Application process

The application process will consist of three stages:

Eligibility Quiz

Applicants will need to meet the following basic eligibility criteria in order to apply to the fund:

  • Committed to solving social problems.
  • Serves beneficiaries of Greater London.
  • Has an eligible organisational structure: Registered charity; Registered Community Interest Company; Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation; Registered Charitable Company; Exempt or excepted charity; or Registered charitable industrial and provident society or charitable Bencom.
  • Operational for at least one year; able to produce at least one year’s audited or independently examined annual accounts.
  • Has funding in place for one year of operation.
  • Has at least one full-time or two part-time staff members.
  • Is seeking to develop a revenue generating activity with view of taking on social investment in the future.

Applicants will:

  • Complete an online eligibility quiz here.
  • Answering ‘no’ to any of the eligibility questions means that the applicant should not apply.
  • Once you have successfully completed the quiz, you will be taken through to the full Application Form.

Start your Stepping Stones eligibility quiz now.


Application form

We ask for an introduction to your organisation and why you would like Stepping Stones funding. You will also be asked to provide additional materials to support your proposal. These are:

  • A copy of your organisation’s constitution;
  • It’s latest audited or examined accounts;
  • A business plan for the proposed venture; and
  • A copy of minutes from a board meeting where trustees have shown their willingness to consider social investment.

Applicants will be asked to select which strand of Stepping Stones Fund they wish to apply for.

Applicants will be able to download our application guidelines – see below. We offer pre-application advice by telephone as well as running information sessions and one-to-ones throughout the year.

Download our Stepping Stones Fund application guidelines

Applicants may also refer to our frequently asked questions.

Personal interview

Suitable organisations will be invited to a face-to-face meeting in central London to present and discuss their proposal with the Selection Panel consisting of City Bridge Trust and UBS staff.

The panel will be looking for:

  • Well thought out proposals that are a good strategic fit with the organisation’s work;
  • Fit with the objectives of the Stepping Stones Fund;
  • Leadership and vision.

To help applicants prepare for interview, City Bridge Trust will offer telephone advice. If the dates allow, you may also wish to access a surgery with UBS.

Feedback to applicants

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing and telephone feedback will be available on request.

Use of External advisors for selection process

The City Bridge Trust will create a Selection Panel involving external expertise to make final recommendations to the CBT Grant Committee on the allocation of its funds.  The Panel will represent experts in the field of investment readiness, social finance and impact analysis and UBS volunteers. The Panel will take part in reviewing information submitted by shortlisted candidates as well as in the personal interviews.

You will be asked to give permission for us to share your information with our partners for purposes of assessment. All materials are shared by us on a confidential basis.

Information Sessions

City Bridge Trust will hold open information sessions during the year, so that interested organisations can ask their questions in person.

To register your interest in taking part in a session, please e-mail

You can view an information presentation here.

Grantees’ use of support organisations

Applicants may seek support from intermediaries, advisors, consultants to help them deliver their goals. In this case, City Bridge Trust will ask the applicant to justify the use of a particular organisation in their application. The Trust does not produce a shortlist of approved providers from which to draw on, but is happy to provide a non-exhaustive contact list for applicants to approach. Relevant links are available in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Stepping Stones Fund webpages. The Trust reserves the right to deem a support organisation not appropriate to provide the support requested and to make alternative suggestions should this be necessary.

City Bridge Trust grants will be made payable to the social sector organisation, never to the agreed support provider. Invoices to this effect will be needed as proof of purchase on completion of the project.

Intellectual property rights

City Bridge Trust may support the development of products or services which will have a claim to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). It is the obligation of the grantee to register this IP in accordance with standard commercial procedures. City Bridge Trust will not expect to make any claim on this IP. However, it will seek to share the learning acquired from its support with the widest audience possible, whilst ensuring this does not compromise commercial confidentiality or competitive advantage of the grantee.