Great Grant Making Series: Al-Mizan Charitable Trust

In our Great Grant Making Series, we celebrate the great work carried out by some of the UK grant-makers featured on DSC’s funding websites.

This month we look at Al-Mizan Charitable Trust, which supports disadvantaged people and communities across the country.

About Al-Mizan Charitable Trust

Al-Mizan Charitable Trust is a ‘Muslim grant-funder‘ whose vision it is ‘to break the vicious cycle of poverty’ for people living in the UK, regardless of their faith or cultural background. Registered with the Charity Commission in 2010, the trust is still relatively new in the grant-making sector.

What can the trust help with?

Through its flagship General Welfare Fund, the trust provides small grants and interest-free loans of up to £500 to individuals who are experiencing social or economic deprivation. Grants are given for a wide range of purposes; the trust’s flexible grants policy means that assistance can be tailored to support the specific needs and situations of individuals. Over the past year, grants have been given to help with, for example, educational and vocational training, employment, medical and household-related costs.

Who does the trust help?

Although the trust can accept applications from anybody in the UK who is facing hardship through poverty, deprivation or disadvantage, the trust’s Grants Panel particularly welcomes applications from individuals who fit into one or more of its priority groups. These include: children and young people; single parents; ex-offenders; asylum seekers and refugees; people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse; and people who’ve experienced domestic violence.

A flexible approach

Al-Mizan Charitable Trust’s grants policy is aimed towards tackling the multiple challenges individuals living in poverty face. It adapts from time to time in order to accommodate the social and economic needs which are impacted by factors in the broader social climate. The Grants Panel is particularly interested in supporting applications which will enable a clear social outcome for both the individual beneficiary and their wider community.

Case study: Lauren’s story

The trust’s annual report for 2014/15 documents some great examples of how individuals have been helped during the year, in the form of case studies. Here’s just one of them:

Lauren grew up in care and has battled alcohol abuse and mental illness since her early teens. Since leaving residential treatment in 2012, she has undertaken various qualifications in counselling and substance abuse, in order to help others that have been affected by addiction. Lauren was offered a place on a postgraduate course in Addiction Psychology and Counselling at a leading university, but had only raised two-thirds of the required tuition fees. The Trust provided a grant of £200 towards Lauren’s tuition fees.

And what else?

In addition to making grants and interest-free loans, the trust runs appeals in partnership with other organisations four times each year:

  • During Ramadan, food parcels are given to families on a low income
  • Children who are living in poverty are given Back to School Backpacks containing school uniform vouchers and essential items of stationery
  • When winter sets-in, homeless people are given packs Winter Warmer Packs containing warm clothing, toiletries and first-aid items
  • In celebration of Mothers’ Day, Mother & Baby Kits are given to new mothers who cannot afford essential baby items

Not just a grant-maker

As part of a broader effort to support its aims, one of which is ‘to promote and campaign for social justice, in all its forms, across the UK’, the trust runs events – from topical discussions to quiz nights.  Upcoming events are advertised on its website.

Fundraising tip:

Like many grant-makers, Al-Mizan Charitable Trust has restrictions on who and what it can fund. It’s always important to read through any additional material provided by a grant-maker before beginning an application. The last thing grant-makers want is for somebody to spend time on an application that does not meet their criteria, wasting not only the applicant’s time and resources, but the grant-maker’s time and resources too.

Al-Mizan Charitable Trust has a really informative website where all of the important information of its grant-making is detailed; however, this isn’t the case with every grant-maker. For those grant-makers with only minimal information available, it’s always worth getting in touch to check your eligibility before spending any time on an application.

Where do I find out more?

More information is available from that trust’s website.