With our February funding round now open for applications, we have asked Sara, our Senior Grants Officer, to share her top tips on what to consider before starting your grant application:
Check the eligibility of your organisation and project
We only fund community-focused not-for-profit organisations, such as registered charities, CIOs, CICs, parish councils, village halls, schools and sports clubs. A full list can be found on our How to Apply page, under Step 1.
We can fund unincorporated groups, but if their income is above £5,000, they must register as one of the organisational structures we support.
Check you have all supporting documents in place
We require certain documents to show that your organisation is up-to-date with the latest legislation, so that we can check that you have the necessary framework in place to receive a grant from us. These documents must be submitted with your application by the deadline for which you have applied. All organisations are required to have the documents listed on the How to Apply page, under Step 2. Any governing or policy documents should be regularly reviewed, signed, and dated by a member of your management committee.
We work on a quarterly funding round basis, so applications will be considered for the next funding deadline. Some funds do not accept applications for every deadline, so you may have to wait to apply for a specific fund. Also, a small number of our funds have different deadlines, which are specified on their individual fund webpage.
Our standard yearly deadlines are:
- 1 February (outcomes announced by the end of May)
- 1 May (outcomes announced by the end of August)
- 1 August (outcomes announced by the end of November)
- 1 November (outcomes announced by the end of February)
We cannot fund retrospectively, so your project must be due to start after receiving an outcome.
To check the available funds for each deadline, visit our Grant Types to Apply for page.
Ensure your project meets the criteria for your desired fund
If applying for a specific fund, make sure your project fits all fund criteria. Some of our funds include requirements on the geographical area, remit of the fund (need or issue), and/or the grant size. All of this information can be found on the individual fund pages.
You can submit a general application, which is not for a specific fund
You can choose a fund to apply to and identify it on the application form. However, you can also leave it ‘unspecified’, meaning that our Grants Team will take your application to a fund which is suitable. If you choose to submit a general application, it is still worth having a browse of the funds that are open for the next deadline, to make sure that there are suitable funds available for your project.
Apply for a suitable amount
Our average grant size is £4,000. Applying for a significantly higher amount than £4,000 greatly reduces the likelihood of funding, unless it is for a fund that accepts larger applications. Information on the available grant size can be found on each specific fund webpage. You can find the funds that offer large grants over £10,000 here.
Complete the correct application form
We have two main application forms: one for small grants (£3,499 and under) and one for large grants (£3,500 and over). However, a small number of our funds have fund-specific application forms. If you are applying for a specific fund, the best thing to do is follow the orange ‘Apply Online’ button on the fund webpage. This will take you to the correct application form.
Application forms are to be completed online. You can save the form and return to it later in the funding round, with a link that will be sent to you in an email. Our application forms are deactivated and reset each funding round, so make sure you submit your application by the nearest funding deadline date. To ensure that you do not lose your work, it is worth saving your responses in a separate document offline, if you decide to apply for a later round instead.
Read all instructions carefully
All the information needed to complete your application is on our website and application form, so please do read all instructions carefully.