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Grants are one of the most common ways charities can obtain funding. It is important to note, however, that they are not merely government donations. 

Grant funding for charities must be applied for, and your registered charity may need to adapt a particular project in order to secure a grant. It is likely that you will have to report on the success of your project and how the grant money was used.

How to apply for charity grants?

As with most things relating to the charity sector, when it comes to grants, demand is high, and funds are limited. Below are our top tips to help your organisation during the application process.

Do your research

Every organisation, whether private or public, will have its own criteria as to the type of charitable projects it wants to fund. You need to find out not only what grants are available for your charity but also relevant funders’ criteria. 

For example, an organisation working on reducing poverty and inequality in a particular area such as Manchester may stipulate that it awards grants only to charities that:

  • Are supporting projects on a local community level, e.g. within Manchester and the Greater Manchester area
  • Work in specific areas such as advocating for tenants who struggle to get adequate accommodation and providing legal advice and support when it comes to accessing social services or community groups

You will save a lot of time and resources by thoroughly researching potential funders.

Carefully prepare your application

Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had eight hours to cut down a tree, I would spend six sharpening my axe”. Taking the time to prepare your application and answer the funder’s stipulations and questions will greatly enhance your chances of success.

You need to show that your charity has a track history of delivering on projects and making a difference in the areas in which it operates. 

Make sure you have a detailed plan that illustrates the innovation/creativity of your approach, how the funds will be used, and details of the people/animals/causes that will benefit. Use videos, case studies, statistics, and social media to make your proposal memorable and persuasive.

What grants are available for charities?

There are many ways to access both local and national grants. Using third-party databases can be useful as they can save you time having to independently search for new grants. Here are a few databases you could try;

  • Grants Online is a great online resource for charities and local community organisations. They provide regular updates on new grants as they become available. There is also a search tool that allows you to search for grants in your local area.
  • The Charities Aid Foundation was established to enable charities and social enterprises to do more life-changing work through our advisory services, funding and finance solutions. They have a regularly updated database of the trust and foundation programmes open to charities and social enterprise organisations across the UK.
  • Grant Finder is a subscription-based service that gives you access to a database of grants in the UK covering local, national, and international sources of funding. The database is broken down by sector so you can easily find the grants and schemes that would be relevant to you.

Disruption from the coronavirus pandemic has meant that some grants are no longer available or have been put on hold. It’s advised that before you apply for a grant you contact the trust or foundation and check if it is open for applications.

Get legal assistance from LawBite

The amount of grant funds available for small charities in England and Wales is limited. Therefore, it is crucial to apply for a grant that is right for your organisation and in a way that provides the best chance of success.

To find out how our friendly team can help your charity apply for a grant or support you with other legal matters concerning your charity - contact us today for a free 15 minute consultation.


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In closing

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