I’ve got a great idea for a project. But is my group even eligible to apply for a grant?
Most funders – including The National Lottery Community Fund – can only fund not-for-profit organisations to run a project, not individual people. So, let’s look at what it takes to be eligible for one of our grants…
What does my organisation need in place?
Whether you are part of an existing organisation, or are just setting something up, there are some important steps and documentation you will need in place before you are ready to start filling in your application to The National Lottery Community Fund’s Awards for All England programme. These are:
1. A governing document such as a constitution
This document needs to lay out the name and purpose of your organisation. It should also cover how it will work, how people join; how your committee will work; when you’ll have meetings, and so on.
2. A regulated UK based bank or building society account in the legal name of the organisation applying for funding
You’ll need to follow our guidance on financial controls and banking arrangements, making sure that no single individual has sole responsibility for any single transaction from authorisation to review and completion and that the account is managed by at least two unrelated and authorised individuals in your organisation.
3. A committee or board with at least two unrelated members.
By related we mean:
married to each other
people who are family members (like siblings, parents and children)
in long-term relationships or civil partners with each other
living at the same address.
All companies who apply must have at least two directors registered at Companies House who are not related in any of these ways. This also applies to companies that are also registered as charities.
4. The details of two different people from your organisation
One person should be someone we can talk to if we have any questions about your project. The other should be a senior member of your organisation, who’ll be legally responsible for the funding. Both need to live in the UK.
We require contact details, home addresses and dates of birth of two different people from the organisation. Both contacts need to have different email addresses and phone numbers and must not be related.
5. We want to know the date your accounts end each year, and how much income you have annually.
Important things to note:
If you have a grant and want to apply for a new grant - you’ll need to wait until your last grant with us is closed. You can only have up to £10,000 in a 12-month period.
Do we have to be a registered charity / registered company?
No. There are some people that will only fund registered charities, but you don’t need to be a charity or a company to access most National Lottery Community Fund grants.
The most basic type of organisation for a community group is usually called a ‘voluntary association’. All you need to form a voluntary association is a written constitution – and you don’t have to register this with anyone.
I’m not sure how to set up an organisation. Where can I get help?
Getting your charitable organisation set up is likely to take a bit of work, but there’s loads of help available. If you are based in England, a great place to start is to ask your helper agency or Council for Voluntary Services https://beta.ncvo.org.uk/help-and-guidance/setting-up/ for help. They can often provide free advice on getting set up and have access to basic templates online. Your local council might also be happy to help.
Please read the information on our website under each tab to check that Awards for All is right for you and that you are ready with everything you need before starting an application. If you’re not sure just get in touch with us – we’re happy to have a chat and point you in the right direction.