Strengthening Communities

Frequent Questions – Strengthening Communities

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our activities are subject to change. How should we reflect this within our application form?

We understand your current services are likely to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. However, as our application process takes approximately 6 months, we would like your application to detail how you would wish to deliver your services once the current government restrictions have been lifted.

We also understand, due to current uncertainties, the information we ask you to send with your application e.g. your organisational budget, may be subject to change. We will take this into consideration when assessing your application and will let you know if we need any further information from you.

How can I check my Indices of Deprivation figure to ensure I am eligible to apply to the Strengthening Communities programme?

We use the latest government Indices of Deprivation to determine the level of deprivation in an area. The Strengthening Communities programme seeks to fund projects both physically based and working within the 10% most deprived areas for England & Scotland and within the 15% most deprived areas for Northern Ireland & Wales.

Using your organisation postcode, you can use the links below to view statistics for your area.

For England & Scotland – within the bottom 10%



For Northern Ireland & Wales – within the bottom 15%

Northern Ireland


What type of funding do you provide under the Strengthening Communities programme?

We only fund running costs under the Strengthening Communities programme. Your grant could be used to increase existing service provision, take on a new staff member, to improve sustainability or cover small capital costs needed to support the work you are asking us to fund.

What size does my organisation need to be to apply to the Strengthening Communities programme?

Your organisation must have an annual income of between £20k and £500k 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 have 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.

Can I apply for continuation funding?

We will consider applications for continuation funding providing that a final progress report from your current grant has been submitted to us. Grant holders can begin the process of re-application six months after the final payment of their current grant.

We can fund an organisation for up to nine years consecutively, or for nine out of 12 years where there has been a break of a year between applications. After this we would not accept an application from an organisation for three years.

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 upload your organisation’s constitution to your application.

How can I apply?

Please complete an application form online using the links on the How to Apply page on our website. Please ensure you have read the full guidelines before applying to make sure your application and your organisation is eligible for this programme.

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. Under the Strengthening Communities programme, we cannot fund organisations with reserves covering more than 12 months’ expenditure if they have an annual income of over £80k. In circumstances where the organisation’s income is less than £80k and reserves are more than 12 months we will accept your application and assess on a case by case basis whether reserves are reasonable in the context of overall income.

What capital items can I include in my application?

Within your application you can request a small proportion (up to £1,000) of capital costs needed to support the work you are asking us to fund. Items may include laptop and office furniture to support a worker or possibly small modifications to a building to enable or improve usability. However, these costs should be requested as a proportion of your overall running costs grant.

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

Please do not send us any unrequested additional documents or use any links in the application form. In order to be fair to all applicants we have designed our online application form to provide the information we need and we only assess applications based on the information provided in the application form.

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 Frequent Questions – Online Process tab. If this does not address your issue, please call us on 020 7264 4970.

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.

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.

I have an online account with you from my last grant, which was made. Will my log-in details still work?

Yes. Your account with our grants application system is still valid and you can use it to make applications. Look at the emails we sent you when you created your account if you can’t remember your log-in details.

Why do I have to set up an account?

The Henry Smith Charity processes all its applications through an online system and in order to access the application form you must have account details.

I have forgotten my password

Go to the Log-In page. You can access this by clicking on the ‘Return to Existing Application’ link. Please type your email address into the ‘Email’ field and click ‘Forgot Password’. You should receive an email with a temporary password that needs to be reset immediately. If you cannot find this mail, check your spam folder.

When I login to my account nothing happens

Your browser may not accept cookies which stops the online application form from launching. You need to adjust your browser to accept cookies.

I made a mistake when I was answering the quiz questions and now the link to the quiz gives me an error message and I can’t access the quiz.

If you have made a mistake filling in the quiz, clear your browsing history and you should be able to access the quiz through the Make an Application link again.

Our fundraiser has left and we do not have the login details

Please contact us at with the relevant email address and we can reset the login details for you.

Can you send me a paper copy of the application form?

For your convenience, we provide a sample PDF copy of the application form downloadable on the right hand side of this webpage. Please note that this is for guidance only. We can only accept applications submitted via the online application process. You can print out a copy of your completed application by clicking the ‘Printer Friendly Version’ link at the top right hand corner of the form in your online account. If you are unable to access our application system to submit an application, please contact us on 020 7264 4970.

What browser should I use when completing the application form?

We strongly recommend you use Internet Explorer. Previous applicants have experienced problems when using Google Chrome and Firefox.

Do I have to complete the application form in one sitting?

No, you can save and come back to your application at a later time by clicking the ‘Save & Finish Later’ button at the bottom of each screen.

When I click on the Back and Forward buttons to go through the application form I find that I have to login again.

To move to the next page, please click the ‘Next’ button at the bottom of the page. You can also navigate between sections by clicking on the page title which appears as a ribbon at the top of the application form. Do not use the ‘Back’ or ‘Forward’ buttons on your browser to navigate through your application, as you will lose work which you have done.

Can I include diagrams or tables in answer to the questions within the application form?

No. They will not be included when you submit your application.

When I copy and paste text into the form, I have experienced formatting and technical problems. How can I prevent this?

Before copying text into the form, first paste the text into either Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) to remove unwanted formatting. We also strongly suggest that you avoid using bullet points and other similar design elements.

When I fill in the application form it shows American dates or requires American spelling

Unfortunately, some browsers will assume that you are submitting information to an American organisation and will change the format of your dates. To change this, you need to change the setting of your browser. Our system will pick up the dates in the correct format but will not change American spelling back to English.

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

Please click on 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 side of this screen which includes the help text for you to have alongside you when you are completing our application form.

Can you 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 will I know that my application has been submitted?

After you have submitted an application you will receive a confirmation email. It will contain a reference number for your application and a full transcript of the details you provided. Please make sure you keep this email for your records.

Can I edit my application after it’s been submitted?

Unfortunately, an application cannot be edited after submission. You will have to let us know you wish to withdraw and resubmit the application. However, you can retrieve a copy of the submitted application if you login to your account and then simply copy and paste the answers that you still want to submit. To withdraw an application please contact us with your details and the application reference number to let us know.

The system is not accepting my details when trying to create a new account

This usually happens when an account for the email address already exists (perhaps set up by a former employee or colleague). Please click on ‘Forgot your Password?’ and follow the steps to have a temporary password sent to the email address, which then will allow you to change it to your preferred password.

Can we view previous submitted applications?

Yes, if you log back into your account you can log back into your Henry Smith Charity Online account and select ‘Submitted Applications’ in the drop-down window in the bottom right of the accounts page.

I was working on an application last year, where has it gone?

We’re sorry about this. Usually applications expire if not activated or worked on within a six month time frame. However, sometimes this period is shortened due to maintenance updates or changes to the application form.

Why isn’t the application form showing the right details?

Try clearing the cache and cookies of your browser. Try following the instructions at:’s-Cache

When I try to upload an attached document to my form, it’s not saving.

Please ensure that you click the ‘UPLOAD’ button after you have identified which files you want to upload in order to attach them.

Why does it say our files are not being accepted?

There are two likely reasons why the system is not accepting an attachment: Either the file is too large (needs to be smaller than 10Mb) or it’s an unrecognised file type. You can only upload files with the following file extensions: pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, txt