top of page
  • Writer's pictureS3 Solutions

How to Apply for Charity Grants

For charities of any kind, grants are not just a reward for your hard work, they are an incentive to keep making positive change.

Without funding, many charities would cease to exist. It helps to pay the bills, retain staff and most importantly, create a better world for those in need.

Charity grants are without a doubt essential. Yet, applying for them can be a challenging task. In this blog, we will give you tips on how to apply for grants and secure future success for your charity.

What is a Charity Grant?

A charity grant is where a registered charity is given funds by an entity. Usually, the grantor is a public body, organisation or a person. The reason grants are given is to meet a specific need. For charities, the overarching purpose will link to a public benefit.

Unlike a loan, grants do not have to be paid back. They are like a generous donation. But, with everything, comes certain pros and cons. With this appealing criteria, comes a great deal of competition. This is the same for grants offered across all sectors, including business grants.

That’s why it is vital for charities to ensure their applications for grants are exceptional.

charity volunteers helping at fundraising event
Charity grants are essential to make positive change happen. Image credit:

Where Can CHARITIES Get a Grant?

Many people assume that charities rely solely on donations. While public collections and fundraising events are key, there are other sources of funding.

Some charities are funded by a local government. This funding can be given directly or through a funding body such as the Arts Council, depending on the charity’s focus.

Luckily, there are many grants available for charities through the government. Sometimes, grants can arise due to economic changes. For example: due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the UK government pledged £750 million to ensure voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors could continue to support the country.

Charities can also get grants from other charities and private organisations. These include the likes of the National Lottery Community Fund.

At S3 Solutions, we have helped many charities gain grants for their important work. One example is Disability Action. For this client, we mentored funding applications to National Lottery Community Fund (DRILL UK), Interreg VA, European Social Fund, Barclays and others. From this, Disability Action secured over £13,000,000 of investment across a range of sources.

Finding Charity Grants

You can easily search for grants online using our new and exciting funding database

  • - Once you register with FundReady and sign up as a client, you will have access to Ireland's largest funding database. This database will give you a wide range of options based on your location, what your income is and how much you require.

Once you know which charity grant to go for, you can then begin the application process.

person typing on laptop and writing on notepad
Applying for a charity grant is easier said than done, but planning is key. Image credit:

How to Apply for Charity Grants

Usually with grants, there will be a deadline that you must meet. Ensure you give yourself plenty of time to follow these tips when applying for a charity grant.

Plan Ahead

By regularly checking databases for new grants, you can get ahead of the game and give yourself more time to prepare.

As grants are competitive, you should always dedicate your time to ensure your application is strong. This could be as little as one hour a day over a long period of time if you are busy. You can also share the responsibility with a trusted colleague, or hire a professional consultant to steer you in the right direction.

In the planning stage, you should study the application back to front, over and over. One of the best methods is highlighting key points such as timelines and budgets. This way, you won’t miss any vital information.

Then, using these details, plan how you will address why the grant is helpful for your charity, its beneficiaries, and the grantor. Ask yourself: What's their ultimate goal? How does your charity meet this need? You can use this time to research their website, noting what matters to them. No matter the criteria, always remember to revisit how the funds will benefit these stakeholders.

Be Specific

If you are vague, then you won’t be successful. Often, this happens because charities haven’t given themselves enough time to think about their answers, or are unsure altogether.

For example, rather than simply stating that you will run sports activities for children, you should say: “In a bid to promote a healthier wellbeing in youth, we will run weekly football and hockey sessions for 8-11 year olds over a six month period. Each session will be 2 hours long and will be attended by 15 children”.

Your budget should also be as precise as possible. Break down your main activities, and account for resources needed. This may account for research, staff, marketing and venues. The more detailed this is, the more time this will save if you are awarded the grant.

One way you can combat this is by having a consultation with a professional. They have the expertise to proofread your application and advise you on helpful strategies.

Provide Evidence

Applications for charity grants are all about proving your worth. You can do this by referring to any impact evaluations you have done in the past, or recent statistics that relate to your charity or your local community.

If you cannot find any information about what your charity wishes to change, then you can leverage this by stating it is an underrepresented issue. You can also be innovative and conduct your own online survey, using the results to fill this gap.

Ensure that everything you state can be backed up by evidence. Whether it be scanning a document and including it in your appendix, or linking a source found online in the body of your text. It all matters as it is an important investment for the grantor.

Ask a Professional

Whether it be for a full strategy, a piece of advice or assistance with proofreading, hiring a professional can only maximise your chances of success when it comes to applying for charity grants.

At S3 Solutions, we are a team of experienced researchers, analysts and consultants.

To get started, or simply have a chat, contact the S3 Solutions team today.


bottom of page