Frequent questions

These are our general frequent questions. If your query is specific to a particular grant programme, you may find the information you need in the What we fund section.

What does The Henry Smith Charity fund?

Information about the range of grants we offer, the type of work we are looking to support, and how to apply can be found in the What we Fund section of our website.

What should I do if I don’t understand the guidelines?

If you have any queries about which grant programme is best suited to your organisation, or are unsure whether your project fits our guidelines, please call us on 020 7264 4970.

How much can I apply for?

This varies depending which grant programme you apply to. More information is available in the guidelines for each grant programme.

We encourage organisations to apply for the amount and length of funding they need, and that is appropriate and proportionate to their financial position. Except for the smallest organisations, we would generally not fund more than 50% of an organisation’s running costs.

What do you mean by an “area of high deprivation”?

We use the latest government Indices of Deprivation to determine the level of deprivation in an area, and our focus is different depending which grant programme you apply to. Please refer to the guidelines for each programme for more information. However, as an example, the Strengthening Communities programme seeks to fund projects in areas that are within the bottom 10%. You can use the links below to view statistics for your area.

Can we apply if we are a new organisation?

You must be able to send us audited or independently inspected accounts with your application, so we cannot consider an application from your organisation until it has produced its first set of accounts. We also expect organisations to be able to demonstrate a track record of service delivery. We do not fund the set-up costs of organisations or fund organisations that are only just starting to deliver services or activities.

We are not a registered charity; does this mean we cannot apply for a grant?

We fund work that is legally charitable. As well as registered charities, we can support community interest companies (CICs) and other not for profit organisations such as constituted community groups, as long as they can explain how they would use our funding for charitable purposes.

If your organisation is not a registered charity you should send your organisation’s constitution with your application.

What length of funding do you offer?

This varies across our grant programmes. Please visit the What we Fund section of our website for more information.

Are there any geographical restrictions on the areas in which you fund?

The County Grants programme is limited to specific areas. However, for all our other grant programmes we can fund projects throughout the UK. By UK we mean England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. We do not fund overseas projects.

What don’t you fund?

This varies depending which grant programme you apply to. Please read the guidelines for the relevant grant programme for more information.

Can I apply for capital funding?

We do not support large capital projects. However, small amounts of capital expenditure can be supported through the Strengthening Communities and County Grants programmes. Please read the guidelines for each programme for more information.

Do you fund individuals?

We do not fund individuals. The only exception to this is grants made through our Kindred grant programme.

Can you fund a project that is already running or does it have to be new work?

We are best known for the funding we provide for established services and projects. However, we are able to consider applications for new work where an organisation can show there is a need for it. If, for instance, your organisation has already run the project as a pilot please make sure you tell us what difference the project made, what outcomes were achieved, and why it needs to continue.

Will you come and visit us?

This depends which grant programme you apply to. If you apply to the Improving Lives or Strengthening Communities programmes, for instance, the advanced stages of our assessment process includes a visit from a member of staff or one of our volunteer visitors. The visit will include a discussion of your application, your budget, your organisation’s accounts, fundraising strategy, and the governance and management of your organisation. We will expect to meet with staff and a Trustee, and beneficiaries if appropriate.

Where can I find an application form?

Application forms are available for each programme in the What we Fund section of our website.

Can I email my application or submit it online?

We only accept applications by post for our Improving Lives grant programme and our Strengthening Communities grant programme. Our County Grants programme, Holiday Grants programme and Christian Projects grant programme all have an online application process.

How will I know you have received my application?

We acknowledge all applications we receive by email. If you haven’t heard from us within seven working days of posting or electronically submitting your application please call to check whether we received it.

How long will it take to assess my application?

Assessment processes and timescales vary depending which grant programme you apply to. More information can be found in the guidelines for each grant programme.

You are funding our organisation already. Can I apply for another grant?

No. Organisations can only have one active grant from us at a time.

My application was turned down. How soon can I apply again?

You can apply again 12 months after the date of the letter we sent advising you that your application was unsuccessful. The only exception to this is Holiday Grants, where you have to wait for at least six months.

Our Charity’s objects include the promotion of religion, but we also do other work. Can you fund us?

We do not fund work that promotes religion, but are aware that many organisations with references to religion in their Objects also deliver valuable work to vulnerable people where the primary purpose is to meet their practical needs rather than to bring them to faith. When assessing applications we look at each case individually and will focus on the primary activity being delivered. However, if your application is for a salaried post, we may not be able to help if your organisation has an occupational requirement for staff to be of a particular faith which suggests the primary aim of the work is religious, or if your organisation’s main Object is the promotion of religion. This applies to all our grant programmes except Christian Projects.

I have received an email saying you have noticed my project/event and wish to make donation. Is this for real?

No. We never send unsolicited emails of this kind, so the email you have received is highly likely to be a scam.

I have received a letter informing me I may be a descendant of one of Henry Smith’s Kindred. Did you send this?

We have recently begun a project to identify and find Kindred whose families stopped registering with us one or more generations ago so, yes, it is very likely we sent the letter you received.

You can find more information about the Kindred Widening project on the Kindred page in the What we Fund section of our website, but you are very welcome to call us on 020 7264 4970 (option 4) if you have any questions about the Kindred programme or want to check that the letter is definitely from us.