Improving Lives

Application process

Applications for this programme are submitted online using our application form.

Please ensure you read the full guidelines before starting your application and refer to the application form help text as you complete your application.

Create an Account

  • When you click on the ‘Make an Application’ link to begin your application, you will be asked to set up a new account, or sign in to your existing account.
  • If you are setting up a new account, you will receive a welcome email confirming your account details and a personalised link. It is important to keep this email for future reference.

Eligibility quiz

  • You will need to complete our eligibility quiz before you can start the application process.
  • If your answers meet our criteria you will be able to start the application process.

Completing your application

  • Applications should be submitted using the online application form. A sample application form is available to download which includes the questions and help text.
  • Please answer all the questions and attach the documents we ask for.
  • You can save a partially completed application by clicking ‘Save and Finish Later’. An email containing a tracking number and copy of your answers to date will be emailed to you automatically.
  • To return to your application you can either use the personalised link in your welcome email or the ‘Return to Existing Application’ link.
  • When you have completed your application click on ‘Review and Submit’. You will be able to review what you have written before submitting the application. You can’t change it after you have clicked ‘Submit’.
  • Once you have submitted your application you will get a system notification to confirm you have sent it to us followed by an email to confirm it is being assessed.

Stage 1 Assessment – 3 to 8 weeks

  • All eligible applications are reviewed by our Grants Team.
  • During this time we may contact you if we need to clarify any information.
  • We will contact you at the end of this assessment to let you know whether your application is being shortlisted.

Stage 2 applications – up to 4 months

  • If your application has been put through to Stage 2 we will contact you to ask for additional information, which will include details about income projection, a budget and your fundraising strategy.
  • The additional information we ask for is used to decide which applications will get a Stage 2 Assessment Visit.
  • During this period we may contact you to clarify details about your application and/or supporting documents.

Assessment visit

  • The visit is an opportunity for us to discuss your work in more detail and to find out more about your organisation and the people you work with.
  • During the visit we expect to meet with staff, a member of the Board/Trustees and, if appropriate, some of the people you support.
  • Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, visits are currently taking place virtually.


  • Decisions are made quarterly by the Trustees.
  • Within two weeks of the Trustees meeting we will send you a letter notifying you of the outcome.