a man and woman dancing
group of school children
A young and old lady smiling

The Mercer Family of Charities

The Mercers' Company
and Philanthropy

The Mercers’ Company is over 700 years old and is the premier Livery Company in the City of London, deriving most of its income from a wide ranging property and investment portfolio.

In essence, we are a membership organisation in the business of philanthropy.

Background

During 2017, we have developed a new Philanthropy Strategy which is described here in brief.

The Company and its associated charitable trusts – the Mercer family of charities – are involved in three main types of philanthropic activity:

  1. Providing direct charity services, principally almshouses
  2. Members' philanthropy, through their time, skills, knowledge and networks
  3. Grant making and social investment

Our new grants programmes are being finalised and we will be able to tell you more by the end of January 2018.

Purpose

Mercers believe in nurturing aspirations and investing in opportunities to create positive change so that everyone has the potential to lead a fulfilling life

a run down road - mobile
a run down road

Focus

People living in communities with some of the biggest challenges in the UK

(particularly in parts of London where there is significant inequality, and in those areas of the East and North East England where we have longstanding relationships)

Principles

Use our assets wisely and creatively for positive change in people’s lives, now and in the future

Make the most of our longevity and independence

Build strong relationships and partnerships

Make knowledgeable decisions based on evidence and clarity of purpose

Programmes

Our programmes place people at their heart.

We greatly value our historical links, experience and relationships in education, in almshouses and with the church, which remain at the centre of our wider work with young people, older people and communities.

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school children in uniformschool children in uniform - mobile
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Young People & Education

Getting a good start in life is essential and our programmes include some support for the very youngest children. Our experience is in helping children achieve their potential through school and in communities and extends to helping young people through challenging transitions in their lives.

an old man talking to a young ladyan old man talking to a young lady - mobile
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An old lady gardeningAn old lady gardening - mobile

Older People & Housing

We recognise that many people need extra support in older age but can also bring huge benefits into communities through their experience, wisdom and time. Our strategy recognises both the challenges and assets of ageing.

A young man and old lady dancingA young man and old lady dancing - mobile
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Church & Communities

We want to support church, faith and secular community based organisations, enabling more people to come together to deliver positive change, strengthening both personal and community connections and nurturing resilience.

Themes

Our programme priorities are informed by four cross cutting themes:

Learn

Learning and education for young people have been central in our work for centuries and will continue. We will also nurture lifelong learning for all

Lead

We will develop leadership and good practice in the sectors we care about most, to build and strengthen more effective organisations

Live

Resilience and emotional wellbeing are integral to a ‘good life’; we will nurture creative and cultural opportunities that foster wellbeing, particularly in communities where they are hard to come by

Love

Family and friendship is at the heart of Mercers' life. Our strategy places a high value on helping people build stronger connections, overcome isolation and build new relationships, making ‘Love thy neighbour’ a practical reality through social action

Next Steps

The Mercers’ Company grants programmes are being finalised and we will be able to tell you more by the end of January 2018. For now we hope that this high level framework will help you decide if there’s likely to be a good fit between our aims and yours.