Through our monthly grant blog posts, whatCharity aims to match grant-makers with grant-seekers. We strive to make it easier for charities to find grant programmes that are relevant for their organisations and activities, in order to help them grow and increase the impact they have in their communities. 

Below, we have put together an up-to-date list of ten grants that are currently open for applications. Only two grants are available to those charities who do not have a Premium profile on whatCharity. Find out more about our subscription options here. 

We have included information about the grant eligibility criteria, the deadline and some tips for the application process. Listed below are grant funds available for a range of charitable causes, including empowering young people, battling cancer, preventing racism, poverty alleviation and other general charitable purposes. We have included grants of varying sizes, which cover both project and internal costs. Hopefully there is something for everyone! 

If your charity works with health and wellbeing, check out our recently-launched grants programme with health plan insurer, Simplyhealth. However, because this grant is largely aimed at bigger charities, in this month’s blog we have made sure to include grants available for smaller charities, to ensure all of our users can benefit from our services. 

Please note: The deadline for the Near Neighbours grant (to support community cohesion projects across England) is 11th October, so get applying! 

1. The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation – supporting a range of charities across England and Wales 

The aim of the foundation is to ‘help raise the quality of life, particularly for those who are young, disadvantaged or elderly’. It largely supports community causes, education, health and social welfare. The foundation is a family charitable foundation with the majority of the trustees being family members. They have the funds and the terms to distribute large grants. 

In 2017, grants to 104 organisations totalled £3.1m. 

DEADLINE: Applications accepted all year round and trustees meet regularly. 

About the grant 

Those not eligible for grants include individuals, overseas projects, research medical equipment, running costs and feasibility studies. Nor are charities with an annual turnover of £10m and above, or projects costing this same amount. 

According to their website: Funding is provided for one-off capital projects such as new buildings, major refurbishments, transport or equipment.

Rented premises are expected to have a lease of at least 10 years. Applications for transport should be for new, not used, vehicles. Applications for equipment should be for single, high cost (£5,000 and over), durable items (for exclusions, see below). 

The trustees will determine how much they award based on your submission. You can suggest or request an amount but they will ultimately decide what figure is appropriate. 

What kind of projects and charities should apply? 

Eligible projects are divided into four categories: 

1) Community 

Aims to create cohesive communities, particularly through empowering young people. Projects can include new-build refurbishment of village halls, youth clubs and community centres. 

2) Education 

Aims to support those with special educational needs, as well as educational nature centres (mainstream schools and universities should not apply). Includes building projects and specialist new transport. 

3) Health 

For the benefit of building projects for residential or treatment centres, as well as new equipment (e.g. hospices, research medical equipment, new transport, elderly/special needs). 

4) Social Welfare 

Supports capital projects for a range of purposes e.g. residential centres, ex-armed forces, rehabilitation centres and drop-in services. 

According to the website: The grant amount will normally be a small proportion of the charity’s total budget. The foundation rarely funds a significant proportion (20%+) of a project. For example, if your budget is £30,000 the grant is likely to be between £1,000 and £6,000. The foundation expects to be one of a number of contributors to a project. 

Projects with a total budget of under £5,000 should not apply for a grant. 

Application tips 

-They urge applicants to apply a minimum of 6 months before the start date of the project. 

-They urge applicants to get in touch if they have queries in regards to their eligibility or application. 

Tel: 0207 408 2198


Link to register/apply 

Apply online through their form, which acts also as an eligibility test.

charity grants programmes

2. Near Neighbours – small grants to build community cohesion in 10 locations in England 

This grant-giving body is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, and administered by the Church Urban Fund to help build stronger relationships between neighbours in diverse communities. 

DEADLINE: Friday 11th October!! 

About the grant 

Near Neighbours aims to build stronger communities. The Fund supports local groups and organisations to unite neighbours and facilitate relationships across cultural and religious barriers. 

What kind of projects and charities should apply? 

Projects are likely to fall into one or more of these 3 broad categories: 

· First Encounters that develop new relationships between people of different faith and ethnic communities and encourage the development of mutual understanding – initiatives which begin the process of developing friendship and neighbourliness. 

· Everyday Interactions that support regular interactions, repeatedly bringing people together and encouraging families and individuals to come together to share life – building flourishing, sustainable friendships and relationships. 

· Civil Engagement which brings together people from different faith or ethnic communities to work together to change their neighbourhoods for the better – enabling diverse communities to transform their neighbourhoods. 

– Some exclusions are: individuals, the salaries of faith leaders, organisational costs not associated with the project and campaigning/fundraising. Must be a new project (they will not support repeat or ongoing activities). 

Grants must be claimed within 3 months of approval and funded projects should be complete within 6 months. 

Eligible projects should: 

· Bring together people of two or more different faiths/ethnicities to build relationships of trust and understanding. 

· Work locally-must unite people who live very locally-within same street, estate or neighbourhood. 

· Work sustainably-the relationships fostered through this work must survive beyond the project. 

· Work to improve the community. 

· Involve a diverse group of people in planning and implementation. 

Projects or charities must be based in one of their 10 ‘hubs’ (areas of operation): 

Birmingham; Black Country; East London; East Midlands; Greater Manchester; Lancashire; Luton; Peterborough; West London; West Yorkshire. Full grant criteria/eligibility can be found here

Application tips 

They have a preference for small, grassroots charities with a small annual turnover. Near Neighbours advise that a community project requires a clear vision and a detailed plan, an awareness of how to work with volunteers and community groups, and an understanding of how to implement safeguarding policies. Applicants are recommended to include input from local people from the community.

Your application should cover 7 key questions, which can be found here

Link to register/apply 

If you meet their criteria and exist in one of the 10 hubs, you must get in touch with the local co-ordinator responsible for your region. These contact details and the online application form can be found/downloaded from this page

Other contact details: tel: 020 7898 1647 Visit the Fund’s detailed, up-to-date website for more information.

charity grants programmes

Only 2 grants are available to view for those charities who do not have a premium profile on whatCharity. In order for charities to get access to the full list of available grants, you need to be a premium member. Find out more information about premium profiles by clicking here now

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