Who we are, what we do and who we fund

What does the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) do? 

JRCT is an independent Quaker trust which makes grants to organisations and individuals working to produce positive social change through their charitable work.

Our mission is to support people who address the root causes of conflict and injustice.  

Every year JRCT makes more than 100 grants for all kinds of charitable work, from grassroots community groups to well-established charities working to build a peaceful and just world.

Who does JRCT fund?

The Trust supports work in five programme areas: peace and security, rights and justice, power and accountability, sustainable future and Northern Ireland. In 2022 we launched a pilot programme to fund grassroots movements on the frontlines of social and environmental injustice who are striving for transformative change.

The majority of our funding goes to people working on projects in the UK.

We support those who are passionate about making a positive difference; whether they are promoting peace in Northern Ireland, advocating for some of the most vulnerable people in our society or taking steps towards an environmentally sustainable future.

What is JRCT’s history?

JRCT is a grant making Trust which was set up in the early 1900s through an endowment from Joseph Rowntree, the businessman, chocolate maker and philanthropist. 

A lifelong Quaker, Rowntree’s religious beliefs inspired his business practice and his commitment to social reform. You can read more about the Rowntree history here.

JRCT was one of four Trusts set up by Rowntree in 1904.  JRCT is an entirely separate organisation from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

What are JRCT’s values?  

Our values are rooted in the Quakerism of our founder Joseph Rowntree who believed that it is only possible to make a lasting difference by addressing the root causes of a social or economic problem.

JRCT is guided by the Quaker values of peace, truth, integrity, simplicity, sustainability, equality and justice.

In order to engage in philanthropy that effects real change, JRCT does not shy away from supporting those working on unpopular or contentious issues.

We recognise that change can take many years to achieve and we are willing to take the long view in our grant-making.

How do we decide who to fund?

We rigorously assess grant applications and regularly review the work of our grantees.  

Every grant we make goes through a robust grant assessment and monitoring process; a great deal of thought is put into making good grants that are in the public interest.

About one in five applications are successful.

Where does JRCT’s money come from? 

We draw our income from a responsibly invested endowment. We don’t fundraise. 

JRCT has a long-standing interest in the ethics of investment and we invest sustainably and responsibly. The Trust has divested from fossil fuel extractive companies.

In 2019 we received international recognition for our commitment to responsible investment when we were named a global leader by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. 

How much money does JRCT spend every year?

In 2023 our total grant expenditure was around £20 million.

If you have a media enquiry, please contact our communications manager by emailing both kate.liptrot@jrct.org.uk and enquiries@jrct.org.uk