We work with funders and social movements to drive social and political change.

Together we have 40 years experience of designing grants programmes. We have overseen thousands of grants to successful advocacy, markets, and community organising campaigns.

We have complemented this work with ground-breaking philanthropic research and leadership roles within networks of grantmakers.

About us

When it comes to protecting the environment and righting injustice there can be no question that the hour is late. At the same time we are surrounded by inspiring examples of change. We believe philanthropy has a crucial role to play in accelerating such change.

We have set up The Hour Is Late in order to make our experience available to like-minded funders and civil society groups.

Building stronger movements

We are particularly interested in the structures and ‘ecology’ of social movements, and the ways in which funders can best strengthen them. We research the different approaches to philanthropic giving and the ways in which grant programmes can be effectively targeted. And we think funders could benefit from deeper exploration of the values, narratives and frames that drive social change.

Contact us

Please drop us a line if you would be interested in exploring
how our work could help your organisation to fulfil its goals.

[email protected]

The Team

Jon Cracknell

Jon Cracknell

Jon has worked in social change philanthropy since the mid 1990s. He co-founded the Environmental Funders Network and ran the network for its first seven years, before serving for six years on the Management Board of the U.S. Environmental Grantmakers Association.  He is currently a Board member of the Ariadne network of social change and human rights funders, and a steering group member for the European Environmental Funders Group.

Harriet Williams

Harriet Williams

Harriet has 15 years experience of leading successful grant programmes on behalf of foundation and high net worth donors, with particular expertise in relation to climate change, forests and other land use. She is director of the Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund, a current or former board member of the Environmental Funders Network, SOS-UK and Gower Street, and a passionate proponent of more effective philanthropy.


In addition to our work with the Goldsmith family we have worked on a consultancy basis with Luminate, the Rockefeller Family Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund, and the U.S. Energy Foundation, along with these other organisations:


Working with colleagues we have undertaken extensive research relating to philanthropic grant-making, and have used the findings to inform the discussion about how funders can increase their impact.

Over the years we have analysed more than 60,000 environmental grants, with a total value of more than £3.4 billion. This research has given us a thorough understanding of the supply side of the philanthropic grants market. 

We have also studied the demand side of the market, running multiple surveys and research projects to assess capacity gaps in social movements. We have carried out comparative research in the UK, across Europe, in the United States, and in Israel. 

We speak to civil society changemakers about the precise nature of the opportunities and barriers they face, and assess the role of good (and bad) grantmaking practice in supporting social movements.

We reflect these insights back to grantmakers, and in this way have deepened the dialogue between funders and the movements they support. Much of our demand side research remains unpublished, since the findings would be helpful to organisations seeking to defend the status quo.