How to Apply

Step 2: Check Your Eligibility

Invest and Enable

Organisations and Types of Work We Fund

The following pages detail the Eligibility Criteria for charities applying for our grants. Please read the information carefully before proceeding with the application process. We are unable to proceed with any ineligible applications. Throughout the following pages, where you see you can click the symbol for further information.

Note, even if you have been eligible to apply for a grant from us in the past, you need to ensure you continue to meet our eligibility criteria.

Download a printable document containing our current eligibility criteria

Basic Criteria

  • You must be a Charity or Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission
  • Your charity must have an income between £25,000 and £1 million
  • The only exception to this is support to people aged under 17 that are:
    - Young parents
    - Looked after children and learning disabled young people moving into independent living
  • Your charity must be supporting people facing multiple disadvantage through one or more of our specified transition points, outlined below

Charities that meet the basic criteria, must also meet the following criteria:

Supporting people facing multiple disadvantage at key ‘Transition Points’

Our grants fund charities that are working with people experiencing multiple disadvantage at one of the following critical points in their life.

People experiencing multiple disadvantage have poor outcomes across a range of dimensions of life. The effects of several disadvantages acting together can be more difficult for people to overcome than just a single aspect of disadvantage.

To be eligible to apply, your charity must be supporting people facing multiple disadvantage through one or more of these transition points. Our grants do not support work on transition points that differ from the ones listed. 

Issue being faced by service user 

Transition Point 

  • On release or prior to release from prison
  •  At start of or completion of a community sentence
Children and young people leaving a care situation 
  • On leaving or preparing to leave care (residential or foster) to live independently
People moving from community based or institutional care for mental ill health 
  • On leaving institutional care
  • Moving on from or reduction in support from Community Mental Health Teams 
  • From a period of unemployment of at least six months for those furthest away from the labour market 
Homelessness/vulnerably housed 
  • From a position of having no accommodation (or being vulnerably housed) 
To independent living for those with a learning disability 
  • On leaving the care of the family home or a residential establishment 
From dependency on alcohol, drugs, gambling 
  • At the point when an individual decides to break or reduce their dependency 
From an abusive or exploitative relationship – domestic violence 
  • When an individual decides to remove themselves from or assert themselves within an abusive/exploitative relationship 
From trafficking or sexual exploitation 
  • At the point an individual is able to remove themselves from a trafficked or exploited situation
  • At the point an individual decides they are able to address the impacts of being exploited or trafficked 
To UK settlement – refugees and asylum seekers 
  • From the point of arrival in the UK or on granting of refugee status 
To parenthood for young parents 
  • For young parents aged under 21 on becoming parents 
Those taking on caring responsibilities 
  • At the point of taking on the long term caring of a friend or relative
  • At the point of transition from a long term caring situation
  • A significant change in the circumstances of the carer or cared for person
For older people losing independence 
  • We will not consider requests for grants to fund single elements of support for older people losing independence, such as Lunch Clubs, Dial a Ride/Community Transport, Shopmobility, befriending and so on. The nature of the support must be person centred and holistic and consider all the support needs of the older person.
  • At the point of transition to residential care 

Work We Don't Fund

There are certain types of organisations and work we are unable to fund. Please review the following lists to ensure your application is eligible based on your organisation, and the type of project you are seeking grant funding for. 

Organisations we don't fund: 

  • Organisations not registered with the Charity Commission 
  • Community Interest Companies 
  • By ‘second or ‘third tier’ we mean organisations whose main purpose is to support other organisations. These are also known as infrastructure or umbrella organisations. We would consider requests from these organisations only for any direct delivery of support to disadvantaged people
  • Organisations whose primary purpose is to give funds to individuals or other organisations. This means organisations using more than 50% of annual expenditure as grants. 
  •  Hospitals, health authorities or hospices
  •  Rescue services
  •  Nurseries, pre-schools or playgroups
  •  Schools, colleges, universities
  •  Animal charities
  •  Charities working outside England and Wales

We Don’t Give Grants For: 

  • Medical care or medical research
  • Online or telephone advice services 
  • Events or short term interventions including holidays, expeditions and trips
  • Activities for which a statutory body is responsible
  • Capital purchases or building work, including IT, building work, purchase of vehicles/equipment etc
  • We would however, consider requests from charities who use these activities as part of the transition process – the final outcomes and destination must meet all other guidelines – for example we may fund a food growing project for people with mental health problems
  • This does not exclude organisations that may have a religious element to them as long as their charitable objectives show a wider benefit other than just religion and they are working with the identified groups through transition points. We do not fund charities where the Trustees, staff or volunteers are required to be of a particular faith unless there is a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR). See ACAS for further guidance on GORs
  • Loan repayments
  • Sponsorship or funding towards an appeal
  • Work that has already taken place
  • Evaluation which is not related to the funded work
  • Professional qualifications such as ACCA
  • Professional fundraisers or bid writers – we will invest in upskilling your staff or volunteers in fundraising skills to make your charity more sustainable.
  • Redundancy payments

Pre-Eligibility Questions

Before continuing, please confirm that your answer to both of the following questions is ‘Yes’:

1. Are you supporting people facing multiple disadvantage through one or more of the listed transition points?

If your answer is ‘No’, and your charity does not support people through one or more of the specified transition points, we recommend you do not continue with this application. To be eligible to apply, charities must be supporting people facing multiple disadvantage through one or more of the transition points outlined on this page. 

2. Have you reviewed the list of organisations and work that we don’t fund? 

If your answer is ‘No’, and your charity’s work is specified as work that we don’t fund, we recommend you do not continue with this application.