Small Grants: what you need to know

Our Small Grants programme is open to charities and not-for-profit organisations applying for any amount up to and including £10,000 per year for up to 3 years. Check the information below to see if your project should apply and that you meet our minimum standards for grantmaking. But first – have you read about how, together, we improve children’s lives in the UK?

We’ve changed the way our Small Grants programme is delivered:

  • You can now apply for up to £10,000 per year for up to 3 years – a total request of £30,000
  • We have added an eligibility checklist to the form, to help you make sure you are able to apply for our funding
  • The form has been updated, so please read carefully and follow the guidance provided in the application pages
  • We will still be calling many applicants to gather additional information, but this call will be shorter
  • We use our minimum standards for grantmaking to assess whether organisations are eligible. Please read these. If you do not meet these we will be unable to progress your application.

We want to encourage all applicants, whether new or returning to us – to carefully read the new application form and all the guidance within to ensure you submit all the information we need to process your application as quickly and effectively as possible.

Read on to find out more about the Small Grants Programme and how to apply.

If you are looking for more than £10,000 per year please see our Main Grants programme.

We give grants for...

Projects working with children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through:

  1. Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  2. Any kind of disability
  3. Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  4. Living in poverty or situations of deprivation

Projects we fund make differences in children’s lives that help prevent or overcome the effects of the disadvantages they face. Projects achieve these differences by either working directly with children or seeking to improve their social and physical environments.

In our Small Grants programme we are looking for projects where a relatively small amount of money can make a big difference for children and young people.

Who can apply?

  • Not-for-profit organisations of any size that work with disadvantaged children and young people of 18 years and under who live in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

Information for current grantees

  • An organisation can only hold one Main Grant and one Small Grant at any one time
  • If you currently have a grant for either programme, in the final year of that grant you can apply for further funding to keep running the same project or for a different project. You will need to be able to provide convincing evidence of the differences our grant has made to the lives of the disadvantaged children and young people you have worked with
  • If you currently have a Main Grant you can also apply for a Small Grant as long as it is for work with a different group of children and young people, and vice versa

We DON'T give grants...

  • For work which statutory bodies (such as schools or local authorities) have a duty to fund
  • To local government or NHS bodies
  • For building projects applying to us for more than £20,000
  • For projects which promote religion
  • To fund trips or projects abroad
  • For medical treatment or research
  • For pregnancy testing or advice, information or counselling on pregnancy choices
  • For awareness-raising work, except where it is targeted at those children or young people most at risk.
  • For bursaries, sponsored places, fees or equivalent
  • To individuals (unless an eligible organisation is applying on their behalf or through our Emergency Essentials Programme)
  • To be passed on to other organisations, for example, PTAs applying on behalf of schools
  • For general appeals or endowment funds
  • To help with budget shortfalls or debt repayments
  • To projects where the grant expenditure is due to start before the grant award date (retrospective funding)
  • To projects unable to start within 12 months of the grant award date
  • For unspecified expenditure
  • For organisational overheads or running costs which the organisation would incur whether the project was running or not. (Although we will consider funding support costs incurred as a direct result of running the project)

It is very important that you refer to our online A to Z Guidance to make sure you don’t waste time applying for things we don’t fund and that you meet our minimum standards for grantmaking. You will find valuable details on our policies here - some are relevant to every project (for example safeguarding children) and some are important for certain types of project (for example counselling projects or projects seeking funding for equipment).

How to apply

  1. Plan your project carefully. You may find our guide to Planning Your Project useful before you complete your application
  2. Read our A to Z Guidance to help make sure you only apply for things that we can fund
  3. Read our minimum standards for grantmaking to help you make sure that your project can be assessed after our initial check.
  4. Use our online application system to complete an application form and submit additional information

  • All organisations must include a copy of signed accounts from within the last 18 months
  • Please refer to our FAQs for advice on what other information you might need to provide

A common reason applications are unsuccessful is because not all the required extra information is included. If you have any questions about what you need to submit please contact us.

We don't assess applications:

When to Apply

You should plan your application so that you will hear a decision in plenty of time before your project is due to start.

Applications deadlineWhen is the decision due?
11:59pm 1 December 2017Early March 2018
11:59pm 1 March 2018Early May 2018
11:59pm 13 May 2018End July 2018
11:59pm 2 September 2018 End November 2018
11:59pm 2 December 2018March 2019

What happens after we submit our Small Grant application?

After you submit your Small Grant application you will receive an email confirming that we have received it. This email will give you more information about what happens next.

We will do a basic check to see if you have submitted all the information we need if your organisation meets our minimum standards for grant making and if you have applied for a project which we are able to fund.

We will then assess your application, taking in to consideration all the information you have provided around:

  • Your project and the children you plan to work with
  • The differences your project aims to make in the lives of those children and young people
  • The health of your organisation – such as finances, safeguarding and governance

We may contact you to ask you any additional questions we may have about your application and to find out more about your safeguarding practices, usually by telephone, to help us to better understand your project.

A decision about whether or not to give you a grant will be made in your local region or nation. You will be informed of the decision by email.

What happens next?

If your application is successful you will receive an email informing you of the decision. This email will give you more information on what happens next and the terms and conditions of your grant. There may be some additional conditions on your grant: changes that need to be made or things you will have to tell us before we can award you the funds.

You will have to start spending the money within 12 months of the date of the email informing you of the decision.

You can find more information in the I have a grant section.

If your application is unsuccessful, you will receive an email informing you of the decision. This email will give you brief reasons as to why your application was turned down and will indicate when you can next apply. You can also contact us if would like further feedback.