What we fund
We provide core, unrestricted and project funding to organisations with charitable purposes that are aligned with our own. Our funding has three key objectives (changing the system, strengthening the sector & direct support) and our core programmes cover three areas (Early Years, Young People & the Environment).
Our Funding Objectives
1. Changing the system
Many of our grants seek to intervene at the level of the system, where change can have a wide and lasting impact. We use our funds to support work that changes policy, structures, mindsets and practice and focuses on under-represented voice, collaborations, awareness raising, campaigning, good practice testing & sharing and research.
For example: Our funding helped Young Minds to run a campaign, Beyond Tomorrow, aimed at reducing the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health. Through this campaign, they secured an extra £4 million for mental health charities, a new cross-governmental task force, and increased support in schools and the community in order to provide earlier interventions that prevent the escalation of mental health issues.
2. Strengthening the sector
We recognise it is difficult for charities to fund their own development in the face of pressing demand. Our grants support organisational development and the professional development of practitioners.
For example: We support Anna Freud’s work with schools to prioritise mental health and wellbeing. Our multiyear core funding grant is helping them to develop evidence-based teaching materials, provide training for education staff and host knowledge sharing events.
3. Direct support
Some of our grants support the direct delivery work of charities, prioritising early intervention and prevention work where possible and supporting disadvantaged people in East Anglia.
For example: AIM funds a young carer support worker at Children’s Society East. This role provides one-to-one and group sessions, organising and supporting family activities and developing self-care resource to support hidden young carers, who have the weight of extra responsibilities, such as caring for family members due to parental mental illnesses or substance dependency.
Our Programme Areas
Our main programme grants are focused on three key areas:
1. Early Years
Improving the emotional and social development of young children from vulnerable families.
There is overwhelming evidence that support in the period from conception to the start of school is critical in shaping a child’s early development and future prospects. At this time, brain connections form at an unrepeated speed, giving shape and depth to children’s cognitive, emotional and social development – influencing their capacity to learn, to solve problems and to relate to others. AIM has funded a number of charities to ensure that children from disadvantaged backgrounds get the best start in life.
2. Young People
Improving life chances, especially around the transition from school to employment, and emotional and mental well-being.
Mental health is a huge issue for our young people. In the UK today, an estimated five children in every classroom has a mental health problem. A quarter of 17-year-old girls have self-harmed in the last year while suicide remains the single biggest killer of boys and young men. Studies on the impact of the pandemic have shown an increase in levels of distress, worry and anxiety - especially amongst those with additional challenges including young people with disabilities, from communities affected by racial injustice and LGBTQI+ young people.
3. The Environment
AIM has responded to the urgent need to increase funding for environmental issues and our support is primarily focussed on restoring and protecting UK Rivers and Coastal Waters and Global Oceans and Coastal Waters. We tend to prioritise projects that restore nature when linked to carbon sequestration and working with communities.
Our funding is part of the global efforts to support Sustainable Development Goals 14 (Life Below the Water) and 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). AIM is a signatory of the Funder Commitment on Climate Change.
In addition to our main funding programmes, we award a small number of grants each year through our Family Fund. This enables members of the family to support a range of causes they care about and helps us to learn about new areas of interest, whilst supporting valuable work in the community.
Annual Grants by Focus Area
This chart shows the allocation of our grant making by value to different focus areas since 2018/19.