Please check your organisation is eligible to apply. If you are, you can make a general application or answer a call for applications. Our help notes cover all our questions and explain the information we need. Please read the notes before starting an application. You can download them . here We do not fund applications: for activities which are not charitable in law; from organisations that do not have adequate safeguarding arrangements; for contributions to general appeals or circulars; where the primary benefit is the advancement of religion; where the primary benefit is to enable a public body to carry out its statutory obligations; where the primary benefit is the advancement of animal welfare; for activities which have already taken place; for grant-making, or equivalent gifts in kind, by other organisations (although we can fund provision of goods necessary for a service e.g. food parcels or activity packs); from privately owned and profit-distributing companies or limited partnerships. What sort of organisation do we need to be?
We focus on small, local charities and community organisations. By small, we mean those with income up to £1 million, with priority to those with income up to £0.5 million. We will consider applications from larger charities where they are the best organisation to meet a priority need. By local, we mean organisations based and working in our area of benefit (see 'which area do we need to be in to apply' below).
Your organisation must have a governing document (a constitution, rules, articles of association etc.), a governing body of at least three unrelated individuals, and a bank account in the organisation's name with at least two unrelated signatories. You must also have adequate
safeguarding in place. You don’t have to be a registered charity, but the work you want us to fund must be legally charitable. We can only make grants for general running costs or unrestricted purposes to charities. If you are any other sort of organisation, funding from us must be restricted for a charitable purpose. Organisations like schools usually only get grants from us where we have a specific fund for that purpose.
Community Interest Companies (CICs) or other social enterprises that are not charities can apply for the charitable costs of starting up, setting up to trade goods in a new market or developing new goods and services to trade in line with a sound business plan. We do not normally support CICs and other non-charity social enterprises for continuing services, which should be financed by the sale of goods and services in line with the governance model they have chosen.
Some of our funds have more specific requirements for the size and type of organisations. In those cases, we will have a call for applications stating the extra criteria you must meet.
Which area do we need to be in?
Our main area of benefit is Tyne & Wear (Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland) and Northumberland. If you are based here, or your organisation's work benefits all or part of our area, you can apply at any time.
If your work is in Durham, the Tees Valley or elsewhere in the UK, please only apply if we have a current call for applications that says we will award funding in your area. Otherwise your application will not be eligible.
What can we get funding for?
We support a wide range of causes, although our trustees sometimes prioritise certain places and issues. You can apply for funding towards:
keeping current activities going, expanding them or working in new areas; making your organisation stronger, through improving services, developing staff and trustees or working on your longer-term plans; influencing relevant policy and practice that could improve the situation for the people you help.
Funding can be towards core running costs (including salaries and overheads), projects, equipment or capital developments. The work can be new, continuing or a one-off initiative. Whatever you are seeking funding for, you need to explain what you will do with the grant, who will benefit and how you know the work will make a difference.
How much can we apply for?
We mainly make grants of around £1,000 to £10,000 for a year. The average grant is around £6,000. We don’t accept applications for less than £750.
Some of our funds make larger or longer-term grants. In those cases, we will have a call for applications stating the amounts available.
Can we have more than one application at the same time?
Yes, if each application is for a different activity (for example, one for your core costs, one for a capital purchase and another for a project). But if you do put in multiple applications, we will look at them all and think about how much funding in total we could offer you. So please plan carefully.
What happens to our application and when will we get a decision?
We first check that your application is complete, eligible for our funding and we've got reports on any previous grants you've had. If we cannot consider your application at any stage, we will tell you as soon as we can.
If your application is complete, eligible and we have all previous reports, the process runs like this.
We see if your application matches one of our available funds. If you've applied in response to a call for applications, it goes to that fund first. One of our team assesses your organisation and funding request, looking at the strengths and any weaknesses. We may contact you for more information. We shortlist assessments for the funds they've been matched to. There are usually more shortlisted than we have money to support. In many cases a donor or advisory panel is involved in recommending which shortlisted applications should be funded. We decide whether to offer you a grant based on the recommendations from donors and panels.
For eligible applications, we aim to give you a decision within 12 weeks of receiving all the information we need. If we think your application fits one of our funds but it will take more than 12 weeks to make a decision, we will contact you.
Can we apply again if we've had funding before?
If you applied to us and were successful, you can apply again so long as you have sent us any outstanding reports from previous grants. For organisations receiving their first grant from us, you must submit satisfactory monitoring or an agreed progress report before we will consider further applications.
Can we apply again if we were unsuccessful?
Yes, and many organisations do go on to get funding from us. But there may be things we ask you to change or get advice about before you apply for something we've previously turned down.
What happens if we're successful?
We will write to tell you how much we are offering and from which of our funds. We will include up to three results we’ve agreed to help assess whether the grant is successful. There’ll be a link to our
standard grant terms and conditions. We’ll also say whether there are any extra conditions. We then ask you to send us an acceptance slip to say you agree our offer. Once you do, we can usually pay the grant into your bank account within 14 days. But if we don’t hear from you within a month, we’ll cancel our offer.
At the end of the period of work we fund, you’ll need to complete an online monitoring form. It asks how you’ve done against the results agreed. We’ll also ask for stories, photos or other evidence to describe the difference you’ve made. We may want to visit you to learn more. You need to keep proper records of your activity and spending relating to our grant. Sometimes we ask for interim monitoring if a grant is being paid in more than one instalment or over more than a year.
Once we’ve checked your end-of-grant monitoring, we’ll write to say the grant is closed and to give you feedback on its success. We take this into account when we look at future applications from you, and when we recommend organisations to our donors and to other funders.
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