The ACO is the national UK umbrella body for Trusts and Foundations that give
grants and welfare support to individuals in need.
The funds managed by ACO members are discretionary, and seek to complement and
enhance welfare support provided by local and central government. Our members operate
in the UK and across the globe. Over the last few years many funds have reviewed
their operations, researching patterns of need and developing more strategic
programmes of assistance.
Over 100 registered charities, all independent of state funding and seeking to
raise their profile and help more people.
ACO members make grants to many hundreds of thousands of people each year offering
them support, advice and befriending. Over £150 million is given annually in grants
Number of people helped in the UK - potentially the 12.5 million people in the UK
with less than 50% of average income can benefit. There are also eligible people
Reasons to join the ACO
ACO provides support to its members with a wide range of services and
building peer networks providing opportunities for members to share, and get
advice and support;
promoting good practice, tackling problems together and offering solutions;
Training charity professionals on finance, welfare, fund raising, governance,
grant making and benefits.
websites and member forums giving opportunities to seek and share advice and
Lobbying and campaigning...
giving our members a voice by responding to government consultations and raising
awareness about the work of our member organisations;
providing members with up to date information tailored to their specific
interests through a monthly newsletter and policy briefings;
offers from providers of goods and services with competitive pricing and
guaranteed service levels, available only to ACO members.
For organisations with an annual turnover of less than £1m
Band A Subscription
For organisations with an annual turnover between £1m and £3m
Band B Subscription
For organisations with an annual turnover between £3m and £5m
Band C Subscription
For organisations with an annual turnover over £5m
Low Income Subscription
For organisations with a low income and subject to approval by the Treasurer.
Benefits of Membership
Free newsletter published ten times per annum. Packed with up to date
information and the latest guidance specifically tailored to organisations that
give grants and welfare support to people in need.
The newsletter is sent to every email address within your organisation at the
beginning of the month. A free sample copy is available on request.
Members can attend a range of meetings and networks free of charge. This
includes the Grant Making Forum, Finance & Legal Group, Leadership Forum, and
Under Fives Group (for solo workers and small staff teams). ACO organises regular
one off meetings on specialist areas.
Once a year ACO organises a national conference for benevolence funds bringing
together members with keynote speakers, and workshops run by experts promoting best
practice in grant making and welfare support.
ACO runs regular training events to support staff in member organisations in
Lobbying and Campaigning
ACO represents member's views on issues of concern to government, opinion
formers and policy makers. We lobby to promote a better public understanding of
benevolence: the giving of time and money to help people in need.