Who Are We?
The Beit Trust is an independent charity. We support people and communities in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi (ZZM).
We have been active for over a hundred years, ever since the Trust was established by the financier and philanthropist, Alfred Beit, in 1906. Since the 1950s, we have funded regional projects in health, education, transport, social welfare and conservation.
His wish that the Trust should operate “for the benefit of the people” remains our guiding principle.
The Trust now provides more than £2.5 million a year in grants to the region. In the last five years alone, we have funded hundreds of projects, including hospitals, clinics, care homes, schools and libraries. We have supported over a hundred Beit Scholars at universities in the UK and South Africa, as well as regional training for surgeons from ZZM.
We have provided emergency relief following natural disasters in the region, including refurbishment of bridges swept away by Cyclone Idai in 2019, thereby restoring access to deprived communities in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands; and funding PPE equipment for medical workers during the COVID 19 pandemic.
We remain committed to improving people’s lives in the region. In doing so, we work with and rely on trusted community partners and organisations, and the expertise and long-term experience of our teams in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the UK.
The Trust remains apolitical and operates without consideration of sex, race and religion.
The Trust's Organisation
The Trust has its Headquarters at Beit House in Woking, Surrey. Their Representative in Africa and his two staff work from a rented office in Harare.
Trustees meet every six months to agree broad strategy on investments, reserves and risk management, and to consider applications for grants. They are supported by a Committee of regional Correspondents, three or four per beneficial country. These meet six weeks before Trustees’ meetings to give their expert advice on each grant application.
Over 1.5 million Pounds was made available in 2020 for new projects, mostly infrastructural, selected in-country by the Correspondents. In addition, Trustees every year customarily allocate over £1 million to long-term recurrent grants, for academic and medical scholarships and bursaries, student hardship relief, library books, school computers and contingency support.
The Trust’s Finance Committee meets four weeks prior to full Trustees’ meetings. Cazenove Capital, the portfolio investment managers, attend and address finance and investment policy matters. In November, the Finance Committee submits to the Trustees, for their approval, a proposed budget of income and expenditure for the forthcoming year.
All grant enquiries should be directed to the Beit Trust Representative in Harare. The email address is email@example.com
Applications for grants are considered on merit. Trustees do not often give grants to government organisations and do not fund “start-ups”. Instead, they support established, independent institutions, in particular schools, hospitals and health centres. Trustees seek to maintain, as far as possible, an equitable distribution of grants between Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Strict rules are applied to infrastructure grants, to ensure that detailed and serviceable plans are submitted before a grant is paid.
A proportion of the money is routinely withheld until the Trust is sure that a project can be satisfactorily completed, within or below budget. Regular visits within the beneficial area by Trustees, Correspondents, the Representative and the Secretary allow an application to be judged before Trustees consider it; reviewed while under construction; and assessed when finished.
Trustees seldom make grants to other UK grant-making charities; and do not fund running costs.
Procedure for Grant Applications
Project grants seldom exceed 50,000 Pounds. Applications close to or above that amount will very rarely succeed.
Applicants whose enquiries receive preliminary acceptance will then be provided with a detailed application form and guideline notes, describing the formal application process as well as requirements for supporting documentation.
These include but are not limited to plans/drawings, bills of quantity, verifiable (current) quotations, etc.
Applicants will also need to provide the following:
• A detailed motivation statement explaining the likely impact and importance of the proposed project;
• And suitable assurances in regard to the management of funds and the ability to deliver the proposed project within budget, so that it is competed to specification and is fully fit for purpose.
The Beit Trustees meet in London twice a year. Completed applications to be considered at their June meeting should reach the Beit Trustees’ Representative in Harare no later than 30 November. Applications to be considered at their November meeting should reach the Representative no later than 31 May.
Favourable consideration is given to organisations which demonstrate a degree of self-help, long-term sustainability, and an ability properly to administer the funds provided.
Applicants should bear in mind, however, that Trustees are invariably faced with applications for funds greatly in excess of what can be given. Assistance with education is very seldom given below secondary school level. Applications must prove sustainability, public benefit, cost-effectiveness, and a serious commitment to education, health, welfare and/or the environment within the beneficial area.Read more: Call For Proposal
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