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The Baring Foundation was created in 1969 as a corporate foundation of Barings Bank, a major London-based merchant bank that traced its history back to 1762.

During parts of the Bank’s history it had involvement in slavery and in the process of colonisation which we acknowledge along with the violence and injustice attributable to these. You can find out more about this history through a separate charity, The Baring Archive.

In 1995 Barings Bank collapsed. At this point the Foundation ceased to be a corporate foundation and became an independent foundation reliant on an endowment that had its origins in the separate Manor Park Charitable Trust, rather than Barings Bank, which had ceased to exist. ING, which bought Barings Bank in 1995, has continued to support the Foundation through donated services and office accommodation.

Since 1995, the Foundation has maintained its attention on three grants programmes: ArtsInternational Development and Strengthening Civil Society (formerly Strengthening the Voluntary Sector). The Foundation shifts its focus within these areas over time. Examples during the last decade include the contribution of the African diaspora to international development, arts and refugees, intercultural dialogue, climate change and the independence of the voluntary sector.

A fuller account of the history of the Foundation can be found in our 50th anniversary publication: 1969-2019: A history of the Baring Foundation in fifty grants.