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2024: Looking forwards

Publication date: 22/02/2024

An update from Raji Hunjan, CEO

We started the year at the Tudor Trust with a commitment to planning and developing a new grant making strategy. Whilst last year was characterised by a pause to reimagine a different Tudor, this year’s focus is the application of our learning to building a future focused and resilient organisation. Our years of grant making has taught us so much about the challenges and ambitions of small charities and grassroots organisations across the UK, and we want to continue to strengthen and partner with organisations that share our more intentional future commitment to social, racial and economic justice.

As part of their long-term planning some of our long standing trustees departed last year to make way for a new cohort. The departing trustees recognised that as descendants of the original founder, their exit would signify the end of Tudor operating as a family led foundation. To plan for this significant change, they concentrated on preparing Tudor to shift towards an oversight model of governance. This included shaping the recruitment of new Board members through an open application process to ensure greater diversity of experience, thought and leadership.

We were encouraged by the number of strong candidates who applied for the new trustee roles. We look forward to working with our newly appointed Trustees: Derek Bardowell, Christienna Fryar, Anthony Murphy, Saba Shafi and Susan Wang. Derek Bardowell, as Chair Designate, will formally take over from Matt Dunwell later in the year. We have no doubt that the combined skills, experiences and perspectives of all our trustees will support the shaping of a future strategy.

I am personally very grateful to Matt Dunwell for staying on as Chair for a little while longer, to ensure continuity and that learning is shared between exiting and incoming trustees. I am also very grateful for the time that last year’s departing trustees gave me to ensure that their experiences and key achievements were captured and will form part of our planning for the future.

To prepare the ground for new trustees and the transformation of Tudor, I will work closely with staff and all trustees to develop a strategic plan that addresses all aspects of our work, from our grant-making, to our governance, operational systems and internal policies and practices. We are all committed to rooting our strategy in the principles of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, so that we can better understand and address underlying structural inequities and injustice in our society. We are also committed to wider stakeholder engagement and are preparing ways in which we work with others, including our current grantees, to deepen our planning and approach to strategy development.

The work to develop our internal policies, practices and behaviours framework has already begun. There will also be further trustee recruitment, as well as the introduction of new staff roles and positions. All vacant posts and opportunities will be published on our website and via our newsletter.

Tudor has a long standing reputation as a relational funder and as we work towards a total transformation, our commitment to strengthening small charities and the grass roots remains at our core. This is a critical moment in our history and our future. How we invest our endownment, distribute our assets, and share our learning is crucial to the body of organisations and communities that share our ambition for a more just future.

We therefore believe that by taking our time to build a new strategy and ensure wider engagement, we can maximise our contribution to the to the work and shared responsibilities of UK philanthropy to build power and strengthen civil society more widely. For a little bit longer we will not be considering any new grant applications, but are still actively funding and engaged with over 500 grantees. I personally look forward to learning more about the work of our wider stakeholders and sharing more as our plans unfold.

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