We only registered as a charity a few months ago, are we eligible to apply?
You can apply if your charity has been operating as a formally constituted charity for at least three years. Many charities are started informally by a group of friends. They later become constituted formally, with a committee, annual accounts and a bank account. Later still they decide to become a registered charity. We count the three years from the time the charity adopted a formal constitution and appointed a committee. If you apply to us you will have to send your most recent annual report and accounts, even if they were produced before you became a formally registered charity.
We have been operating for the last six years but we have only just applied for charity registration. Can we apply now and send you our charity number when we receive it?
No. It can take a while to become registered. Do not send in an application until you have your charity number from the Charity Commission.
We do not have our own charity number but our local CVS is willing to accept grants on our behalf. Can we apply using their number?
No. You must have your own charity number.
We don’t have a charity number because we are a church community project. Does that mean we can’t apply?
If your church denomination is one of those that still has excepted charity status and your project is part of the work of a local church then you can apply for funding so long as the whole annual expenditure of the local church is less than our £40,000 upper limit. We will need the annual report and accounts of the local church or parish, which should include finances relating to your work, even though you may have a separate bank account.
We don’t have our own charity number because we are part of a national charity and we use their number but we don’t get any funding from the national charity. Are we eligible for funding?
No. We do not give grants to branches of national charities unless the branch is separately registered with the Charity Commission and has its own charity number
We are registered in England but we raise funds for children in Eastern Europe. Are we eligible?
No. We only fund work to benefit people living in England and Wales.
Our charity spends more than £40,000 a year in total but we are looking for funding for a project that only costs £15,000 a year. Can we apply just for that project?
No. We look at the size of the whole charity, not just the size of the project. With relatively small amounts to give, the trustees have decided to concentrate on supporting very small charities.
Our charity’s expenditure is bigger than £40,000 but that is mostly for salaries. We only need money for the other running costs. Can we apply?
No. The charity’s total expenditure exceeds our threshold. See the answer above.
Our accounts show expenditure of more than £40,000 last year but a big grant is soon going to finish. Are we excluded because of last year’s expenditure?
You might be eligible to apply. We understand the situations that a small charity faces when a big grant comes to an end. If you are planning to reduce your work after the grant expires and operate on an annual budget of less than £40,000 a year then we will consider an application although we will need to see a convincing budget.
Your guidelines say we should not apply if we have a shortfall of more than £10,000 in the first year. We are still trying to raise £25,000 for next year. Does that mean we can’t apply yet?
Our policy of not contributing to a funding gap that is greater than £10,000 is to avoid the situation where a charity needs to raise so much money that our small grant is of no realistic help. If your shortfall is greater than £10,000 then you need to secure some funding from other sources before coming to us. The shortfall rule relates to the organisation as a whole and not individual projects/services. Please contact us if you require further advice.
What do you mean when you ask for our current year’s budget?
We are seeking an estimate of this year’s income and expenditure for the organisation as a whole. As we only support core costs we need to see how our grant would fit within the bigger funding picture of your charity. If you are requesting our support towards a specific service then we would expect to see the income and expenditure associated with that service to be clearly listed in the overall organisational budget.
All of our work is currently delivered by volunteers but we now need to employ a paid member of staff to undertake some of the administration duties. It is to continue the same work we are already doing so can we apply for the salary?
No. This is a new development and not a current core cost of your charity. As such, we couldn’t support offer a grant.
We’ve lost the funding that met the salary costs of our paid worker. He has been working on a voluntary basis for the past few months but we’d like to to pay him a salary again. Can we apply?
No. This is a common request but we can’t offer a grant to reinstate paid posts for work that is currently undertaken by volunteers.
We need to undertake some major renovation work to our premises. We can usually raise the money for running costs ourselves but we can’t afford these repairs. Would you pay for our running costs for a year so we can divert our usual income to the repair work?
No. We do not offer grants building work because there are other funders who prefer to fund those one-off costs. Asking us to divert your normal income to renovation costs is an indirect way of asking us to fund your repairs.
Will we stand a better chance of a grant if we only ask for one year?
No. We offer grants to help sustain running costs and salaries so most of our grants are for more than one year. Sometimes a charity does need a single grant and makes that clear in their application. But we do not encourage applicants to apply for a single grant year after year. That approach wastes time and energy for both the applicants and ourselves.
We had a grant last year. Can we apply again now?
Our funding ends 12 months from the date of last payment. You can re-apply again no sooner than 3 months before your current grant expires, as long as you still meet our basic eligibility criteria.