The Ethos Foundation is a UK-based charity established in 2016.


A society where individuals and communities thrive.


To help build more effective child poverty prevention systems, in order to break the cycles that keep children and young people suffering from poverty and its effects throughout their lives.


Fairness – striving for greater equity and justice.

Good citizenship – putting our responsibility to society first.

Reflectiveness – building our knowledge and challenging ourselves.

Ethos Foundation Strategy

Our goal is to help build more effective child poverty prevention systems, in order to break the cycles that keep children and young people suffering from poverty and its effects throughout their lives. To do this:

1. We fund and enable holistic early years practice at community level

  • We work in places with high levels of childhood poverty, implementing a collaborative service delivery model.

2. We help turn practice into policy

  • We conduct and support research and analysis that builds the evidence base of what works in holistic early years practice.
  • We use this research to influence policy and advocate for local and national level systems change.

3. We place convening and coordination at the heart of our work.

  • We promote, facilitate and enable collaborative working at each level of the system: at service delivery level, funder level, network level, and policy level, by enabling collaboration between advocacy organisations and campaigners.

4. We build the skills and capacity required for a thriving ecosystem

  • We build skills and capacity to work collaboratively and holistically, joining up services to more effectively meet families’ needs.
  • We help parents and communities to participate in decision making and service delivery.


Our overarching goal is to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular:

1. No poverty

We support the UN goal to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.

10. Reduced inequalities

We support the UN goal to reduce inequalities within and among countries.

Currently, the Ethos Foundation is focused exclusively on projects within the UK.

Grant making

Charity partners

We have developed a portfolio of principal charity partners:

The Cabrach Trust has a vision to regenerate the Cabrach as a thriving, sustainable community with its history, heritage and place in Scottish history celebrated and shared by all. To achieve this goal, the Trust plans to build the Cabrach Distillery & Heritage Centre to inspire, educate and engage visitors and to revitalise the Cabrach, giving it a renewed sense of place, pride and community.

The Childhood Trust is London’s child poverty charity, founded with a simple vision: to support vulnerable children living in poverty in London. The Trust works across three thematic areas meeting children’s practical, emotional and inspirational needs. The Trust funds grassroots children’s charities, runs volunteer programmes, and advocates for disadvantaged children.

Thrive at Five has a vision for a society that cherishes children’s development in the early years, and where every child can thrive and achieve their full potential though reaching a ‘good level of development’ at five. The collective impact initiative supports programmes and people that work with these children and their families in their local communities.


The Ethos Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or proposals for funding.


The Ethos Foundation is a Registered Charity in England and Wales (number 1166697).


The Foundation is governed by a board of trustees.

Grant Gordon OBE (chair)

Grant Gordon OBE is a philanthropist and social entrepreneur. He is a member of the Philanthropy Workshop (TPW) and a fellow of the RSA. He has founded and built up a small portfolio of charities including the Childhood Trust and the Cabrach Trust, and chairs both these organisations. He is a member of the Beacon Collaborative Advisory Council and chairs the Distillers’ Charity.

Brigitte Gordon

Brigitte Gordon is the wife of Grant Gordon, and mother to their three daughters. She is a member of The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW).

Lucy Blythe

Lucy Blythe is Founder/Director of Philia International, the board and leadership consultancy specialising in organisational organisation and excellence, executive coaching and philanthropy advisory. Previously, she was Kew Foundation CEO and partner in an international search firm, and led major fundraising campaigns.

Luka Gakic

Luka is Grant and Brigitte’s son-in-law. A former refugee and ‘scholarship kid’, he is committed to upholding and advancing social mobility and compassion in British society. Beyond his family and charitable commitments, Luka is Head of UK Wealth at Ruffer LLP.


The Foundation has one part-time member of staff.


The Ethos Foundation is a member of the following organisations:

The Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) is the membership body for UK foundations and grant-making charities. Driven by a belief that foundations are a vital source for social good, its mission is to support them to be ambitious and effective in the way that they use their resources.

Philea nurtures a diverse and inclusive ecosystem of foundations, philanthropic organisations, and networks working for the common good. It helps members to get inspired, act together, and achieve greater impact by sharing data and knowledge, exchanging best practices, connecting around common themes, and engaging in policy work.


The UK has one of the highest rates of childhood poverty for developed countries; 29% of children in the UK are living in poverty. Our report, Closing the Gap, highlights what an effective system of child poverty prevention looks like, from the services provided to the principles underpinning our relationships.

You can view the Ethos Foundation’s annual reports and accounts on the Charity Commission website.

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