Grant-making Policy

Please click here to read our COVID-19 announcement.

The Trustees make discretionary grants where they believe that their contribution will make a real difference.

The five funding categories are Arts & Heritage, Education, Environment, Health, and Social or Economic Disadvantage.

Changes to our policy

Some aspects of our grant-making policy are being updated, with effect from 21 October 2021. Our new policy is shown below and includes some changes to eligibility, the instigation of a minimum grant size and the introduction of targeted focus areas in two of the five categories. These changes are highlighted as purple text.

If you are part-way through an application form, or had planned to apply in the next quarter, but no longer conform to the policy below, please ensure you submit your application by 20 October 2021.

Both the Health category and the Social or Economic Disadvantage category are becoming more targeted. Two areas of priority focus are being introduced for each of these categories, which will run for two years. Only applications that address those focus areas will be considered for a grant during that time. Refer to Grant purposes, sizes and restrictions below for details. The priority focus for these two categories will change again in October 2023 and be announced in April 2023.


Applications will only be considered from:

  • Charities, including CIOs, registered in any part of the United Kingdom
  • Exempt Charities as defined in schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011 and their equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • municipally-funded museums not included in schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011

In all cases above, the applicant must have an annual turnover of over £50,000 (defined as 100% of charitable income plus proceeds from any trading income).

Applications will not be considered from:

  • Individuals
  • Charities registered outside the UK
  • Charities that do not have one year of accounts behind them
  • Community Interest Companies or other company structures of a not-for-profit nature
  • Political parties

Trustees will consider applications for grants that benefit people living outside the UK but only if the charity that applies is registered in the UK.

Grant purposes, sizes and restrictions

Applications must be for charitable purposes that fall into one of the five core categories below; applications for purposes outside these categories are only permitted at the direct invitation of a Trustee:

  • Arts and Heritage
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Social or Economic Disadvantage

Until 20 October 2021, there are no priority areas within any of those categories. However, this will change for two of the categories from 21 October 2021, as follows.

Applications made from 21 October 2021 until 20 October 2023, for the Health category, should have a focus on one of the following:

  • programmes and activities that aim to support, maintain and improve mental health across all ages
  • health care for older people

Applications made from 21 October 2021 until 20 October 2023, for the Social or Economic Disadvantage category, should have a focus on one of the following:

  • disadvantaged children
  • housing and homeless people

The new minimum grant size is £10,000. Awards of more than £25,000 are rare. A follow-up report, the scale of which is commensurate with the size of the grant, is expected within 10 months of payment. Details will be provided to successful applicants.

Charitable organisations from, or operating in, Luton and Bedfordshire, that seek a grant of under £10,000 should check the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation’s website for suitable assistance.

Grants are usually made as single payments. In some cases, larger grants are awarded in instalments, payable over a period of years, usually on the condition that satisfactory progress reports are submitted at regular intervals.

There are no restrictions on the type of funding for which applicants may apply, and Trustees will consider contributions towards core costs and capital works as well as specific projects.

Only two exceptions are imposed on the purpose for which a grant may be used:

  • no expeditions
  • no active promotion of religion

However, this does not exclude, for example, an eligible religious organisation from applying for work that is not religious in nature, such as providing a food bank or maintaining an historic building.

A list of recent grants made can be found here.

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