Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust - Sustainable Future Programme

Status: Open to applications

Deadline: 25 March 2019


Grants are available to enable organisations in the UK to develop and promote sustainable, low-carbon alternatives to the current consumerist and growth-based paradigm.

Value Notes

No minimum or maximum amount of grant is specified.

Extended Descriptions

The Sustainable Future Programme is provided and administered by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT).

Funding is available to enable organisations in the UK to develop and promote sustainable, low-carbon alternatives to the current consumerist and growth-based paradigm.

This programme aims to support charitable work on the following issues:

  • Better economics.
  • Beyond consumerism.
  • New voices.

Latest Information

The 3 December 2018 deadline is only for existing grantees who wish to apply for further funding. The application deadline of 25 March 2019 (12 noon) is open to all applicants.

Key Criteria

Grants are made to a range of organisations. It is not necessary to be a registered charity to apply to the Trust, however, the Trust can only support work which is legally charitable as defined in UK law.

Organisations and individuals should be undertaking work at a national level. This means work that seeks to make positive change across the UK as a whole, or across one or more of its member countries - England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Eligible Expenditure 

The overall focus of the Fund is on developing and promoting sustainable, low-carbon alternatives to the current consumerist and growth-based paradigm. Funding is available for work in the following areas:

Better economics - the Trust will fund work that:

  • Explores and promotes ways that well-being and sustainability, rather than traditional forms of economic growth, could be placed at the heart of public policy.
  • Explores and promotes mechanisms that could better align business and investor behaviour with environmental sustainability and the long-term public interest.
  • Researches and develops innovations and new practical models of enterprise that can be embedded within community practice.
  • Challenges future investment in, or subsidies for, fossil fuels.

Beyond consumerism - the Trust will fund work that:

  • Campaigns, initiatives and mechanisms which encourage radical, large scale shifts in behaviour and culture away from consumerism towards more sustainable ways of living.
  • Exploration of initiatives and models which promote positive alternatives to consumerism for a more fulfilled life.
  • Work which engages people individually and collectively in holistic and value-led approaches to transformed behaviour and lifestyle, as an alternative to consumerism.

New voices - the Trust will fund work that:

  • Campaigns and movements that give marginalised or under-represented groups a voice on issues of environmental and economic justice.
  • Initiatives that encourage organisations from outside the traditional environmental field to get involved in environmental justice.
  • Networks that link and support local environmental justice groups.
  • The replication of innovative local projects regionally or nationally.

The Trust is interested in funding work which:

  • Is about removing problems through radical solutions, and not simply about making problems easier to live with.
  • Has a clear sense of objectives, and of how to achieve them.
  • Is innovative and imaginative.
  • Where the grant has a good chance of making a difference.


Under the Sustainable Future Programme, the Trust will not fund the following:

  • Conservation projects.
  • Anti-consumerism campaigns which simply exhort people to be less consumerist, rather than encourage behaviour change resulting in sustainable living.
  • Measures that are limited to mitigating against the effects of climate change rather than leading to long-term change.
  • Academic research and books, except as an integral part of policy, campaigning work or leading to practical change in enterprises or community action.

The Trust will not fund the following:

  • Larger, older national charities which have an established constituency of supporters and substantial levels of reserves.
  • Statutory bodies.
  • For-profit organisations.
  • Medical research.
  • Academic research, except as an integral part of policy and campaigning work that is central to the Trust's areas of interest.
  • Building, buying or repairing buildings.
  • Business development or job creation schemes.
  • Service provision, including providing care, support or training services, such as for elderly people, children and young people, people with learning difficulties, people with physical disabilities, mental health service users, refugees or asylum seekers.
  • Housing and homelessness.
  • The arts, except where a project is specifically concerned with issues of interest to the Trust.
  • Travel or adventure projects.
  • Educational bursaries, including graduate and post-graduate studies.
  • The personal support of individuals in need.
  • General appeals.
  • Work which the Trust believes should be funded from statutory sources, or which has been in the recent past.
  • Work which has already been undertaken.
  • Local or national work anywhere outside the UK.

If the Trust refuses an application, it would not normally consider a further application from the same organisation for at least a year.

Payment Proceedure

Payments for the grant are normally made quarterly in advance by electronic transfer.

Aplication Proceedure

An application form is available to complete online at the Trust's website.

The JRCT will only accept online applications.

Contact the JRCT for further information.

Addresses and Contacts

Application forms are available on their website.

Contact details:
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust 
The Garden House 
Water End 
YO30 6WQ
01904 627 810