Meet the funder: Morrisons Foundation

Supermarkets are a great source of funding for PTAs. Morrisons Foundation advisor Adrian Horsley tells us how one of Britain's biggest and best-known retail chains contributes to charitable causes

The Morrisons Foundation was established in 2015 to support registered charities in communities across England, Scotland and Wales. Initially, the money came from the sale of single-use carrier bags and helped the Foundation provide grants and match funds colleagues raised for their chosen charities.

I recently celebrated my fifth anniversary working for the Morrisons Foundation, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of something that makes such a difference. There’s no deadline for applications; we receive around 250 grant applications a month and can support 25-30 projects.

Our objectives

Recently, we implemented three funding objectives: tackling poverty and social deprivation; enhancing community spaces, facilities and services; and improving health and wellbeing. PTA projects are a good fit for these aims.

Every year, we donate around £2 million. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported over a hundred PTAs through grant funding and match funding programmes, donating over £188,000.

Previous wins

At St Margaret’s Academy in Torbay, the PTA applied for help to develop a library. In their application, the charity explained that many of their children do not have access to books at home and that there is no statutory requirement for primary schools to have a library. This fitted well with our ‘community spaces and facilities’ objective, and the trustees approved a donation of £9,000.

Ryecroft Primary Academy in Holme Wood is another good example of charities and schools working together. The school teamed up with Bradford charity Participate Project to develop ideas to improve life in the local community. We awarded them £8,580 to help bring their ideas to life.

Other frequent requests from PTAs include applications for outdoor play equipment, forest schools, sensory gardens and equipment to help SEN pupils.

Match-funding success

Many of our Morrisons colleagues have families, and supporting their school PTAs is a popular choice for their personal fundraising, which the Foundation supports through our match-funding programme (capped at £1,000 per person). Their endeavours, such as cake sales, raffles and school fetes, can make a big difference to a PTA’s income.

Every year, we also support schools on World Book Day. In the past five years, the Morrisons Foundation has partnered with the National Literacy Trust (NLT) to donate more than 25,000 books to over 2,000 primary schools and libraries. Each Morrisons store has a Community Champion, who selects a local primary school to receive the books. It’s been an outstanding campaign, and we will be working with NLT in 2024 to support schools on a new project.

Keep your aims clear

PTAs thinking of applying to us should be very clear about what they are asking for and why. Providing evidence of the project’s potential impact is also important.

We always check that charities have filed their accounts on time to the Charity Commission or Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, as this demonstrates good governance. There is a limit of £10,000 for grants, but the average donation is less than this as we aim to help as many charities as possible.


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