Our small grants are unrestricted. Applications are assessed on the basis of the entire charity, not a specific project. This means that the majority of the charity’s services and beneficiaries as a whole must fit the MCF’s criteria in order to be eligible.

Charities with incomes of under £500,000 can apply for a grant between £500 - £5,000 per year for up to 3 years (no more than £15,000 over three years in total). The total amount requested should not exceed 15% of the charity’s income.

Age Range

  • Grants can be offered to charities that support disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people up to the age of 25 years.

Key Areas of Focus

Grants can be offered to charities that provide:

  • Mental and physical health support
  • Learning and development, including language and communication skills, social and emotional etc.
  • Parental Support, including whole family approach
  • Pastoral and advocacy support

Example Initiatives

Grants can be offered to charities that provide activities such as:

  • Additional educational opportunities such as improving literacy and numeracy
  • Individual interventions, i.e. parent education, home visiting or mentoring
  • Encouraging healthy behaviours with regards to diet, activity and wellbeing
  • Psychological interventions for domestic abuse and behavioural issues etc.
  • Provision of vital adaptive technologies and equipment removing barriers
  • Alternative methods or specialist therapies to help children and young people integrate into the mainstream education system

Examples of Desired Outcomes

  • Children and young people receiving continuous support and interventions
  • High quality provision of well-qualified and well-trained staff dealing with children and young people
  • Existing services better supporting the physical, psychological and emotional needs of children and young people
  • More children and young people engaged in sports and social clubs in society
  • Age appropriate skills developed by the time children get to school or young people enter their first jobs
  • Children and young people living in a healthy and stable environment
  • Greater knowledge of options and rights for parents
  • Greater awareness of the subject within the Masonic community


  • Applicants can only apply for one grant programme at any time
  • If your project ‘saddles’ both themes, then please choose the one that the primary beneficiary group fits in
  • At least 50% of the charity’s beneficiaries must fall within one of the MCF’s target beneficiary groups, i.e. disadvantaged
    children and young people under 25 years or isolated and disadvantaged older people over 50 years.

Purpose of a Small Grant

  • These grants are for smaller charities whose annual income does not exceed £500,000
  • Small grants can be used for general running and/or overhead costs of the charity – core funding

Grant Size

  • Small grants usually total between £500 - £15,000
  • All grants can be over 1,2, or 3 years
  • The total amount of the grant requested must not exceed 15% of the total income of the charity

Eligibility Requirements

  • Grants are only made to charities whose beneficiaries are in England and Wales
  • Charities must be registered with the Charity Commission
  • Grants are usually given to charities which have an income of less than £500,000 
  • Charities must have at least one year of published accounts on the Charity Commission for the registered charity number they are
    applying to the MCF under

What the MCF will not consider grants for

  • Arts and heritage charities
  • Environmental charities
  • Animal welfare
  • Political or lobbying activities
  • Civil liberties and human rights
  • Routine delivery of the National Curriculum in schools
  • Contributions towards new build and/or large scale capital projects, e.g. building a new hospice wing
  • Capital repairs and/or maintenance of existing buildings
  • Hospital equipment, such as MRI scanners

Charities the MCF will not consider applications from

  • Current active grant holders
  • Umbrella organisations coordinating fundraising on behalf of others
  • Social Enterprises or Community Interest Companies
  • Community interest groups
  • Organisations that are not registered charities
  • Schools (for routine delivery activities to non-priority groups)
  • Nurseries (for routine delivery activities to non-priority groups)
  • Hospitals (for routine delivery activities to non-priority groups)
  • Churches
  • Individuals
  • Those who have had a small grant or second stage large grant application declined within the last 12 months
  • Those whose previous grant from the MCF ended less than 2 years ago (this includes the MCF Tercentenary Community Awards
  • Third parties seeking funding. The MCF does not support organisations coordinating funds on behalf of others

Further information

For more information about our eligibility criteria, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.