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Helping weather the storms


At a time when small and medium-sized charities are facing a perfect storm of cuts to their funding and increased demand for services, CAF wanted to help.


At CAF, we know you are passionate about making a difference through your philanthropy – so when one of our private clients wanted to support smaller UK charities, at a time when too many are facing a perfect storm of cuts to their funding but an increased demand for services, we listened. CAF's support goes beyond making a donation on behalf of our clients. Instead, CAF Resilience was created in 2017, a pilot programme to support small charities who are experiencing reductions in funding and needing to adapt. 

Would you like to join us?

If you would like to contribute to supporting the development and aims of the CAF Resilience programme.

Please do get in touch

CAF Resilience Pie Chart
  • With over 320 charities applying to participate in the programme, it was clear to see that the economic downturn and reductions in government spending meant that these charities were struggling to weather the storms.
  • Our rigorous selection process identified charities that are great at what they do, but need support to ensure they can continue to deliver vital services for their communities for years to come.
  • Throughout the programme, ten charitable organisations whose work has an 'early action' focus will receive financial and professional support for up to two years.

What's 'early action'?

'Early action' sets out to answer the question: "how do we build a society that prevents problems from occurring rather than one that, as now, copes with the consequences?" This fits well with the focus of CAF Resilience, focusing on the long-term.


CAF Resilience map
We're delighted to have welcomed ten admirable small and medium-sized charities from across the UK onto the programme. Your donations are helping support the charities on the programme and each charity will receive: 

  • £15,000 worth of expert advice, training and support each year, bespoke to their needs
  • Up to £50,000 in grant funding each year

It will cost £65,000 to support each of the charities on the programme each year, which is an investment that will have far-reaching impact. We know that you give because you want to make a difference. Your donation will directly help the charities to become self-supporting rather than just providing a lifeline donation that gets them through the next year. Your donation will allow them access to our programme of support, and together we can create a bigger fund that enables real social change on a larger scale. 

Find out more about each charity on the programme today and their journey so far.

Meet the charities


Helping charities grow stronger

Investing in the future of great charities, which already show potential and deliver valuable work, to achieve greater social impact.

Influencing sector change

Steering the charity sector and receiving updates on the charities' journeys

Join a new donor community

Connect with other CAF private clients who are looking to make their money go far and engage with the learning from this programme.


The Advisory Board for CAF Resilience includes sector experts and major donors whose knowledge and experience provides a strategic steer for the programme.


Paul Fry, Programme Donor 

Former Director of Strategy and Business Development at Yell Group, Paul Fry has vast experience in business in the UK and internationally. He has since been involved as a trustee and leader with homelessness charities, local health charities and local community groups.

David Robinson, Chair, Early Action Alliance

David was an early thinker and practitioner of behavioural insight as a tool for social change. He founded and now chairs ‘we are what we do’, as well as being a leading figure in social finance, architect of the Social Impact Bond and trustee of the Big Society bank.

Pauline Broomhead, CEO, Foundation for Social Improvement

Pauline, founding CEO of the FSI, a charity arming small charities with the best learning opportunity to secure a sustainable future, has an outstanding reputation for her commitment to the sector on campaigns with many of the most high-profile charities in the UK and abroad.

Harriet Stranks, Director of Grants, Lloyds Bank Foundation

With 15 years of experience working in grant making, Harriet has also spent six years working as a fundraiser, and now holds responsibility for a grant-making portfolio of around £16m per annum.

Elisabeth Paulson, Portfolio Director, Impetus-PEF

Elisabeth is the Portfolio Director and member of the senior management team at Impetus-PEF. Elisabeth drives the charity’s investment strategy and is responsible for the overall management and performance of the charity’s partnership portfolio. 

Julian Knott, Programme Donor

Julian has vast experience in private equity, and is now involved with a number of charities including being a Chair of Trustees at the Clement James Centre in West London – a charity providing employment assistance, wellbeing, support and education opportunity. 

I donated to CAF Resilience, through my CAF Charitable Trust, as it is a unique opportunity to be involved in this type of programme, with the potential for significant positive change for the charity sector. It was very easy and hassle-free to donate. My Private Client Manager arranged everything.

CAF Private Client
Beth Clarke

Beth Clarke

Programme Manager, CAF Resilience

"CAF Resilience is an incredibly exciting programme. We know that many philanthropic individuals are interested in supporting smaller charities but want to know how they can do this in a way that helps the charity to become more resilient. Supporting a small number of organisations over a few years, CAF will be able to learn what works and just as importantly what doesn’t, and share this learning with other charities, funders, as well as donors who are interested in giving in impactful ways."

Blogs and articles by Beth:

Critical lessons for charity trustees
Lets celebrate those leading small charities
Building a resilient charity sector


  • How is CAF Resilience different to social investment (CAF Venturesome)?

    Social investment is usually finance that is provided to not-for-profit organisations which investors expect to receive back and should achieve social impact as well as financial impact. CAF Resilience is different in that it isn’t just supporting charities financially, it also provides advisory expertise around the areas identified as weaknesses. This help goes hand in hand with grant funding, to free up the organisation’s capacity to fully engage with the advisory and we would not expect them to repay it. For that reason, CAF Resilience uses donations not investments.

  • Can I direct my donation to a certain charity or element of the programme?

    Your donation will be used for the programme as a whole, so that we can respond to needs and share the learning in the best way possible, donations are used for a mixture of programme costs, funding activities with the charities and other ways of supporting small charities to be more resilient. We aren’t able to direct funds to specific charities.

  • What opportunities do I have to engage with the charities?

    You will receive regular updates and learning reports and at the end of the programme we expect to produce a report detailing what we have learnt that will influence sector change. There will be opportunities to meet the charities on the programme and follow their journeys.

Can’t find the answer to your question?

Get in touch with our team, who will be happy to help you.

Get in touch now

Resilience CTA

Help steer the future of small charities.


Interested in supporting CAF Resilience to help small charities become more resilient? Call us on 03000 123 028 (lines are open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm except bank holidays).

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