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 older people over 50 years.

Key Areas of Focus

Grants can be offered to charities that provide:

  • Mental and physical health support
  • Gateway and access to service, e.g. transport and technology
  • Community based approaches, i.e. volunteering, positive ageing and neighbourhood support
  • Advocacy, social and welfare support

Example Initiatives

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

  • Support for emotional and psychological planning for later life
  • Digital inclusion sessions to enable older people to access services
  • Activities and clubs enabling older people to remain active and make friends
  • Providing companionship and befriending schemes for periods of transition
  • Advice and information on options for those with health conditions
  • Carers and respite support

Examples of Desired Outcomes

Short Term

  • Older people adapting to key transitions in their lives
  • Older people well supported, better informed and receiving essential advice
  • Existing services better supporting the physical, psychological and emotional needs of people as they age
  • More therapeutic support available to people at key points in their lives
  • Greater knowledge of options and rights leading to greater confidence in choices
  • Increased cultural and social participation choices for people as they age
  • Greater awareness of the issue within the Masonic community

Long Term

  • Reduced feelings of loneliness or social isolation for people in later life
  • Improved health and sense of wellbeing for people as they age
  • More active social lives for people in later life
  • The older population living as they choose in a healthy and safe environment
  • MCF’s profile raised within the Masonic community, public and third sector


  • 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 or relevant Central registry of the respective Guernsey, Jersey or Isle
    of Man’s government.
  • 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
  • Statutory obligations
  • Routine delivery of the National Curriculum in schools
  • The sole aim of promoting civil liberties and human rights
  • 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
  • The support or promotion of any and all religious doctrine
  • Contributions to general appeals
  • Retrospective funding

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
  • Projects or organisations working solely outside of England and/or Wales, the Channel Islands or Isle of Man
  • 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. MCF does not do support organisations coordinating funds on behalf of others

Further information

For further information about our Charity Grants programmes or to discuss an application, please contact 020 3146 3337 or email charitygrants@mcf.org.uk