While Livery Companies are not themselves charities, they all have foundations or trusts which fund or perform good works, this includes supporting or actually running schools, colleges of further education and centres related to the arts.
The funding of Livery Company charitable trusts is provided by regular contributions from members, occasional fundraising events, bequests, covenants and investment income.
The Livery Companies’ collective philanthropy donates 10s of millions of pounds to charitable causes each year. A survey by the Pan Livery Initiative in 2018 provides a high level analysis of the charitable disbursements of the Livery as a whole and totalled £71m annually. While it is impossible to be precise about the total value of philanthropic activity undertaken by the Livery, it is significant and substantial when financial disbursements and funding in kind is considered, all amounting to support that makes a great deal of difference to beneficiaries. What can never be measured with any accuracy is the value of the time and talent donated by Freemen and Liverymen to good causes whether as school governors, charity trustees, mentors to journeymen and school pupils or donating their professional expertise pro bono. The moral support afforded to various organisations, not least the armed forces and uniformed youth organisations, should also be considered an example of this philanthropic activity.
For for further information on how to apply for a grant from a Livery Company, a guidance note is available.
This year’s Livery Schools Link Livery in Education Report shows that a total of 395 schools, academies, colleges and other education establishments are supported by multiple Livery Companies.
The City of London Corporation invests an enormous amount in Education, Cultural and Creative Learning and Skills through the Education Board. The Corporation supports 3 Primary Schools, 7 Academies, a sixth form College and 3 Independent Schools.