Grant making FAQs

Below are some of the questions we are regularly asked. If you have a question which isn't included here, please email us at: citybridgetrust@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Who can apply to the Trust?

Your organisation must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Registered charity
  • Registered Community Interest Company
  • Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation
  • Charitable company
  • Exempt or excepted charity
  • Registered charitable industrial and provident society or charitable Cooperative (Bencom)
What type of grants do you give?

We give grants for capital or for revenue costs, although not usually both at the same time. The exception to this is the Accessible and Sustainable Buildings priority of our Making London More Inclusive programme.

Will you fund core costs?

Yes. We recognise that core costs are incurred in the delivery of good services and are willing to consider funding these costs, provided the work supported meets our priorities and you can demonstrate the costs cannot be found from elsewhere.

What is your approach to full cost recovery?

We are sympathetic to full cost recovery where proper costing exercises have been done and where costs requested are not already funded from other sources. All requests are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, taking account of your available resources and other funding possibilities.

How much can we ask for?

There is no minimum or maximum revenue grant. However, it is not our policy to award large grants to small organisations. A revenue grant from the Trust cannot amount to more than 50% of an organisation’s turnover/income in any one year. Capital grants for access will not exceed £100,000 and must be redevelopments of existing buildings totalling no more than £10m. Please contact us if you would like further advice on this.

Does the Trust require match funding?

No, it is not a requirement but we do look at what other funders are already involved or have been approached.

How do we apply?

You must complete and submit our online application form together with the necessary documents as advised. We do not consider draft applications or proposals, including by email.

Do you have deadlines for receipt of applications?

Their are no deadlines on our Investing in Londoners programmes. Our Grants Committee meets six times a year (in January, March, May, July, September and November) and applications are accepted on a continuous basis. It usually takes about four months from receiving your complete application until a final decision is reached and you should take account of this when planning your project.

How many grants can an organisation have at any one time?

Organisations cannot hold more than one grant at a time, except in the case where the application is for:

  • a free eco-audit, or
  • an access audit, or
  • is made under one of the Trust’s special one-off programmes, such as the Stepping Stones programme.
What about charities with branches?

In some cases, organisations with branches or running discrete activities in different London boroughs may apply for/hold up to a maximum of three grants at the same time – but you must speak to us first if you think this might be relevant.

Do you ever fund national charities?

Yes, provided the work is for a discrete London project. Organisations based outside London also need to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and experience to work in London and that they are meeting a need that London-based organisations are not.

Do you fund churches, mosques or other faith groups?

We can fund any such groups as long as they satisfy the general eligibility criteria, but not for work in connection with the promotion of religion. We can support work that benefits the wider community, for example, making a church hall accessible for disabled people.

You have funded our organisation already. Can we come back for another grant for the same purpose?

If the original grant was for three years, you may not re-apply to the Trust for the same purpose until three years after the final monitoring report on the previous grant was received and was of a satisfactory standard.

However, if the original grant was for less than three years and the work is going well, you can apply for the remainder of the three year period provided the work continues to meet the Trust’s priorities as set out in our current programme guidelines. You will need to submit a fresh, complete application and there is, of course, no guarantee that the application will be successful. Remember, it takes four months for us to get you a decision, so if you want a continuation grant without a gap, get your timing right and contact the office for advice, as we may be able to accept an application before the existing grant expires.

Work that is strategically important for London, and which has already been funded for three years, may occasionally be re-funded for a further two years, again provided the work continues to meet the Trust’s current priorities. You should, however, ring and seek advice before applying in these circumstances.

We have received funding from you for three years already. When can we re-apply?

At the end of your revenue grant you may apply for a different purpose one year after we receive a satisfactory monitoring report for the final year of the original grant.

If you wish to apply to do the same work (ie with broadly the same outcomes) you must wait until three years after a satisfactory monitoring report on the previous grant was received (unless the work is strategically important to London – see above).

We received capital funding from you. When can we re-apply?

In the case of capital grants, a year must have elapsed since the final payment of the grant and a satisfactory monitoring report must also have been submitted a year after the payment of the grant and/or which accounts for a year’s usage of the new facilities.

We have been funded for an Access Audit. When can we re-apply?

If you received a grant for an Access Audit, you may re-apply at any time for funding towards any associated capital works, once the audit is complete.

We have been rejected – when can we re-apply?

You can re-apply one year from the date that the Trust received your original complete application. You are free to contact the Trust to ask for feedback on your unsuccessful application before re-applying.

Are grants awarded ‘all or nothing’?

No. The level of grant awarded is often different from that requested. A Grants Officer will usually talk to you about this in an assessment meeting, so it is unlikely to come as a surprise. This can be for a number of reasons (beside our own budget constraints). You may have over-budgeted; you may have added things which are not really part of the same project; you may have asked for more than is reasonable in relation to our usual funding patterns; or we may take the view that you could find some of the costs from another source.

We want to apply for £5,000 or more. What further information do you require as a fuller proposal?

We require a fuller proposal to assess the strength of your application. There is no set format for this. However, it should include more details of what is proposed eg background, how you know there is a need, targets, building plans (where appropriate), workplans, how the project will operate, how you will measure its success and how it fits into your organisation’s overall objectives. Where you are asking for all or part of a post then a draft or final job description should be provided.

Our advice is to write a full proposal first and then summarise this in the relevant part of the application form – but please, do not use statements such as ‘see attached’. Only the application form is seen by the Grants Committee and so it needs to contain enough information for your application to be understood.

I do not know how to fill in the financial information. What should I do?

Get help from someone who can because it is very important as we use this information to help us assess the financial strength of your organisation. Also, if you as an organisation cannot complete this section it may bring into question whether you are able to manage a grant properly.

Your finance worker, accountant/auditor, council for voluntary service or other support agency should be able to help. The boxes on our application form are designed to reflect the same categories as the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) requirements set out in the Charities Act. So if your accounts meet the SORP requirements, it should not be too difficult. Remember, the totals for assets and reserves should always be the same as they are two ways of showing the same money (assets are the funds you have and the reserves show what they are for). You should also double-check that all the totals add up and that the deficit/surplus is correct.

Do you visit projects?

Yes, one of the Trust’s Grants Officers may visit an organisation as part of the assessment process. If you receive a visit you should make sure that someone is available to answer any financial, organisational or governance questions that the Officer may have, as well as whoever will be in charge of managing the proposed project.

What happens if my application is successful?

All applicants are advised in writing of the Trustees’ decision on their application within a few working days of the relevant Grants Committee meeting. If the application is successful, the letter will be accompanied by a copy of the Trust’s standard Terms and Conditions, which must be signed by the organisation’s Chair or Treasurer and returned promptly. This does not constitute a request for payment.

The organisation should write to the Trust when it is ready to start using the grant – this letter should be signed by whoever signed the Terms and Conditions. Payments are made by bank transfer and take a couple of weeks from receipt of request, providing any or all relevant conditions have been met. Further details can be found in the Payments section of this website.

Do you consider consortium bids?

Yes. If this is the case, you must select one organisation to be the actual applicant on behalf of the consortium, and the financial/organisational information must be that of the applicant charity. Any grant will be the legal responsibility of the trustees of that charity. You must also give a clear account of why a consortium is the best approach and how it will steer the work.

A consortium must be a minimum of three eligible organisations although often, more partners might strengthen the case. Being the lead in a consortium bid will not affect the organisation’s own funding relationship with the Trust and they will still be able to hold a grant in their own right.

We wish to apply for the capital cost of making our building more accessible. Do we need to have an independent access audit?

Yes, you must. We can make grants of up to £5,000 towards the costs of an independent access audit (and disability equalities training and related consultancy) where an organisation could not be expected to fund these costs itself.

If you are considering making access improvements to your building, we strongly recommend that you contact the Access and Sustainability Adviser we fund at the Centre for Accessible Environments , telephone 020 7822 8242 or email asas@cae.org.uk.

You are also recommended to consult our report Opening Doors Across London available from the publications section of this website.

What do you mean by ‘Taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint’?

Your carbon footprint is one measure of the impact your organisation has on our environment and climate, through releasing CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Most of your activities contribute to this – through energy used for heating, lighting, equipment and travel. Your footprint also includes the energy used through the things you buy from others, and the waste you generate.

If you have not yet taken steps to reduce your carbon footprint, this will not count against you in the assessment of your application. However, as part of our contribution to accelerating the shift to a low carbon economy, we do encourage all our grant recipients to adopt better environmental practice. Many such changes are simple and can save your organisation money, as well as helping to conserve our environmental framework and resources. You can request a free eco-audit to help you with this – even if you do not hold a City Bridge Trust grant.

Organisations applying for, or in receipt of, an Investing in Londoners grant are encouraged to consider requesting a free eco-audit. However, it is not a requirement for applicants or grantees to have an eco-audit.