A tradition of giving

The Golden Bottle Trust was set up in 1985 to further the philanthropic aims of the Hoare family and the bank. Each year, the partners donate up to 10% of the bank’s profits to the trust, which makes grants to a wide range of charitable causes in the UK and elsewhere.

Building better futures 

The Golden Bottle Trust traces its name to the earliest days of the bank, when our founder, Richard Hoare, traded at the Sign of the Golden Bottle on Cheapside. It is, however, a distinctly progressive vehicle, acting as a hub for the family’s, and the bank’s, philanthropic activities.

Since the launch of the trust in 1985, it has supported thousands of organisations with grants totalling more than £25m. The Golden Bottle Trust also supports the charitable giving of bank staff by double-matching all contributions to the Give As You Earn scheme.  More than half of our employees donate in this way, placing us in the top 100 UK companies subscribed to the scheme.

At the end of 2019, we achieved ‘total portfolio impact’, with 100% of the trust’s reserves invested in social impact investments. This gives us the double satisfaction of seeing our investments, as well as our grants, doing good in the world.

In recent years the trust’s strategic giving has focused on prisons and early intervention; financial and income inequality; the refugee crisis; and the environment. We have, for example, provided grants to:

  • Key4Life, a charity supporting young offenders through an innovative rehabilitation programme. One year post-release, only 16% of participants reoffend (the national rate is 64%), and employment opportunities are quadrupled.
  • Intermission Youth Theatre (IYT), a charity formed to provide disadvantaged young people, many of whom are exposed to high levels of anti-social behaviour, family breakdown, dependency and criminality, with support and care. Through tuition in dramatic arts, participants build confidence and learn to make positive changes in their lives.
  • RefuAid, a charity that provides practical and financial help to enable refugees to live independent lives. Facilitating access to finance, language tuition and employment support, the charity has to date lent more than £1m in 0% interest loans to support the return to work of refugee doctors, lawyers and engineers.
  • Buglife, the only organisation in Europe dedicated to the conservation of all invertebrates. The charity runs a wealth of practical conservation projects, predominantly in the UK, and is currently focused on pollinators and freshwater habitats.

A number of our grants are provided through The Fore, an organisation that acts as a seed funder in the charity sector, allowing small charities and social enterprises access to venture capital and professional expertise.  Since we do not accept unsolicited grant requests, such partnerships greatly increase the impact of our giving.

We are continually looking for new ways to refine the Golden Bottle Trust’s activities: most recently, we adopted an innovative philanthropy-profiling tool and integrated the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into our grant-making process. 


You can find further details about the Golden Bottle Trust in our latest report.


GBT Report 2019/20

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