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Nurturing ideas and people

We want to support imaginative people to nurture exciting ideas

Social change often comes about because of the application of good ideas by passionate people. Our founder was an innovator: in his business life and philanthropy, he backed people with good ideas. We want to do this, too.


We want to support organisations who work at the intersection of art and social change

We see culture as the heart of a just society, where all people and communities have a right to express themselves through art and culture. We believe that art and artists can help us see the world differently, bringing unheard stories and narratives to the fore and opening up new imaginative possibilities. To realise this potential, we believe the sector needs long-term structural and cultural change. Our ambition is to support a portfolio of organisations who represent this change to develop, learn from each other and further explore the potential of art for personal, cultural and social transformation.

Education & learning through the arts

We want to improve people’s education and learning through the arts

The arts play an important role in enriching young people’s learning and educational experiences. Exposure to the arts can unlock potential in young people, helping them to develop skills in communication, collaboration, creativity and problem solving. In addition to the enjoyment and enrichment the arts bring, arts education can increase young people’s engagement in school and learning, and support key educational outcomes. For many young people, particularly those experiencing the most disadvantage, the only opportunity to gain access to arts education is at school.

Investing in young people

We want to support the development and growth of organisations investing in young people and positive change

Much of our grant-making aims to benefit young people, but it is the groups and organisations who work directly with them who often make the most difference, especially for young people who face complex transitions to adulthood. We want to support organisations at different stages of development to improve, consolidate and spread practices that empower young people to shape their lives and lead change.


We want to support organisations working towards a world in which everyone is free to move, and no one is forced to move

For us, this means a world where: respect, care and interdependence underpin our relationships with one another; differences of opinion and perspectives provide opportunity for reflection and growth; and shared learning allows us to both shape our future actions and to stop us from deepening and consolidating harm. Our funding is our contribution to help bring about this future. We believe this is only possible through collective and collaborative effort between individuals, organisations, movements, funders and beyond. This shared vision of the future, priorities and commitments were all shaped by input from people who work towards migrant justice every day, and those with direct experience of the UK’s previous and current immigration systems.

Playing our part

We want to play our role in pioneering philanthropy, both as an independent grant-maker and as a partner to others seeking to achieve social justice.

With over 10,000 charitable trusts and foundations in the UK distributing almost £3bn of grants, there is a duty for us all to ensure that we target our resources in the most effective way. Unlike statutory funders, foundations can take risks, offer support over longer periods and back causes that feel risky to others. With this freedom comes a responsibility to ensure we are working together to create the best possible environment for the organisations and individuals we want to support.

Information for grantees

We want our grants to reflect strong relationships with grantees as we work together to learn from the activity we support. Here is some information and resources to help get the most from your PHF grant.

Find out more

Other work

Alongside our strategic priorities we continue to pursue a number of important additional activities, including programmes launched under our former strategic framework. All remain key to our portfolio of work.