top of page

John Rendel of the Peter Cundill Foundation talks trust-based philanthropy and unrestricted giving

A strong case is made by John Rendel in support of unrestricted funding, encouraging grant-makers to embrace this approach to giving and calling on recipient organisations to fight for the cause of unrestricted funding as well.

John’s advice is that if you, as a grant-maker, don’t trust the organisation you’re supporting, then don’t trust a restricted grant to that organisation. And, if you do trust them, then give them unrestricted funding.

We need to build the understanding of how restricted grants undermine impact and reduce the efficacy of the organisations grant-makers are trying to empower.

While the philanthropy sector has seen a move towards more unrestricted funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peter Cundill Foundation has been arguing for this approach since before the pandemic was a fact of life.

The Peter Cundill Foundation grants out around USD $9 million annually. They are based in Bermuda and operate internationally, including in the UK, Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa. They do much of their funding in support of the charities that are improving the lives of children around the world.

Please subscribe, share and leave us a review if you enjoy the show.

About John Rendel

John is the Director of Grants for the Peter Cundill Foundation, a grantor focused on making unrestricted grants to charities improving the lives of children around the world.

Before PCF, John founded and led PEAS, Africa’s largest network of non-state secondary schools. The organisation now employs over a thousand staff and educates 1% of secondary school students in Uganda.

John’s career began as a maths teacher in South London with the Teach First programme. He now acts as an advisor to the Teach for All Catalyst Fund. John is also a Non-Executive Director of ‘ImpactEd’ – a London based social enterprise focused on helping schools efficiently analyse the effectiveness of education interventions.


bottom of page