hosted a seminar for foundations and operational charities. This new discussion paper draws on presentations to that meeting and materials from INTRAC.

Learning from international development grant-making: a review of the Baring and John Ellerman Foundations’ programme

Report by Tina Wallace. The Baring Foundation has been funding African NGOs to work with UK partners for over a decade to support people suffering from forced displacement. Latterly this programme has been run jointly with the John Ellerman Foundation. One of the Baring Foundation’s Advisers, Tina Wallace, has interviewed representatives of UK and African grantees and other stakeholders to consider what can be learnt from the style of grant-making employed by the foundations.


Global grant-making

As a follow up to Going Global published in 2007, the same foundations, Nuffield, Paul Hamlyn and ourselves, have commissioned an update on the scale and character of the contribution of independent foundations in the the UK to international development, called Global grant-making. Based on information from 2009/10 it concludes that foundations provide around £292 million in funding to civil society working on development, roughly half that from the Department for International Development. This is around 9% of the total spending of all UK foundations. Foundations fund a wide range of work and Africa attracts the largest percentage of funding at 37%. The report concludes with a series of challenges and issues for foundations working in this field.

A Decade of International Development Funding

The Baring Foundation has commissioned its Adviser Dr Tina Wallace to write an in-depth report on its approach to international development funding. This will be published in 2012. In advance of that we hope that this report on our approach for the last ten years will be of interest.

Report of a learning event for the Joint International Development Programme held in Entebbe, Uganda

In November 2010 the John Ellerman and Baring Foundations for the first time held a conference for our grantees in Africa. The report by Tina Wallace, adviser to the programme, describes this very successful meeting.


Sitting on Chairs: Observations on Capacity Building in Developing Countries

This paper by Dr John Twigg, our International Development Adviser, draws lessons from the first twelve independent evaluations of grants that we make to UK based International NGOs to build the capacity of Southern partners to respond to the needs of refugees and internally displaced people. (In the first years of this programme grants were made for work in Latin America and Africa and since then we have only funded in Africa). The report concludes with recommendations to both funders and to INGOs.

Report on Conference at Wilton Park

This report is a follow-up to the 2007 report Going Global
The Baring Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation part-funded in April a major conference at Wilton Park, the residential centre for the Foreign Office. The Partnerships for Development Forum brought together development experts, NGOs and foundations from the UK and abroad to look at the contribution private funding can make.


Going Global: A review of international development funding by UK trusts and foundations

Report by Lucy de Las Casas and Caroline Fiennes of New Philanthropy Capital. This report was commissioned by three funders of international development: the Nuffield Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and ourselves. It places trust funding within the broader context of government and individual donations. Trusts are a significant funder of civil society and highly valued by International NGOs. Indeed many small and medium sized INGOs rely on foundations for support. The researchers concentrated on somewhat smaller foundations and asked what motivates them or discourages them from funding internationally.

The Baring and John Ellerman Foundations International Development Programme Review 2006/2007 – Review Report

Report by Trish Silkin. In late 2006 Trish Silkin was commissioned to review the joint international development programme run with the John Ellerman Foundation. Her recommendations were accepted by both Foundations.


Filling Gaps and Making Spaces

This report, edited by Dr. John Twig, brings together a collection of nine essays on projects funded by the Baring Foundation in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America since 2000. They all capacity build local voluntary organisations supporting refugees and internally displaced people. The Foundation’s international adviser, John Twigg, considers the implications of this body of experience for other funders and for the British Government.

Capacity building and its challenges

A review of the Baring Foundation’s International Grants Programme 1997-1999 (2001)  by Dr John Twigg.
This review examines the nature and achievements of projects funded by the Baring Foundation’s international programme between 1997 and 1999, to assess their impact, and to consider lessons for future capacity-building initiatives.

Parents with Learning DIfficulties

Supporting Parents with Learning Disabilities and Difficulties – Stories of Positive Practice

The Baring Foundation has supported a consortium led by the Norah Fry Research Centre on creating a better deal for parents with learning difficulties and their children. The latest publication from this Special Initiative gives a unique insight into how the right support to parents produces enormous benefits to these families.

Fair Deal for Familes? learning from the experience of parents with a learning disability

The Baring Foundation supports the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability through our special initiative for parents with learning difficulties and their children. This report, by the SCLD, marks an important step forward to wider awareness of this issue in Scotland.


Finding the Right Support? A review of the issues and positive practice in supporting parents with learning difficulties and their children

Report by Beth Tarleton, Linda Ward and Joyce Howarth.
An increasing number of adults with learning difficulties are becoming parents. The Government has committed itself to providing appropriate support for these parents and their children and yet, in around 50% of cases, children are removed and placed permanently outside the family home. The report includes an agenda for action. The Baring Foundation has subsequently funded the Norah Fry Research Centre to lead a consortium to pursue these recommendations.

Finding the Right Support? Summary

Finding the Right Support? Plain Facts  version for people with learning difficulties


Strengthening the Voluntary Sector

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A shared society? The independence of the voluntary sector in 2017

The sixth in a series of annual health checks of the relationship of the state and the voluntary sector, the report explores the potential of the new context created by Brexit, including Theresa May’s personal commitment to a Shared Society, and looks at what needs to change to make that vision a reality. The report was published by Civil Exchange and funded by the Baring and Lankelly Chase Foundations.

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Successful Use of Strategic Litigation by the Voluntary Sector on Issues Related to Discrimination and Disadvantage: Key Cases from the UK

The third working paper by Dr Lisa Vanhala brings together ten examples stretching over a decade and covering a wide variety of issues of discrimination and disadvantage. Although no panacea, and with its costs and risks, in the right circumstances strategic litigation can be a powerful tool for the voluntary sector in redressing social injustice. It is hoped the report will prompt voluntary organisations without legal specialism to ask if they should  be considering strategic litigation in the service of their charitable mission.



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Framework for better use of the law by voluntary sector organisations

The second working paper, by Dr Lisa Vanhala, for our new STVS programme seeks to give a conceptual framework to the programme by suggesting typologies  for the use of the law and for types of voluntary sector organisation using the law.


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Independence in Question – the voluntary sector in 2016 by Civil Exchange

The Foundation has a long term concern over maintaining the independence of the voluntary sector and funded four annual reports by the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector. This further report, funded by ourselves and Lankelly Chase, uses the same methodology to chart the deteriorating situation over the last year.


Judicial Review and Rule of Law

An Introduction to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, Part 4, for Charities and Not-for-Profit organisations


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Better use of the law and human rights by the voluntary sector

A background paper, by Neil Crowther, for the Baring Foundation Strengthening the Voluntary Sector programme, September 2015.

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Funding for Black, Asian & other minority ethnic communities

Analysis of the gap in funding for the BAME voluntary and community sector by Voice4Change England.

Place-based funding

An examination of options for developing the ecology of the social sector at the local level by Margaret Bolton.

Changing communities

A report on supporting voluntary and community organisations to adapt to local demographic and cultural change by Marilyn Taylor and Mandy Wilson.

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Beyond 2015

A collection of essays from the Equality and Diversity Forum and EDF Research Network – shaping the future of equality, human rights and social justice.

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Fourth and final report of the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector

The fourth and final report from the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector describes a series of serious threats to civil society. The Panel was initiated and funded by the Baring Foundation. Independence Panel Press Release.


Making Good: the future of the voluntary sector.

This collection of essays by voluntary sector leaders has been commissioned and edited by Civil Exchange and funded by the Baring Foundation. It is a companion piece to the reports of the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector, also supported by the Foundation and explores many of the issues which are being addressed by the Panel.

Welfare Advice for people who use mental health services – developing the business case

Click here to go to the Centre for Mental Health website.

As part of our STVS Future Advice programme we funded the Centre for Mental Health to look at the cost/ benefit case for providing welfare advice to people using mental health services with special reference to the long standing service at Sheffield Mental Health Citizens Advice Bureau.


Third Annual Report of the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector

The Baring Foundation has had a long standing interest in the independence of civil society. In 2010, following a grants programme, the Foundation initiated and funded the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector. Its third annual assessment was published on 21st January 2014. Independence Panel Press Release

The Low Commission Report on social welfare legal advice

The Baring Foundation (along with other funders) has supported the independent Commission chaired by Lord Low to investigate the state of social welfare advice and representation and to make recommendations about its future. A number of its themes such as early intervention, public legal education, demand reduction and cooperation between advice providers have been the subject of both grants and publications from the Baring Foundation. Low Commission Press Release Low Commission Executive Summary


Independence Under Threat: The Voluntary Sector 2013

The Foundation has a long standing interest in the independence of the voluntary sector. In 2011 we initiated the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector. This is a five year initiative to bring together a group of authoritative sector figures to make a regular public statement on the state of voluntary sector independence in order to stimulate reflection, debate and action. This is the Panel’s second report, published in January 2013. The first report was Protecting Independence: The Voluntary Sector in 2012.


Social Welfare Legal Advice and Early Action

This paper, by Joe Randall, looks in more detail at one of the themes being explored by the STVS Future Advice programme. This paper picks up the growing interest in the topic of early action. It discusses what an early action advice sector might look like, what the barriers are to putting a system like this in place and what early action can deliver for people who use advice services.

Social Welfare and Early Action

This paper, by Joe Randall, looks in more detail at one of the themes being explored by the STVS Future Advice programme. This paper picks up the growing interest in the topic of early action. It discusses what an early action advice sector might look like, what the barriers are to putting a system like this in place and what early action can deliver for people who use advice services.



Future Advice: the Strengthening the Voluntary Sector grants programme 2012-2015

This paper, by Matthew Smerdon and Joe Randall, sets out the background to the current STVS programme. The Foundation believes social welfare legal advice plays a vital role in tackling disadvantage and discrimination. The advice sector has been under pressure for some time, and this has increased significantly as a result of public funding cuts and the rise in demand for advice services. The Future Advice programme is seeking to support work across a series of themes, from attracting new forms of income to making more use of strategic litigation. The report sets out the thinking and lists all the grants given so far.

Strengthening the Voluntary Sector Bulletins

The bulletins below reflect some of the early learning from grants made under the Baring Foundation’s Strengthening the Voluntary Sector programme in 2012/13. This work aims to support transitional activities that will put the social welfare legal advice sector on a more sustainable footing and thus help it traverse some difficult years ahead. The programme is being run in conjunction with Comic Relief and Unbound Philanthropy.

Bulletin 1 Early Action and Advice by Liam Orton

Bulletin 2 Collaboration with non-legal advice agencies by Liam Orton

Bulletin 3 Pro Bono in Practice by Helen Rogers

Bulletin 4 Involving volunteers by Emma Makarova

Bulletin 5 Charging for advice by David Gilmore

The bulletins capture some of the key issues have been identified by grantees in the few months since their funded projects have got underway. Each one pulls together a mixture of common lessons and challenges facing specialist legal advice agencies, in the hope of providing pointers for other sector leaders planning their own transition towards sustainability.


Justice at Risk

This report by Julie Gibbs and Deri Hughes-Roberts, funded by the Baring Foundation, was commissioned in 2009 by Refugee and Migrant Justice, in partnership with Asylum Aid and the Immigration Advisory Service. Since that time, both Refugee and Migrant Justice and the Immigration Advisory Service have entered administration. In June 2011, the Runnymede Trust was given permission to publish the report. It seeks to help policy makers, practitioners and others consider how best to ensure value for money in civil legal aid. It focuses on experience in the asylum legal sector; brings together the results of a research and seeks to draw out the lessons.


The Legal Problems and Mental Health Needs of Youth Advice Service Users: The Case for Advice

The Baring Foundation has supported Youth Access to produce this publication and briefing note by Dr Nigel J Balmer and Professor Pascoe Pleasence. They report on a research study on the mental health benefits and cost-effectiveness of youth advice services. Briefing note:  Youth Advice: a mental health intervention?


Social welfare law: what the public wants from civil legal aid

The Foundation has supported the Legal Action Group (LAG) to carry out two public opinion surveys conducted by GfK NOP on the public’s views on civil legal aid services. In November 2010, LAG published What Is Fair?. On 5th March 2012, LAG published a follow-up poll, Social welfare law: what the public wants from civil legal aid. This second publication was launched to coincide with the report stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in the House of Lords. The results of the poll capture just how robust public support is for free legal advice services and how the government is in danger of ignoring the strong views of the public in its plans to cut much of civil legal aid.


Protecting Independence: The Voluntary Sector in 2012

The Foundation has a long standing interest in the independence of the voluntary sector. In 2011 we initiated the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector. This is a five year initiative to bring together a group of authoritative sector figures to make a regular public statement on the state of voluntary sector independence in order to stimulate reflection, debate and action. This is the panel’s first statement.


On the Front Foot

In 2006, the Foundation made 22 grants under its STVS – independence programme. This programme was a response to the expanding role of many voluntary agencies in delivering a range of services in partnership with the state and a concern about the impact of these changes on their independence of action. The report describes the grants that were made and reviews the results. It finds that certain types of organisational resources seemed particularly helpful, including work on improving monitoring and evaluation, negotiation skills and strategic planning. Most important, however, seems to have been the opportunity that grants gave organisations to reflect on who and what they are, their core identity and values. It was this that then moved organisations to use their new organisational resources in active and confident pursuit of their independence.


The outcomes & impact of youth advice – the evidence

The Foundation has been supporting work to gather evidence of the role and value of legal advice on different parts of the population. This report, by James Kenrick from Youth Access, focuses on children and young people. The report demonstrates the critical difference that getting good advice can make to young people’s health and well-being, and highlights the contribution that advice services can make to  the achievement of a range of major central and local government policy goals relating to health, education, employment, housing, poverty, crime and child protection. The report also contains important messages for local front-line advice services about good practice. For example, it identifies the service characteristics that appear to be most closely related to achieving good outcomes for young clients, including face-to-face advice provided through independent, holistic, young person-centred services.


Legal aid in welfare: the tool we cannot afford to lose

The Foundation has been supporting work to gather evidence of the role and value of Legal Aid. Scope has looked at the impact of the proposed changes to Legal Aid on disabled people. The report draws on the experience of disabled people, with case studies that map out the impact that removing legal aid would have. The report makes clear that removing legal aid for welfare benefits cases will undermine the Government’s own ambitions to support more disabled people into work and deprive many of them of the very support that can make work viable.


Legal Aid is a Lifeline:Women Speak Out on the Legal Aid Reforms

The Foundation has been supporting work to gather evidence of the role and value of Legal Aid. The National Federation of Women’s Institutes has produced a powerful report called Legal Aid is a Lifeline. It focuses particularly on the needs of women who have experienced domestic violence and presents the results of focus groups with WI members and a literature review of the case for funding civil cases involving victims of domestic violence. The messages are clear: access to legal aid is a vital life saving resource for women who have experienced domestic violence; and the current proposals to cut Legal Aid represent a real threat to justice and fairness. This undermines the government’s own commitment to tackle violence against women.


Voluntary Sector Independence

This is the first publication of the new Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector, which has been established by the Baring Foundation to consider the state of independence of the sector over the next five years. The Panel will be looking closely at the evidence in order to shed light on this important issue and make recommendations. This consultation document defines independence, explains why it is so important and flags up issues that have already been raised as concerns. These include the potential negative impact of government commissioning and funding arrangements, as voluntary sector bodies deliver more services, and the effect of recent cuts in government support for voluntary sector bodies.


Collaborating to Advise; lessons from Avon, Coventry and Nottingham

This report, by consultant Kevin Ireland, looks at work by advice organisations in Avon, Coventry and Nottingham where the Foundation is supporting a range of organisational development through the Strengthening the Voluntary Sector grants programme. The circumstances for advice organisations are extremely challenging. Rather than retreat, the organisations discussed in this report have reached out to others to pursue their shared aims in imaginative and creative ways. There have been significant benefits in terms of improved capacity and improved relationships with the respective local authorities which, in turn, point to better services for people being supported. There have also been challenges, and the report reviews ways in which the impact of collaboration can be enhanced.


Mission Money Mandate

This report presents the speeches, discussion and conclusions of the Independence Summit held at the Baring Foundation in July 2009. This one-day event brought together 70 practitioners, policy makers, funders and academics interested in how to advance the independence of the voluntary sector from government. The aims of the Summit were to join up the range of current activity to promote independence, to look forward to future challenges to independence, to ask what are the priorities for action and to help the Baring Foundation to develop priorities for the fifth year of the STVS – independence grants programme. Accompanying the main report is an Annex which gives the full text of all the speeches by Julia Unwin, Andrew Hind, Professor Nicholas Deakin, Sir Bert Massie, Sarah Benioff and Matthew Smerdon.


Rights with Meaning

This report describes the 2008 round of the STVS – independence programme with its focus on supporting advice and advocacy organisations.


The First Principle of Voluntary Action

Report edited by Matthew Smerdon. The current focus of the Foundation’s Strengthening the Voluntary Sector grants programme is on helping voluntary organisations to maintain their independence from government. The independence of voluntary action is a principle that has clear resonance in many other societies, in the UK, in Europe and across the Atlantic. The Baring Foundation commissioned essays from authors in seven countries (Canada, England, Germany, Northern Ireland, Scotland, United States of America and Wales) to review issues relating to independence from government. Together, the essays confirm that independence is fundamental to the principle and practice of voluntary action. They explore the many ways in which independence can be threatened and power exercised over voluntary action. Finally they share lessons about what voluntary organisations can do to protect their independence.

It’s the System, Stupid! Radically Rethinking Advice

AdviceUK received an STVS – independence grant in 2006 to develop an alternative approach to organising local legal advice services. This report, by AdviceUK, summarises the findings of this work that have led to new pilots being set up in Nottingham, Manchester and Coventry.

New Self Assessment Tool for the Independence of Voluntary Organisations

As part of our Strengthening the Voluntary Sector programme on independence we have produced a self assessment questionnaire and resource list. It has been launched in collaboration with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.


Strengthening the Hands of Those Who Do: A Review of the Baring Foundation’s Strengthening the Voluntary Sector Programme Project Grants

Report by Margaret Bolton.
This programme ran between 1996 – 2005 and gave out hundreds of grants for organisational development worth up to £30k with an average value of £8k. This review looks at the impact of these grants on a random sample of 50 organisations.

STVS – independence grants programme – a summary

This is a short summary of the STVS – independence grants programme setting out why the Foundation is interested in this issue and sharing results of the research carried out so far.

STVS – independence – submission to the Public Administration Select Committee

In March 2007 the Baring Foundation made a submission to the Public Administration Select Committee’s Inquiry on Commissioning from the Third Sector. This built on the evidence generated by the Strengthening the Voluntary Sector – independence grants programme.


Sources of Strength: an analysis of applications to the STVS – independence programme

Report by Cathy Pharoah.
This is the second publication in the series of papers that accompanies the Foundation’s Strengthening the Voluntary Sector – independence programme. It contains an analysis of most of the 515 applications to the STVS – independence programme, which are an important source of information about current pressures on independence.

Speech given by the Foundation’s Deputy Director, Matthew Smerdon, at the launch of Sources of Strength.


No Publications.

Voluntary Sector General

A Shared Society Image

A shared society? The independence of the voluntary sector in 2017

The sixth in a series of annual health checks of the relationship of the state and the voluntary sector, the report explores the potential of the new context created by Brexit, including Theresa May’s personal commitment to a Shared Society, and looks at what needs to change to make that vision a reality. The report was published by Civil Exchange and funded by the Baring and Lankelly Chase Foundations.


Use it or Lose it: A summative evaluation of the Compact by Practical Wisdom R2Z

David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation, was a Non-Executive Director of the Commission for the Compact from 2007 until its abolition in 2011. This report was the final piece of research funded by the Commission and describes the relevance of the Compact to the voluntary sector in general and the prospects for its future.


Housing Associations in England and the Future of Voluntary Organisations

This report by Andrew Purkis, funded by the Baring Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, focuses on the timely question of what happens to voluntary organisations if they take over mass delivery of state services. This question has dominated voluntary sector practice and policy in recent times. Interestingly, Housing Associations rarely feature in the debate. Yet, this is the outstanding example of a take-over of state services by the voluntary sector in our times. The report reviews the territory and reflects a number of interviews with key people in this field. It ends with a series of challenging questions about the future for Housing Associations and the wider voluntary sector.

Funding campaigning & policy work: The philanthropy of changing minds

The Foundation worked with City Parochial Foundation to hold a seminar for trusts and foundations on funding campaigning and social policy work. This report summarises the presentations and workshops at the seminar.

Commissioning, Contracts and the Third Sector

In October our Core Costs Club (recipients of major grants from the Foundation) met to discuss the above. Presentations from three of the speakers are linked to this document.

Same Difference?

Revolving Doors Agency’s approach to replicating innovation. For some time the Baring Foundation has had an interest in how good ideas in the voluntary sector are spread. In 2003 we part funded Diana Leat’s report  Replicating successful voluntary sector projects. This paper is a case study by Revolving Doors Agency arising in part from work funded by the Foundation. It sets out seven lessons from their experience in a clear way and with relevance to many other charities


Foundations for Organisational Development: Practice in the UK and USA

Report by Meg Abdy and Margaret Bolton. The Baring Foundation has co-funded this publication with the Northern Rock Foundation. It is written by two independent consultants with considerable experience in the field.

Core Costs Club meeting on Campaigning

Note of a meeting of the Core Costs Club held on 18 October 2006

Gains and Strains: The Voluntary Sector in the UK 1996-2006

Speech by Professor Nicholas Deakin C.B.E.


Allies not Servants

This is the first publication in a series of papers that accompanies the Foundation’s Strengthening the Voluntary Sector – independence programme. This publication sets out why the Foundation is interested in the issue of independence.

Exhibiting Support…developing volunteering in museums

This summary report was written by the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) and commissioned by the Baring Foundation.
We gave three grants to very different museums to support their use of volunteers and asked IVR to evaluate how they got on and draw broader lessons. The result is a lively and practical report looking at the context to volunteering and drawing conclusions on recruitment and involvement, management, funding and learning about volunteers along with pointers to further resources.

A meeting of the Core Costs Club on the Compact

 Note of a meeting on the Compact held on 8th March 2006.

Sources of Funding for Organisational Development

This resource was written by Marketa Dolezel a Visiting Fellow to the Foundation from the Czech Republic. Readers should be aware that information on funding dates quickly and should check this carefully with the relevant funder.

Support for Diaspora Organisations in London Following the Asian Tsunami

A small scale piece of research on the experience of 21 mainly London based organisations after the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. These groups provided money and other forms of support to the victims. The report by Ellie Robinson looks how these organisations could be better supported by other funders.


The Grantmaking Tango: Issues for Funders

This book by Julia Unwin asks ‘what sort of funder do you want to be?’ It goes on to give a simple framework for grant makers of giving, shopping and investing, as styles of funding. It is based on over ten years experience in the field by the author and has become an indispensable guide to reflective trusts and foundations. Funded by the Abbey Charitable Trust, Bridge House Trust, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Lloyds TSB Foundations and the Baring Foundation.


Speaking Truth to Power (2004)

This paper by Julia Unwin looks back to the experience of the third sector in the first term of the Labour Government. It draws attention to measures that would enhance the relationship between the sector and Government, arguing that both would suffer if the voice of the voluntary sector was confined.

Replicating Successful Voluntary Sector Projects

Why don’t successful voluntary sector projects spread more widely? In seeking to answer this question, this report by Diana Leat is based on a literature review, case studies and interviews with funders. It concludes with a series of recommendations. It outlines seven stages in the process of replication. Published by the Association of Charitable Foundations with funding from the Baring Foundation, Community Fund, The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

Leading the Way to ICT Success

Report by Paul Ticher and Aba Maison of lasa and Martin Jones of AdviceNow.
Most senior managers and board members are not ICT experts, so working out how best to use technology is something of a journey into the unknown. Nevertheless there are those who negotiate this journey successfully. This study aims to identify what we can learn from seeing how some voluntary organisations are reaching their desired ICT destinations. The report argues that senior managers who are well-informed and confident about their ICT strategy are the key to success. These managers do not have to be experts but they do need access to reliable advice in non-technical language. The report makes recommendations on how senior managers, board members, umbrella bodies, funders and other agencies can support and develop the leadership that voluntary and community organisations need to take advantage of the opportunities that ICT offers.

This report is funded by the Baring Foundation and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

Merging Interests

This book by Bill Mather seeks to guide the decision-makers in a voluntary organisation from the first moment of consideration of merger, through to full implementation. It offers advice to practitioners – trustees, directors and funders – on exploring the issues and pathways to achieve effective collaboration and join the forces of voluntary organisation with voluntary organisation. It outlines options and innovatory models of joint working as steps on the way to merger, or as alternative end results, providing insights and tools to help achieve best returns and avoid costly mistakes.

Health Action Zones

This study by Julia Unwin and Peter Westland considers the ways in which the voluntary and community sectors have become involved in the Department of Health’s Health Action Zones by presenting three case studies which highlight the challenges of forging meaningful partnerships between the voluntary and statutory sectors.

Speaking Truth to Power (2000)

Report by Julia Unwin. The voluntary sector’s relationship with Government.
This is a discussion paper about the changing relationship between government and the voluntary and community sector. It draws on the experience of, mainly, national organisations working in England to address a range of issues including the opportunities and challenges offered by engagement with a government which aims to be more consultative at both central and local levels.