A grant is a formal donation to your group. It is usually given to support a clearly defined activity or item and is usually made in response to a request from you.

Grants come from a wide range of sources. The most common include:

  • charitable trusts and foundations
  • the National Lottery
  • Local authorities (for example, Bradford Council, parish councils, etc)
  • Government
  • other public bodies (for example, the NHS)
  • companies

Finding the right grant

There are thousands of different grant schemes across the UK, and finding the right one for your group requires a little time and research.

When choosing a grant funder, there are a few key considerations:

  • Most grant funders will ask you to keep records to show how the money has been spent and what has happened as a result – can you provide what they want?
  • Are you happy with their other conditions, such as who or where can benefit or what the money can be spent on?
  • Is the right kind of funding available? For example, capital for building refurbishment, or revenue for staff costs.
  • Is the grant from a source that everyone is happy with, or are there ethical issues to consider?

Is applying for a grant the best funding option?

Finally, consider how much time and effort will it take to apply for and manage the grant funding – are there easier alternatives? 

For example, small social activity groups can often run successfully on contributions from group members (subs) or fundraising activities. This avoids not just having to find suitable grant funders and complete the application form but also reporting back to grant funders at the end of the activity.  

If your group is looking for small amounts of money (under £500 for example) - or if you need to raise money quickly (weeks rather than months) then fundraising activities, sponsorship or contributions from group members are well worth considering.

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