Application FAQs

We hope these frequently asked questions answer any queries you may have. If not, please contact us.

We don’t fund the salaries of specific posts e.g. your Operations Manager. This is for the simple reason that if we are not able to renew our support, we don’t want to put a member of your staff at risk.

We do make grants for operating/core costs which can be put towards your general running costs. We understand that your staff are vital in delivering your work and so you can use part of an operating/core cost grant towards your organisation’s overall salary bill.

These grants are made towards the general costs of running your organisation. This means they can be used to help pay your bills or rent and towards your overall salary bill (just not for a specific position).

We don’t use the term ‘unrestricted’ as our operating/core cost grants can’t be put towards endowments or building up your organisation’s reserves. They are to help your organisation deliver its vital work. They are sometimes referred to as ‘revenue grants’ by other funders.

If your organisation has an annual income of under £100,000 you may find it easiest to apply for a contribution to your total costs, rather than applying for a specific project. The majority of our grants are to smaller charities and so we very open to applications for uncomplicated, core costs.

We support a broad range of organisations and causes and our Trustees don’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but instead take a broad range of factors into account when assessing applications. Every application is assessed on its own merit but there are some common themes that you may find useful when determining how much it is realistic to apply for: 

Operating/core cost grants 

  • We are not able to fund all your operating costs and the size of grant will vary depending on the size of your organisation. Please bear in mind that we are unlikely to fund more than 10% of your organisation’s total annual budget. 

Project/specific activity grants 

  • We are unlikely to be the sole funder of a project. Grants vary depending on the total cost and scope of the project, however our grants tend to be 10-20% of a total project cost. 
  • We recommend you have around half the project’s funding secured before applying to us. 

Capital grants 

  • We recommend you have around half the total project costs raised before applying to us. 
  • Normally our capital grants are no more than 10% of a total capital project cost. For local community projects however (e.g. village halls, community centres, places of worship etc) grants are likely to be no greater than £30,000 regardless of the project size. 

Please check our Application Guidelines for greater detail on what we look for in applications and please follow this guidance if you are considering applying for a Major Grant of £100,000 or more.

We focus our support for hospices on major capital developments, or discrete projects such as piloting new services. If however a piloted service becomes part of your main operation, we would be unlikely to fund its continuation. We do not fund operating/core costs for hospices.

By ‘education institutions’ we mean schools, colleges, universities and conservatoires.

We expect a range of sources to fund the general running costs of education institutions, including statutory, student fees, courses and research activity. This means that we focus on applications for capital developments. We may also consider applications for specific projects outside an institution’s formal education activity e.g. pastoral support in areas of high deprivation.

If you are applying from a university, we require a covering letter from your Pro/Vice Chancellor confirming that the work presented to us is the institution’s current priority. We are only able to consider one application at any one time from an organisation so are unable to accept multiple applications from various faculties/schools within universities. This is why we require confirmation from your Pro/Vice Chancellor that they endorse the current application that is submitted to us.

The Foundation is not a specialist research or medical funder. When the Trustees do support medical research, it is for translational research undertaken by major specialist organisations which undergo extensive international peer review and evaluation processes. We advise therefore that unless you are applying from a major specialist organisation, that you may have success with other funders who specialise in this area.

Our health sector funding mainly relates to capital projects or to specific support activities or infrastructure, to help people and families managing a range of conditions and illnesses.

We do not support organisations or projects that focus solely on counselling. The only exception to this is national charities providing support across the UK that can demonstrate they have qualified staff and robustly monitored supervision. Organisations that include some counselling work as part of wider activities such as befriending, peer support and wellbeing activities are eligible to apply for this more general work (e.g. in youth clubs and community centres), but they should not apply specifically for counselling work.

We are only able to support organisations that have at least one year’s worth of annual accounts as a registered charity. This means that to be eligible to apply, you will need to submit one of the following:

  • your annual accounts, independently audited or examined
  • a copy of your Charity Commission annual return

If you don’t yet have accounts, please don’t apply until you so as your finances are an important part of our decision making.

We can only accept applications from Registered Charities, CIOs and a small number of other organisations which are exempt under Charity Commission guidelines.

We find that most small community organisations with an annual income under £5000 are very successful at raising funds from their local community. You may wish to talk to your local Community Foundation for advice on where else to seek support. If you are a small charity raising money for a capital project that will help your local community (e.g. new playground), please contact us. We can then give you guidance on whether an application may be eligible.

Unfortunately we are only able to consider applications from organisations that are registered charities (or that have exempt or excepted status in England) with the Charity Commission for England & Wales, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). We are sympathetic to organisations such as yours which are waiting to be called forward for registration with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, however unfortunately until you have a registered charity number, we are unable to accept a funding application from you.

We value the positive impact that Community Benefit Societies (CBS) have in their local communities. We understand that whilst your CBS may be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the FCA is not a ‘principal regulator’ as described by the Charity Commission.

The Charity Commission’s guidance on exempt charities explains that a principal regulator:

  • must promote charity trustees’ compliance with charity law
  • checks charity law compliance
  • can ask the Commission to open a statutory inquiry into an exempt charity
  • works with the Commission to make sure exempt charities are accountable to the public
  • receives any reports of matters of material significance made by the auditor of an exempt charity

The Charity Commission has Memorandum of Understandings in place with other regulators in the sector, but does not have one in place presently with the FCA. We are therefore unable to accept applications from CBSs.

We don’t support charities where the main focus is the welfare of animals e.g. sanctuaries , animal hospitals or rescue homes.

We do however accept applications from charities where the main beneficiaries are vulnerable or disadvantaged people and where animals form part of a robust therapeutic process. If in doubt, please contact us.

We review applications in the order we receive them. This is so we are fair to everyone. We will get an outcome to you within a maximum of four months from receiving your application.

In exceptional circumstances it is possible for our Trustees to review an application more quickly. There must be a legitimate reason for this, and you will need to explain this clearly. We aim to be fair and try to avoid ‘queue-jumping’!

In simple terms, tell us what your organisation is doing to funds what you are applying to us for – which could be your organisation’s operating/core costs or a specific project.

For example, tell us:

  • which other trusts and foundations you are applying to
  • how you raise funds from the local community (where relevant)
  • how you plan to generate earned income (where relevant) e.g. room hire, ticket sales, services etc
  • whether you are planning to use any of your financial reserves
  • whether you receive any contract income for delivering your services

Check our application guidelines to see an example of what an income plan might look like in your application.

Charities with an income under £25,000 have to submit an annual return to the Charity Commission that reports their income and expenditure for their last financial year.

Please therefore send us a copy of you latest Charity Commission annual return.


If you applied online, we’ll send an email to the email address linked to your online account. This will outline what we need and a link will be in the email indicating where you can upload this information.

Please put the information in one Word document or PDF so that you can upload it easily. If you applied by post, please post the information to us or email it to

Don’t worry, this is simple to resolve.

Go to ‘Grants Management Portal’ which can be accessed at the top of any page on our website, or enter the portal here

Click on the ‘Forgot Password’ button. You will be asked to enter your email address.

A temporary password will be sent to your email from which will give you a temporary password. This password will only last for 24 hours.

Please click on the link provided in the email and enter your email address and the temporary password you’ve just been sent in the ‘current password’ box. Once you click ‘login’ you will be directed to a screen called ‘change password’.

Please re-enter the temporary password you’ve just been sent into ‘current password’ and then a password of your choosing in the next two boxes.

If you still have trouble, please email us at with a contact telephone number and suitable time of day to call you so we can talk you through how to change your password in person.

Due to the high number of applications we receive and the size of our grants team, we prioritise reviewing applications and are not able to give feedback on individual applications. We work hard to make sure our guidance and website are as clear as possible. We include all the information we need to see in your application, in order to make a decision.

Common reasons for applications being unsuccessful include:

  • applying for work which is being delivered by similar organisations in the same area as you
  • financial information is missing such as your income plan and/or anticipated income and expenditure. Please read our guidelines carefully
  • unclear applications that don’t explain what your organisation does,  why its work is needed and the difference you are making
  • large cash reserves or relatively high cost work was not explained

If we don’t have the right bank details for your organisation, we can’t make your grant payment! If you are asked to re-submit your bank details via your online account please note the following:

  • the account name should be the name on your organisation’s bank account, not the bank name or bank account type
  • please only use numbers for the Sort Code and no other characters. You don’t need to use spaces or hyphens
  • the date of authorisation on your organisation’s bank statement should be within the last three months. This is the date the bank details have been authorised, not when your designated authoriser was given permission to authorise your bank details
  • the bank statement should clearly show the account name, account number, sort code and date of issue

If you have any questions, please contact us.