A charity grant making policy is not a legal obligation and there’s no one ‘right way’ to do it, but this simple policy template for grant making does make it simpler. I've included links to Charity Commission grant making guidance at the end.
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This grant making policy lays out our aims and principles in awarding grants and also a range of specific checks. Which will be applied to any given grant will depend on the nature of the grant application and will be decided on a case for case basis.
We can only fund projects and activities that are exclusively charitable and fall within the objects of the charity.
Funding Criteria. The charity will consider all applications that fall within our charitable purposes and meet our funding criteria and, for which, the due diligence process has not identified any unacceptable issues.
Grants will be made based on the funding available and solely on merit.
Priorities. The number of good applications is likely to exceed the funding available, so the trustees use the following criteria to help them in making decisions on how best to allocate funding.
Safeguarding – if working with children or vulnerable adults, applications are to include details of the procedures used to ensure they are kept safe from harm and how management ensure these are applied consistently. These must comply with the charity’s safeguarding policy and legislation, and any regulation specific to the activity.
Health & Safety at Work (H&SW) – the organisation has a robust H&SW framework and management oversight, with adequate policies that are consistently applied and training that is undertaken by everyone who needs to and is up-to-date.
Insurance - Details of insurances held, with a certified true copy of the insurance policy.
Property/Assets Created. Confirmation that any assets, intellectual property or other material of financial value created will not be disposed of at any point, without confirmation that any proceeds will be used for an approved charitable purposes and the prior written permission of the trustees. In the event this is not forthcoming, the asset is to be disposed of in accordance with the trustees’ instructions.
All grantees will be required to provide a report on how their grant was used and the impact this has had. The content and nature of information to be reported will be appropriate for the size and type of grant awarded. The charity will monitor such reports to not only ensure that grants are being use for the purposes intended, but also to assess the impact grants have made. This learning will be used to inform future decision making and policy to maximise the charity’s impact.
Decision Making Process
Applications will be considered by out trustee board, who work to the Charity Commission C27 guidelines on trustee decision making.
Grants are awarded entirely at the discretion of the trustees and their decision is final.
All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their bid and successful applicants will have funding made available, once they have signed a grant agreement.
For organisational grants, we have a formal grant agreement.
For small grants and any to individuals, we advise applicants of their award and include their obligations in receiving it.
Applicants’ data will be held in accordance with data protection legislation. It will be held securely, disclosed if subject to an access request, treated as confidential, only used for the purpose for which it has been provided and destroyed, once no longer needed.
In making grants to or working with other organisations we will comply with Charity Commission guidance by carrying out relevant due diligence and having a written agreement that sets out:
Checks and Due Diligence
The charity will carry out sufficient due diligence on grant applicants to confirm the identity of the applicant and that.
We have a robust, risk based Due Diligence procedure.
Often those we are trying to reach are the least able to be able to research and find us and to make effective applications. Consequently, it is important to ensure that those we are seeking to reach are made aware and that the application process is kept as simple as possible.
Ways in which people can be made aware include promotion:
For some groups, we may provide information a different way, such as an additional language, or to make these accessible to people who have disabilities.
There doesn't seem to be a single source of Charity Commission grant making guidance, but here's what I've found.
A registered charity ourselves, we provide 8 online health checks. The system has a grant making sub model, so it also works for grant makers, allowing you to assess yourself against best practice in grant making. It also has the huge information hub, Quality Mark and 3 online directories.
Support your charity grantees by making them aware of this support.
I am not an accountant, nor a lawyer and no advice can be applicable to all organisations, in all circumstances, so this resource is no more than a guide to understanding. I've summarised the regulatory guidance and augmented this with my own experience and Internet research, but I am not competent to provide professional advice. I have included links to the source guidance to enable you to check this yourself and, if you think you might need professional advice, use Help Finder to find pro bono support.