Everyone matters and should have the opportunity to thrive.

The Aidan Charitable Trust was founded in 2000 with a desire to enable the marginalised to flourish, inspired by the Christian faith and values of its founding Trustees, including the belief that everyone matters and should have the opportunity to thrive.

From the early days, the Trustees were keen to apply their business and technology experience in partnering with charities, to fund initiatives which would achieve transformational, high impact outcomes.

Through collaborative working with different types of innovative projects over more than 20 years, Aidan Trust has evolved its model to focus on funding foundational work for new initiatives, growth or improvement. The objective is to enable sustainable growth, resilience and effectiveness, in order to achieve a high level of social impact.

Our objective is to enable sustainable growth, resilience and effectiveness, in order to achieve a high level of social impact.


We fund foundational work for innovative new startup, growth or improvement initiatives, which will create multiplied front-line outcomes. We don’t fund front-line work or business-as-usual activity.

We typically fund new initiatives over 2-3 years to reach sustainability, with each year’s funding dependent on the achievement of agreed milestones.

We fund foundational work for innovative new startup, growth or improvement initiatives.

Our Projects

Since 2000 we have supported foundational work for 45 new initiatives across 25 different charities, enabling them to deliver a multiplied impact to their front-line work. The chart shows the breakdown of types of projects we have supported.

Proportions of different project types across with grow being the largest followed by improve and then start

Since 2000 we have supported foundational work for 45 new initiatives across 25 different charities.

Scroll or click to know more about three of the projects we support:

Allia modular homes – start

Hope into Action franchising – grow

Viva QIS – improve

Allia - modular homes: Start

A project we support
Allia is a charity that helps small businesses and charities to develop, grow and achieve their impact aims. As part of the holistic approach to addressing the problem of homelessness in Cambridge, in 2018 Allia led an innovative programme working with a number of partners to create and deploy purpose-built modular homes, together with the essential community support, to provide a sustainable path out of the cycle of homelessness.

Aidan Trust funded the project management and initial setup work required to start this ambitious and innovative programme. Today there are 6 of these homes functioning successfully at one site in Cambridge and a range of other sites are being identified with the active support of the university and council, building on the successful proof of concept of the first. The idea has also been taken up by a commercial property developer nationally through their foundation, having funded one of the pilot units; and Allia is investigating how best to support local churches and other landowners around the country to develop their own schemes.

Scaling the initiative and attracting funding for the purchase of the homes themselves became easier once the foundational work had been completed and the concept proved. This approach now forms one component of the wider strategy to address the problem of homelessness in Cambridge and potentially beyond, demonstrating how the initial back-office and higher risk start-up work that is often difficult for organisations to fund can create multiplied impact.

Martin Clark, CEO of Allia Impact said:

The support of Aidan Trust was essential to the success of this project as they were prepared to take a risk on whether it would work, and were also agile and engaged enough to adjust the support as circumstances changed. We are delighted that the project succeeded and has helped to multiply the approach by inspiring other similar initiatives. All down to the pump priming of Aidan Trust and their faith that we would deliver.

Hope into Action - franchising: Grow

A project we support
Hope into Action are a charity whose purpose is to enable churches to house the homeless. Their innovative model uses homes purchased by investors to house homeless people, with the essential ingredient being a strong relationship between the tenants in the house, and a local church with the resources and commitment to provide sustainable support.

Having proven the model locally, in 2014 Hope into Action were looking to grow the programme nationwide through a franchising model. Aidan Trust was able to engage with Hope into Action to fund the foundational work required, so that the model and its unique attributes could be franchised and successfully replicated across the UK - wherever there are churches who wanted to partner to help the homeless and who could commit to providing the essential local relationships and support for the tenants. Hope into Action were able to scale up the work and its impact so that today there are more than 300 tenants across the UK being supported by churches.

Ed Walker, founder of Hope into Action commented:

I’ve really enjoyed working with Aidan Trust as a funder. I always got the impression they had listened and heard what we were trying to do. They challenged and encouraged and then were appropriately trusting as well.

Viva - QIS: Improve

A project we support
Viva builds and supports networks that unite grassroots churches and organisations to support vulnerable children worldwide. In 2001, Viva were looking to set up a new initiative to help grassroots projects around the world working with vulnerable children to improve the quality of what they do, and the "QIS" (Quality Improve System) was born.

Aidan Trust engaged with Viva over a number of years to fund the creation of resources, training and rollout of pilots for the QIS scheme. The foundations this created are still in use today underpinning locally-owned quality improvement to reduce risk and improve effectiveness. QIS was a great example of leveraged outcomes from a typically hard to fund, but very important back-office improvement initiative.

One key benefit was opening up new local funding for organisations from regional government or NGOs as they realised the value of the QIS "Quality mark" to provide confidence that their funding would deliver successful outcomes, by providing a level of assurance of effective governance, safeguarding and risk management.

Jane Travis, International Programme Development Manager commented:

Support from the Aidan Trust was instrumental in helping us to develop and launch QIS, which has now helped churches and organisations in 13 countries to reach quality standards in their work with children. The funding, input and advice we received from the Trust helped to shape a programme to enable safe, well managed, sustainable children's projects run by motivated staff and recognised by Government departments and institutional donors to bring about positive change

How to apply

If you are a charitable organisation planning a new initiative which fits our funding criteria, and would like to apply, please briefly fill in the form below.

If there is an initial fit, we will ask you to provide a more detailed proposal and financial plan (as appropriate).
What is the new initiative? (select one)*
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Everyone matters and should have the opportunity to thrive.

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