We are keen to establish the underlying causes of social disadvantage and to address those causes. We support and fund innovative practice, policy and research to understand how change happens for people facing severe and multiple disadvantage. Working with people with lived experience as well as the voluntary and statutory sectors, we want to champion lasting solutions that support people to live rewarding lives.
Lankelly Chase (the product of a merger between two organisations in 2004) has a long history of creativity in its commitment to those that society has rejected or overlooked. The names Lankelly and Chase were chosen by their founders to preserve their anonymity. The Chase Charity was set up in 1962 by the philanthropist Major Allnatt, whose fortune came from developing land along London’s North Circular. Ron Diggens, succeeding him, merged the property company with Slough Estates and set up the Lankelly Foundation.
The two founders saw the role of work in giving people self-respect and purpose. Major Allnatt had a long-term interest in the rehabilitation of offenders and also understood the extraordinary power of the arts to touch people. Ron Diggens set a broader remit for the Foundation that allowed the Trustees to focus on the arts, old buildings and charities working directly with vulnerable people, such as elderly people and those with disabilities.
In 2004, Lankelly Chase started our new career with programmes that tackled particular aspects of injustice and disadvantage. The trustees saw that our ability to create wider change came not only through giving grants but though the development of expertise and relationships.
In 2011 we built on this fifty year history and affirmed our mission to bring about change that will transform the quality of life of people who face severe and multiple disadvantage. Our grants programme became focused around our Theory of Change.
The money that we hold as an endowed foundation is unlike public money that has to be accounted for to the taxpayer with a predetermined purpose. We have freedom and independence in how we decide how to spend our money. This freedom however puts the onus on us to show the development of our mission and be clear and transparent about our governance.
The full story is set out in our history A Matter of Trust.
Responsible investment (RI) is about aligning our investments with our mission and values and ensuring that our investments complement rather than conflict with Lankelly Chase’s charitable objectives.
Aligning a foundation’s investments with its mission enables the foundation to use more of its resources to support its charitable objectives and therefore increase its impact.
Lankelly Chase is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The Principles reflect the view that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues affect the performance of investment portfolios and therefore must be given consideration by investors if they are to fulfil their fiduciary duty.
As a signatory of the Principles the Trustees agree to:
- Incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes
- Be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices
- Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest
- Promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry
- Work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles
- Report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
Trustees have reviewed common responsible investment areas to identify those considered most important for Lankelly Chase’s mission around severe and multiple disadvantage:
- Living Wage
- Modern day slavery
- High interest rate lending (pay-day loans)
Our fund managers have divested (sold shares) and blocked investment in some companies (negative screening). Restricting investment in this way may result in a reduction in diversity and a risk of more volatility in the portfolio, so we continue to consider this trade-off and to research options. The Trustees meet regularly with Lankelly Chase’s investment managers and RI is always on the agenda for these meetings.
Lankelly Chase engages with companies on environmental, social and governance issues, usually through ShareAction to whom we also provide grant support. We also find it very helpful to be members of ESG networks such as the Charities Responsible Investment Network (CRIN).