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Grants are one of the most common ways charities can obtain funding. However, it’s important to note that they are not merely government donations. 

Charity grant funding must be applied for, and your registered charity may need to adapt a particular project to secure a grant. You’ll also likely have to report on the success of your project and how the grant money was used.

In this brief guide, we take you through the elements of applying for a charity grant.

How easy is it to get a charity grant?

When it comes to grants, demand is high, and funds are limited. Research has shown that between 10% and 35% of UK grant applications are awarded. 

To improve your chances of receiving a loan, ensure your charity complies with the statute law and the Charities Commission's rules and regulations. Therefore, it is best to obtain legal advice when you first set up your charity.

What grants are available for charities?

There are many ways to access both local and national grants. Using third-party databases can be helpful as they can save you time searching for new grants. 

Here are a few databases you could try;

  • Grants Online: A great online resource for charities and local community organisations.

    Grants online provide regular updates on new grants as they become available. Their search tool also 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.

    The Charities Aid Foundation have a regularly updated database of charitable trusts and foundation programmes open to non profit organisations 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 funding sources.

    The Grant Finder database is broken down by sector so you can easily find the grants and schemes that would be relevant to you.

How do I apply for a charity grant?

Once you have selected the type of grant you wish to apply for, you must do your research before starting the grant application process. This is because every organisation, whether private or public, will have its own criteria for the type of charitable projects it wants to fund. 

You must determine the grants available for your UK charity and the relevant funders’ criteria. 

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

  • Are supporting local community projects, e.g. within Manchester and the Greater Manchester area
  • Work in specific areas such as favouring tenants who struggle to get adequate housing, community groups, a specific collective conformed of young people, etc

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

How do I write a charity grant application?

Preparing your grant funding application and answering the funder’s stipulations and questions will significantly enhance your chances of success.

To apply for funding, 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. 

In addition, make sure you have a detailed grant programme that illustrates the innovation/creativity of your approach, how the charitable 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.

Create a compelling application

Once you have completed the research and planning, you must write a persuasive application. Through your writing, you can achieve this by demonstrating that the project you wish to acquire funding for is realistic and well-planned. 

For example, if the project requires hiring more staff, explain how you can afford it and how you will find employees with the right skills within your budget.

Summarise your charity and its aim in an effective way

A vital point to remember when drafting your charity grant application is that your submission will be one of many. 

Your executive summary explains what your charity does, how the grant will be used, and why the project will be successful. It should also mention who will benefit from the project. The reviewer will read the executive summary, so make sure it is clear and easy to understand.

If in doubt, seek professional support

If you need more confidence writing the application, you could instruct an experienced copywriter specialising in grant writing to help you.

Get legal assistance from LawBite

At LawBite, our dedicated team is here to help your charity navigate the complex process of grant applications and legal support. 

Whether you need assistance with paperwork, answer questions about legal matters concerning your charity, know if it is a grant classed as income for a charity or simply want to discuss your options, our team is here to provide you with the guidance you need. Book a free 15 minute consultation or call us on 020 3808 8314.

Additional resources

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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