Charitable giving and the relief of suffering have always been at the heart of livery companies and the CLSC has been no different. Before becoming a Livery Company in 1944 the members regularly supported worthy causes. However, on obtaining its grant of Livery a more formal process was established with new members being encouraged to contribute to the "Poor Box" on admission. The present Charitable Fund was constituted as a charity under a Trust Deed in 1965. It has a capital base of over £800,000 and it makes awards each year totalling over £40,000.
The objects of the Charitable Fund are wide enough to permit donations for any charitable purposes, but the Court of the Company agreed guidelines in October 2007 which give precedence to organisations which have charitable purposes with a legal or City of London connection.
No donations will be made from the Fund to, or for the benefit of, specific individuals, nor will donations be made to sponsor an individual for the benefit of any charity. The only exception to this is that the Company's Prize shall be paid out of the Fund and other prizes open to lawyers from the City, whether or not also open to other lawyers, may be paid wholly or in part out of the Fund.
Charitable purposes with a legal connection shall include charities which make legal services available to those who might not otherwise have access to such services, those which promote the law or human rights and those which directly or indirectly support lawyers and/or their dependants.
Charitable purposes with a City connection shall include charities or charitable projects which operate primarily within the City of London and its neighbouring boroughs and those which are sponsored by, or have a connection with, the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs, the City of London Corporation or any Livery Company.
The Charitable Fund makes regular donations to The Solicitors' Benevolent Association, the Lord Mayor's Appeal, the Mansion House Scholarship Fund, the Sheriffs' & Recorder's Fund, Royal British Legion, the Company's affiliated Cadet Unit and the Tower of London Choral Foundation.
It has also made one-off donations to many legal and local projects. In the last 2 years it has given funds to the following: UCL Refugee Clinic, Tower Hamlets Parents Centre, Suited and Booted, React, Only Connect and Independent Provider of Special Educational Advice.
Applications for Grants
These are encouraged for all charitable organisations which would meet the critieria. The Fund makes one-off grants in September each year. All applications must use the online Charitable Fund Application Form which is available from July each year. If you have any queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations to the Charitable Fund
All members of the Company are encouraged to make regular donations to the Company's Charitable Fund either by way of a standing order or on-line through http://www.cafonline.org All qualifying donations attract GiftAid. Members are also encouraged to consider leaving a donation in their Will.
The Charitable Fund is managed by the Charities Committee, chaired by a Past Master of the Company. The Committee meets regularly to consider ways of promoting the Fund to the members and to look at grant applications and projects to support.