Santander Foundation launches £1.8million fund committed to helping more people in the UK become digitally and financially empowered

•    Santander Foundation Financial & Digital Empowerment Fund will support 12 charitable organisations with up to £150,000 per organisation, awarded over three-years.
•    New fund aimed at supporting financial inclusion by helping more people across the UK become digitally and financially empowered. 

The Santander Foundation today announced the launch of a new £1.8million Financial & Digital Empowerment Fund focused on providing grants to support UK charities and Community Interest Companies working to build people’s digital and financial skills. The Fund will support projects equipping people with the tools, knowledge and confidence to make better, informed decisions about money.

In the UK, 39% of adults (20.3 million) do not feel confident managing their money and 22% of people (11.5 million) have less than £100 in savings(1). In addition, 6% of households are digitally excluded by not having access to the internet at home(2). The new Fund will award up to £150,000(3) over three years to support 12 charitable organisations which share the ambition of improving financial inclusion across the UK.

Santander Foundation Chair, Judith Moran, said: “Without access to mainstream financial services and tools, the impacts of financial and digital exclusion are profound. Not only do people pay more for goods and services and have reduced choice, but it can also affect education, employment, health, housing and overall wellbeing. The launch of our new grants programme is aimed at supporting charities who work with those that feel the impacts of financial or digital exclusion the most. With the pandemic further highlighting the crucial importance of digital and financial skills, with more and more basic services moving online, we want to ensure we build the capacity of organisations that help more people in our communities become digitally and financially empowered, creating better opportunities for their future.”

Since 2016, the Santander Foundation has supported over 11,600 non-profit organisations working with disadvantaged people with over £21million. The launch of the Santander Foundation Financial & Digital Empowerment Fund sits at the core of the Santander Foundation’s new strategy for 2021 to 2024 to ensure the Foundation has an even greater impact in local communities.

Applications(4) for the new grants programme can be made online and the deadline is close of business on 13 August 2021. To apply, organisations must be based in the UK and working within one of the nations or regions and be a UK registered charity or Community Interest Company. To find out more about the Santander Foundation Financial and Digital Empowerment Fund and apply, visit

The Santander Foundation has a long history of helping vulnerable people in our communities and last year donated £3 million to the Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK to provide practical help and friendship for the most vulnerable people affected by the pandemic.

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Notes to Editors 

1)    Financial Capability Survey 2018.

2)    Ofcom Adults’ Media Use & Attitudes report  2020/21.

3)    Grants of up to £150,000 per organisation will be awarded over a three-year period. Differing amounts can be requested in each of the three years, but the minimum amount requested in any one year must be £25,000 with the maximum over three years £150,000.

4) To be eligible to apply for a Santander Foundation Grant, organisations must:
•    be based in the UK and working within one of the nations or regions;
•    be UK registered charities or community interest companies;
•    have at least 3 unconnected Trustees, Directors or Management Committee members. By unconnected we mean not related by blood, marriage, in a long-term relationship or living together at the same address;
•    have an annual income above £75,000. We aim to fund no more than 40% of an organisation’s income in any one year. We anticipate most of the organisations we’ll support will be small and medium-sized organisations with an income of less than £2 million;
•    have a bank account in the organisation’s name with at least two unconnected signatories; and
•    have been operating for at least 18 months and have at least one set of annual accounts.

Santander Foundation is a UK registered charity providing support to communities through grants and matched donations for Santander UK colleagues. Since 2016, the Santander Foundation has supported over 11,600 non-profit organisations working with disadvantaged people with over £21million. Santander UK Foundation Limited is independent to Santander UK and registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales Charity No. 803655. Registered Office: 2 Triton Square, Regent's Place, London, NW1 3AN, United Kingdom. Registered company number 2509711. Registered in England and Wales. For more information, please visit:​​​​​​​

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2020, the bank had around 21,900 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Its purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising over €120 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2025, as well as financially empowering more than 10 million people over the same period. At the end of 2020, Banco Santander had more than a trillion euros in total funds, 148 million customers, of which 22.8 million are loyal and 42.4 million are digital, 11,000 branches and 191,000 employees.