About us

The Henry Smith Charity is an independent grant making trust. We aim to use our resources to help people and communities at a time of need and to bring about positive change. 

The Charity was founded in 1628 by Henry Smith, a businessman working in the City of London. Since then, we have honoured the spirit of Henry Smith’s will, working to combat disadvantage and meet the challenges and opportunities facing people in need throughout the UK. Today, The Henry Smith Charity is amongst the largest independent grant makers in the UK, distributing £31.7 million in 2019.

Our grant holders are at the core of our mission and work. For us, achieving results depends on their work and, as a grant making trust, we can only be as effective as the organisations that we fund.

Our network of 30+ volunteer visitors plays an important role in enabling us to meet with the organisations that apply to us for funding, and we have close relationships with a number of Community Foundations, who advise on applications and sometimes manage grants on our behalf.

To learn more about our funding please visit the What We Fund section of our website.

Our Grant Funding Strategy includes our values and principles as an organisation and funding priorities for our two largest grants programmes Improving Lives and Strengthening Communities.