Meet the funder: Movement for Good

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group is set to launch its third annual Movement for Good awards in 2021. We asked Chris Pitt, head of responsible business, to tell us more.

Ecclesiastical is a different kind of business. Owned by a charity, it is a financial services group that exists to give all its available profits to good causes. We have donated more than £97million to charity since 2016 and are aiming to reach our target of giving more than £100m by September 2021. We insure thousands of schools, charities, churches and historic buildings, so we know how important they are to communities, and how much they rely on charitable support.

Movement for Good

Ecclesiastical launched its annual Movement for Good awards in 2019, which gives £1million to charities each summer. This puts giving directly into the hands of those communities we serve, so they can support the causes that mean the most to them. The £1million giving programme has two funding phases. 500 charities each receive £1,000 during the first phase, then a further £500,000 is given away in larger grants to support longer-term projects. We’re really proud of the number and diversity of charities we have reached in just two years, with over 250,000 people voting for 13,695 causes in 2020 alone.

During phase one of the campaign, members of the public are invited to nominate causes via a quick and easy online form. This enters them into a pool, from which the 500 winners of £1,000 are drawn. The more times a charity is nominated, the more chance it has of being selected.

Historically, the second phase of the campaign has involved a further ten charities being chosen by a panel of judges to receive £50,000 each towards the advancement of education, skills, arts, culture and heritage, as well as citizenship or community development. We’re currently thinking through how we might improve the second phase, so keep an eye on our website for updates…

Previous winners

A wide variety of causes have received funding from the Movement for Good awards. Last year, 36 schools and education charities received donations of £1,000 each. Since 2019, charities who have secured funding include Friends of Browick Road Primary and Nursery School, which won £1,000 towards its new trim trail; Friends of Mile Oak Primary School, which received £1,000 for playground equipment; Friends of Leonard Stanley School, which used £1,000 to help fill the funding gap left by Covid-19; and The Friends of The Milestone School, which put its £1,000 towards a wheelchair-accessible roundabout.