Improving Lives

Frequent Questions – Improving Lives

What size does my organisation need to be to apply to the Improving Lives grant programme?

Your organisation must have an annual income of between £50k and £2m (in exceptional circumstances up to £5m) as demonstrated in your most recently audited accounts.

How much can I apply for?

You can apply for any amount between £20,000 and £60,000 per year between 1 to 3 years. 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.

Our organisation is looking for funding to support activities outside of the UK. Are we eligible to apply?

No. Under all of our grant programmes, we only fund work within the UK.

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.

How can I apply?

Please download our application form, available on the right hand side of this screen, complete it and post it to us. Please ensure you have read the full guidelines before applying to make sure your application and your organisation is eligible for this programme. Please also ensure that you have signed and dated the back page of the application form which confirms to us that the information you have provided within your application is true and correct.

Will my Improving Lives application be at a disadvantage if I only chose one priority area?

No. We ask that you only select the priority areas that fit with your project. Selecting one priority area does not mean your application will have less chance of success than if you select three.

What do you mean by 'reserves'?

When looking at an organisation’s reserves, we mean their net current assets plus any investments they hold, as shown in their most recent annual accounts. We cannot fund organisations with reserves covering more than 12 months’ expenditure.

Given your focus on outcomes, will you consider monitoring and evaluation costs within our application to you?

Yes. We are happy to consider monitoring and evaluation costs as part of your budget but we will not fund a solely monitoring and evaluation project. We would only fund monitoring and evaluation costs equalling 5% of your overall request to us.

Can I include more information (eg a business plan / impact report) with my application?

Please do not include additional information. In order to be fair to all applicants we have designed our application form to provide the information we need.

I am experiencing technical issues with the application form. What should I do?

If you are experiencing technical issues with our application form please refer to our Adobe troubleshooting guide. If this guide does not address your issue, please call us on 020 7264 4970.

What should I do if the application form is not accepting all my text even though it is under the word limit noted?

Due to the functionality of Adobe, the word count is set up as a character count and so you may find that the form will not accept all your text even though you are under the specified word count. In order to address this, please ensure you remove any formatting within the document, such as bullet points or paragraph spaces. By removing the formatting, this should then allow you to fit the relevant number of words into the box.

Can you have a look at my application before I submit it?

We are not able to review applications prior to submission and we can only see the content of your application once it has been submitted.

How do I view the help text on the application form?

Please hover your cursor over the ‘I’ icons on the application form and the help text will appear. We also have a ‘help text version of the application form’ available to download on the right hand side of this screen. The document includes the help text written out for you to have alongside you when you are completing our application form.

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.