Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about our grant applications below. Click the to see the answer to each question. If you can't find the information you need, or you'd like to suggest questions and answers we should include, please let us know.


You can find our eligibility criteria on the Notes for Applicants page. If you have read our criteria and are still unsure if you’re eligible, please contact us.
We only fund Charities or Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) registered with the Charity Commission, and who also have at least one year of published accounts.
By published accounts, we mean the accounts published on your charity’s Charity Commission web page.
No, we only accept applications from charities or Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission.
Yes our grants programmes are designed to support small and local charities helping people aged 17+ overcome complex social issues. You can check which issues we fund below or read our strategy to find out why we’ve chosen these.
We fund charities helping people whose lives are significantly affected by these complex social issues:

  • Domestic and sexual abuse 
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Mental health
  • Homelessness/vulnerably housed
  • Offending, prison or community service
  • Care leavers
  • Learning disabilities
  • Addiction and dependency on alcohol, drugs, substances and/or gambling
  • Trafficking and modern slavery 
  • Young parents
  • Asylum seekers and refugees
Not necessarily. You will still need to meet our eligibility criteria and be able to show that the complex social issues you are working on have a significant impact on the lives of the people you work with. For example, some young parents will be well supported by their family and partner, and are not therefore seen as dealing with a complex social issue.
No, unfortunately due to limited funds, we only make grants to charities working with people experiencing at least one of our targeted complex social issues.
Free reserves are the amount of unrestricted cash reserves your charity held at year-end. This includes reserves which you have decided to allocate but are free to reallocate as needed and does not include the value of fixed assets such as buildings.
No, you will need to wait until your first year of accounts is published on the Charity Commission website. At that point, if you meet our eligibility criteria we’d love to hear from you.
As a recently merged charity, you can apply for a grant if you can show:

  • Your income in your last set of published accounts was between £25,000 and £1 million. If your newly-registered charity does not have a year of accounts published yet, you can use the most recent accounts of the pre-merger charities. The combined income from both sets of accounts must be less than £1 million.
  • You have less than 12 months of free reserves. If your newly registered charity does not have a year of accounts published yet, you can use the most recent accounts of the pre-merger charities. The combined free reserves of both charities must be less than the combined spending of both charities. 
  • At least one of the merged charities has being delivering face-to-face services for at least a year.
No, we can only fund you if your charity is independently registered with the Charity Commission, and your charity has a bank account in its own name.
No, your charity’s income must be between £25,000 and £1 million. These limits still apply even if your income is more than £1 million because of an unusual or one-off payment like a legacy or capital grant.

If you are a recently merged charity and are using the published accounts of the merged charities, the combined income must be less than £1 million.

Yes, your charity must have a bank account in its own name. If your application is successful, we will pay your grant into this bank account.
Our grants are focused on adults. You need to be working with people aged 17 and over – see the core costs grant making programme and Enable guidelines on our Notes for Applicants page for exceptions.
We do fund charities whose core work is providing advice but only if they support people experiencing our targeted complex social issues AND additional support is provided – e.g. representation, formal referral process, help with deposits. You will need to be able to report on the longer-term impact of the support you provide.

We do not fund one-off advice or helplines.

We do not fund charities if your core work is counselling, unless this part of the wider support you provide to address our targeted complex social issues.

For example, we would consider funding counselling as part of a programme for people who are recovering from substance abuse.

Our Grant Programmes - Invest and Enable

Our core costs grants, formerly known as Invest grants, provide long-term funding for the day-to-day running of your charity, and/or the direct delivery of your charity’s work. Find out more here.
Our Enable grants fund opportunities for your charity to develop, or trial new approaches to service delivery, so you can become more effective in your work. Find out more on here.
Our core costs grants will pay up to £100,000 over three years, with the potential for continuation funding for up to six years. Enable grants, which you can apply for until 31 August, pay up to £15,000 over one or two years.
We fund work that supports the wider needs of your service users, helping them on a journey of change.  

For example if you are a charity supporting people who are homeless, it is often the case that they might also experience mental health conditions, dependency issues or financial difficulties. Do you also provide support around these issues, work with other agencies to provide suitable support or refer people directly to them?

Our core costs grants programme, currently closed until November 2019, will have a continuous, rolling application process. See our Funding Timetable page for more.

If you applied for an Enable grant, we will let you know if your application is successful within four months.  If your application is not eligible, we will let you know as soon as possible.

Due to our commitment to provide longer-term and core cost funding, we have less income available for new grants. While the outcome of your application depends on many factors, our funding is highly competitive and, unfortunately, we are not able to fund most of the applications that we receive. In 2017 we were only able to fund fewer than 1 in 5 applications to our former Invest programme (for core cost funding) and less than half of applications for Enable grants (for organisational strengthening and support). If you are not sure whether you are the right fit for our funding programmes, we encourage you to call us on 0370 411 1223 or email to discuss your chances of success before you spend time applying.
As participants in the Living Wage Friendly Funder Scheme, we are committed to support charities to pay staff funded through our grants at the recommended rates of:

£8.75 p/h - Outside London

£10.20 p/h – within Greater London

We believe that by paying staff at these recommended levels, charities acknowledge the true costs of living, value your employees and are likely to see better staff retention and satisfaction levels.  It also reflects our commitment to addressing disadvantage.

It is not a requirement for the posts our grants fund to be paid at these minimum levels. We recognise charities need to consider differences in pay, especially between identical posts.

If your charity is interested in becoming a Living Wage Employer, please visit the Living Wage Foundation’s website.

Re-Applying for Grants

If you’re one of our former Invest grantees, you can apply for further core cost funding in the next funding round. Please note that this programme is currently closed until November 2019 - sign up here to find out when we are open to applications again.

We recommend speaking to your Grant Manager about your chances of success before applying for further funding.

You can apply for another grant from either our Enable or core costs programmes once your first grant has been completed and your final grant report submitted. You will still need to meet our eligibility criteria.

You can apply for a core costs grant while you are at the end of an Enable grant, but the new funding would only be paid once the Enable grant is complete and the final report submitted.

Yes, if the Community Programme grant has been completed, your final grant report has been submitted, and you have checked you still meet our eligibility criteria you can apply to us.
If you are about to complete an Enable grant with us, speak to your Grant Manager about possible next steps. However, funding will only be awarded after the Enable grant is completed and the final report submitted.

If you have an Invest grant and you are seeking further core costs funding, you can re-apply when you have completed two years of monitoring. You will know if you have been successful in securing further funding before your current grant has completed.

The Application Process and Application Information

For our Enable programme, we are accepting applications until 31 August 2019.

Our core costs grant making programme is closed until November 2019.

Visit our Notes for Applicants page and download the relevant guidelines and example applications. These contain the information you will need for you application, as well as examples and useful tips.
Yes, when applying for a grant to fund a role or worker in your charity, you need to include a full job description.

Forgotten Password/Locked Out of Account

On the account log in page, click 'Forgot Password?' in the bottom right corner. A temporary password will be sent to your email address. Open the email and follow the instructions. You will then be able to change the temporary password to your preferred password.
If you want to continue using the same account, please contact us. We will confirm the details of the account, and if required, transfer it into a new name with a new email address and password. You can also create a new account, but this will mean that you lose the information in your existing account, including applications and requests.
If you have your existing login details, you can update the contact details yourself by logging in and clicking on the person icon on the right-hand side of the screen. Then follow the prompts to transfer the application to a new owner.If you no longer have access to the email address linked to your account, please contact us.