The Santander Foundation

In 2021, we launched the Santander Foundation Digital & Financial Empowerment Fund. The programme supports UK charities to give people:
  • Digital confidence and knowledge
  • Skills to enable them to make better, more informed decisions about money
  • Access to financial services

The Santander Foundation Grants Programme

We’re proud to support 21 charities in the UK. We work with them to empower people both digitally and financially.

“When people don't have access to regular financial services and tools, it has big effects on their lives. They end up paying more for things and have fewer choices. It can also impact their education, job opportunities, health, housing, and how they feel overall. Our program aims to help charities that work with the people who suffer the most from these financial and digital problems. We want to make things better for them.”

Judith Moran, Santander Foundation Chair

    We created the Financial & Digital Empowerment Fund to assist people in the UK. Our main goal is to empower people by teaching them digital and financial skills.

    We want to help UK charities to empower people. Our aim is to help build digital confidence, knowledge, and skills. We want to support people to make better decisions about money and have access to financial services. By working together, we can make a positive impact in our communities.

    If you’re part of a charitable organisation that shares our ambition, then you’re in the right place. Together, let's make a difference.

    Each of us has a duty to make a positive impact on our communities. We are confident that our new strategy will enable us to do even more.

    We understand that when people don't have access to the right financial services and tools, it ends up costing them more for things and limits their options. Exclusion doesn't just affect their finances, but also:

    • Education
    • Job opportunities
    • Health
    • Housing
    • How they feel overall.

    The pandemic has shown us how crucial digital and financial skills are. Many people have had to rely on the Internet for basic tasks. As more services shift online, not having digital skills will limit people's options even more.

    In our society, many people are facing disadvantages due to factors like:

    • Age
    • Education
    • Income
    • Disability
    • Unemployment

    If we don't offer them the right support, the gap in social inequality will get even bigger. Many charities work with such groups; with people that feel the impacts of financial or digital exclusion the most. We want to reach:

    • Lone parents
    • Single pensioners
    • Migrants
    • Refugees
    • Those with long-term illnesses and disabilities
    • Those struggling to find sustained employment
    • Households that are headed by students or part-time workers.

    These are among the groups most commonly excluded from financial services. Those with low or unstable incomes are affected by financial exclusion. The pandemic has worsened this situation, as services have moved online. Our goal is to help charities to empower people with digital and financial skills.

    We want to empower people to make better decisions about money.

    Our aim is to provide people with improved digital and financial skills, so they can access new opportunities. We want people to feel safe when using digital tools.

    Santander Foundation Theory of Change

    To help us describe what we want to achieve, we developed - with support from experts at charity advice service NPC – a Theory of Change that explains:

    • The need we’re trying to address
    • The changes we want to make (our outcomes)
    • What we plan to do (our activities)

    The Theory of Change model

    Foundation change

    We want to provide grants and support you in delivering digital and financial empowerment to people over the next three years.

    • We are investing £1.8 million into our Financial & Digital Empowerment Fund in 2021.
    • We aim to award 12 grants of up to a total of £150,000 per organisation. We’ll award grants over a three-year period.

    If accepted, you can ask for differing amounts in each of the three years. You can request a minimum of £25,000 in any one year, with the maximum of £150,000 over three years.

    We have some important requirements that you must be able to meet to apply for a Santander Foundation Grant.

    If your organisation chooses to apply you must:

    • Be based in the UK and working within one of the nations or regions
    • Be a UK-registered charity or Community Interest Company
    • Have at least three unconnected Trustees, Directors or Management Committee members. By unconnected we mean not related by blood, marriage, in a long-term relationship or living together at the same address
    • Have an annual income above £75,000
    • Have a bank account in the organisation’s name with at least two unconnected signatories
    • Have been operating for at least 18 months and have at least one set of annual accounts

    Access To Business – Supporting people with disabilities, or health issues and personal barriers preventing their development. They provide intensive 1-2-1 support and group sessions to improve the lives, skills, opportunities, and wellbeing.

    Carmarthen Youth Project – Building young people's self-worth by providing opportunities to learn skills in Digital and Financial literacy which it is widely assumed they have but many young people are missing.

    CHAS Bristol – In collaboration with Talking Money, the charities are piloting a project to help parents attending Children’s Centres with a range of financial and digital literacy issues.

    Code Your Future – Training some of the most deprived members of society to become web developers and helps them to find work in the tech industry.

    Create – Helping prisoners become financially empowered by filling a gap in the provision of financial training, using the creative arts to explore finance in a stimulating, interactive way.

    GYROS – Providing multilingual money and debt advice on a 121 basis and deliver ESOL embedded group sessions improving digital competence and financial literacy.

    Headliners – Enabling young people to understand and use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and understanding how saving money can aid their personal security.

    Journey Enterprises – Supporting people with complex learning disability to have the knowledge and skills to be able to understand their money (income), to be able to handle their money safely.

    Key Unlocking Futures – Delivering services in homelessness schemes like peer mentoring programme to encourage financial skills development while providing temporary housing for women and children.

    Leadership Through Sport & Business – Working with low-income young people who have faced disadvantage affecting their ability to secure, retain, and sustain employment.

    Micro Rainbow – Supporting newly granted refugees to gain or increase employability, digital and financial skills and to have better access to digital and financial infrastructure.

    Paddock Community Trust – Offering low-income individuals and families from deprived communities the opportunity to overcome digital poverty and gain better access to employment, training, and improved digital skills.

    QED Foundation – Working with ethnic minority communities to provide: ESOL, IT, digital inclusion, integration, orientation, citizenship, community cohesion, health, literacy/numeracy, and employability.

    Race Equality First Limited – Providing advice and advocacy through a combination of remote and face-to-face services, delivering training in basic budget and financial management, financial welfare checks and digital education.

    SALTBOX – Digital Inclusion & Internet Café Project” enabling Saltbox’s Money Matters to hold in-person/virtual workshops providing in-house and community digital coaching.

    Share Community Limited – Supporting adults with learning disabilities and their families to increase their financial and digital skills, access new opportunities, and increase their wellbeing.

    Social Action for Health – Supporting people from BAME backgrounds experiencing multiple layers of social and economic disadvantage and health inequalities, made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Staffordshire Women's Aid – FITS for the Future programme will teach digital and financial literacy skills to women at risk of, living with or recovering from domestic and sexual violence.

    Street League – Helping disadvantaged young people gain confidence and qualifications for the world of work. The charity delivers a mixture of sports and employability skills training.

    University of Atypical – Helping disabled Artists to work and secure income. Developing programme of digital and financial skills development closely connected to the artists professional career development.

    Willowacre Trust – Empowering communities digitally and financially. comprehensive digital inclusion and money advice within our communities to reduce the inequalities caused by exclusion.

    Applications are now closed

    If you’ve applied for a grant, we’ll be in touch to let you know the outcome once we’ve assessed your submission.

    The timetable for applications and announcing our decisions is as follows.

    28 August 2022
    Programme opens for application

    October 2022
    Shortlist applications

    November 2022
    Formalise the proposal for potential grantees

    Preview of the application form