Financial services firm Wesleyan has launched a new foundation aiming to give up to £1 million a year to good causes.
The Birmingham-based mutual is running the initiative in partnership with the Heart of England Community Foundation and plans to award around 100 grants in its first year.
Customers and members will decide which projects receive the most support by nominating voluntary organisations important to them.
Three levels of funding will be awarded, comprising small grants up to £2,000, medium-sized awards of between £2,000 and £10,000 and large grants of more than £10,000.
The first three charities to receive medium-sized grants from the foundation are Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project, which works to reduce isolation for those with dementia.
Also receiving a grant are Pets as Therapy, which provides therapeutic visits to people in need across the UK, and Books Beyond Words, which supports people with learning and communication difficulties.
Wesleyan chairman Bryan Jackson said: "Wesleyan has a legacy of supporting great causes and our foundation takes that to the next level.
"As a mutual, our members already have a say in how we operate and our foundation now gives them a further chance to choose how we help worthwhile causes.
"By working with Heart of England Community Foundation, our hope is to award up to £1 million of grants per year to small charities and transform the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people in communities around the UK."
Tina Costello, chief executive of Heart of England Community Foundation, added: "Our organisation has supported thousands of worthy projects over the years and we've seen first-hand the impact that funding like this can have in local communities.
"We're aiming to award up to 100 grants from the Wesleyan Foundation in the first 12 months alone and we're really excited to see our partnership with Wesleyan flourish over the coming months and years."