JMF's 50th Anniversary Retrospective

JMF Timeline

John Moores Foundation was established in December 1964 and this retrospective looks back over 50 years of grantmaking activity.

John Moores Junior was born in 1928, the eldest son of Sir John and Ruby Moores, the founder of the Littlewoods organisation.

John was also involved in many other aspects of the life of the City of Liverpool and the wider area of Merseyside including a term as Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 1994 after serving as First Pro Vice Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Governors from 1992. He chaired the local Council for Voluntary Service from the mid-1970s until 1986 and helped to establish South Liverpool Personnel in 1971 (an organisation promoting employment and training opportunities primarily for disadvantaged black people).

JMF Trust DeedThe Deed is dated 30th December 1964 and records that “the Settlor (John Moores the Younger) is desirous of establishing a charitable trust to be known as the John Moores Foundation and to that end has transferred and paid to the Trustees a sum of one hundred pounds.”

The original Trust Deed states that the Trustees could support all or any of the following purposes
• “The raising of the artistic taste of the public
whether in relation to music drama opera
painting, sculpture, or otherwise in connection
with the fine arts
• The promotion of education in the fine arts
• The promotion of academic education
• The provision of facilities for recreation or other
leisure-time occupation
• The helping of the young the old and the needy
PROVIDED ALWAYS that nothing in this Clause contained shall create any trust affecting the Trust Fund or impose upon the Trustees any legal or equitable obligation or modify the duty of the Trustees to apply the whole of the Trust Fund and the income thereof for charitable purposes.”

A further interesting provision states that, “In the execution of the foregoing trusts the Trustees shall have the power to expend not only
the income from the Trust Fund but also from time to time or at any time to expend all or any part of the capital thereof”.

These various clauses from the Trust Deed illustrate the breadth of scope available to the Trustees in considering and making grants.

As grant making activity grew over subsequent years, the Trustees refined and amended the kind of work and activities they wanted to support and the Trust benefitted significantly from further funds from its Settlor.

A word about Money

This retrospective has deliberately avoided specific reference to individual amounts of grant aid received by the many organisations which have been supported by JMF over the years. However information has been assembled on the funds distributed to give an idea of the scale of total amount allocated annually over the five decades. In an attempt to reflect something of the real value of the finance involved the amounts involved have been adjusted for inflation.

The graphic illustration (below) indicates that after a modest start in the first two years: 1968/69 £325 and £124 in 1969/70, the level of grant giving peaked in 1995/96 with a total just over £2m. The grand total of £36.2m. has predominantly been used to support charitable activities in the Merseyside area £27.5m. with £3.8m. going to support activities in Northern Ireland and £1.8m. to South Africa: the grant making activities for both began in 1981/82. A further significant amount £3m. has also been allocated to support other international causes and appeals mostly during the period from 1994/95 through to 2011/12. During the more recent period JMF has allocated around £600-£700,000 per annum and now focusses its grant making on Merseyside and Northern Ireland.

JMF Grant Giving

Some reflections...

As with many other Charitable Trusts and Foundations, and indeed other funding agencies generally, the philosophy and approach of JMF tended to grow ‘organically’ out of activities undertaken and as a consequence of the accumulated wisdom gained.

JMF generally prioritised support for ‘hard to reach’ groups and those working with marginalised groups or causes. Preference was always given to applications from the small community group trying valiantly to provide useful activities for people in its area or the voluntary organisation working hard to support older people or those with particular needs, over the well written application, full of statistics from a City Centre- based professional outfit. An extension of this same philosophy was the fact that JMF targeted organisations where even a small grant would have a significant impact.

Sir John & Jane MooresA yet further essential observation must recognise the huge personal contribution (extending way beyond the purely financial) that both John and Jane Moores have made to JMF over the years. Few Charitable Trusts and Foundations can be so well known throughout their area of benefit and no benefactors so readily recognised and well respected.

However you seek to assess or measure the outcomes of 50 years of grant making in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, Northern Ireland and South
Africa, the impact of the JMF support is immeasurable:

• enabling informal adult education unleashes people’s wasted talents,
• supporting community activity creates power beyond individual achievement,
• enabling care for those in desperate need can be life-saving.

This summary of the retrospective of JMF has only scratched the surface, download the full JMF's 50th Retrospective, below:


Download the full 'JMF's 50th Anniversary Retrospective' booklet here.