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 one of the most well established Livery Companies 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.


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

The information below describes our people based grants programmes which are further described under four themes - LEARN, LEAD, LOVE and LIVE.


We 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


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 disadvantaged areas of East and North East England)


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


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.

Find out more

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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 to communities through their experience, wisdom and time. Our strategy recognises both the challenges and assets of ageing.

Find out more

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, secular and inclusive community based organisations, enabling more people to come together to deliver positive change, strengthening both personal and community connections and nurturing resilience.

Find out more


Our programme priorities are informed by four cross cutting themes:

LearnFind out more

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

LeadFind out more

Inspiring and authentic leaders are vital in any community. We will develop leadership and good practice in the sectors we care about most, to build and strengthen more effective organisations

LiveFind out more

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

LoveFind out more

Family and friendship is at the heart of Mercer 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

We’re currently busy researching and developing our plans for the LEARN, LEAD and LOVE themes to ensure our funding can make the biggest difference in the future. In the meantime, we are working with some selected partners as well as opening our LIVE theme across all three programmes.

If you wish to apply for our LIVE theme please ensure you have read the guidelines and accompanying web pages carefully before submitting an application. If you have any further queries please contact us.