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Some top tips!

  • Try writing out the application in Word and then copying and pasting into the application form, this will make it easier to edit if you need to.
  • Even if you have applied to us before, please write your application as if it’s for a new audience.
  • Keep it simple and include the key points, avoiding jargon.
  • If using acronyms, please explain what they are for the first time so that we know what they mean.
  • Ensure that your figures add up – check and triple check.
  • You don’t have to use all of the word count and avoid repetition. Remember, we read lots of applications and it really helps us if you are concise. Similarly, please think about the formatting so it’s not just one long paragraph.
  • Ask someone who doesn’t know your organisation to read your application – does it make sense? Can they get a picture of what your organisation does? Can they identify the key points?
  • Make sure that the Charity Commission number and your contact details are correct so that we are able to get in touch with you.
  • Please ensure that you have your latest published charity accounts to upload and ensure that they are signed – this will reduce any delays.
  • Please complete the application form in full and don’t rely on supporting documents, You can upload up to three to support your application, one is your most recent signed and published accounts, a project budget and the other can be an evaluation report, impact report, annual report and case studies.

About your charity

  1. How many people does your organisation directly help each year? (max 800 characters; approximately 100 words)

This helps us to start to build a picture of the size of your charity.

  • Please include the figure of unique service-users.
  • It is important that you explain how you reach this figure; what methods are used by the organisation to monitor attendance numbers.
  1. How many staff and volunteers does the charity have across all the locations it is based?
  • We are asking for the numbers of staff at the organisation’s Head Office and other locations.
  • The numbers should include full-time and part-time staff and volunteers

Organisational financial information

  1. We are aware that the information we have asked for on the form may not necessarily match how your charity’s accounts are prepared.
  • We do require you to complete the form as it is laid out for the most recent and previous year.
  • The totals of your income, expenditure, reserves must match the totals in your published accounts
  • The financial information submitted on the form must match the accounts attached in support of the application. This will avoid any delays.
  • It might be helpful to ask for advice from your organisation’s finance department or accountant in order that this section of the application form is completed correctly.
  • Please extract the following financial information from the charity’s latest published audited/independently examined accounts:

Please see the financial information section for a full explanation

  1. What is the charity’s reserves policy?

This is normally found in the organisation’s accounts trustee report under ‘Reserves Policy’ and is usually a set number of months’ expenditure.

If your current reserves are over your charity’s policy level, please explain why.

About your project

  1. Project Detail (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)

Please describe your overall project and what issue/s your organisation is trying to address.

It helps us to understand what you plan to deliver and why.  Please include:

  • What is the project – please describe it succinctly and clearly.
  • Demonstrate the need for the project. You may wish to include statistics from various sources such as: Index of Multiple Deprivation, Age UK Loneliness Map, Local Authority, etc. Try to include local statistics and figures not just national figures. You can also use your own data and information from beneficiaries or other organisations.
  • Is there a demand for the service? If it is a current project, do you have a waiting list? If you do, how many people are on it and what is the waiting time?
  • If a pilot project has been conducted and you are requesting funding to continue the project, do include evidence of its success so far, demonstrating the need and benefit of the project continuing.
  • Please explain why your organisation is well placed to deliver the project, detailing any relevant skills or experience.

Potential Beneficiaries (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)

  1. Who is the project intended to support? This is especially important with regard to fulfilling the MCF criteria for both programmes:

Disadvantaged children and young people – important to ensure that specifically this group are targeted and how they are identified

Isolated older people – remember: just because people are older does not necessarily mean that they are isolated.

Also include:

  • Demographic information, e.g. age range, gender etc
  • What are the needs of the primary beneficiaries? Describe their issues and needs that require the project or service that you are applying for funding for.
  • Do include how you are specifically targeting these individuals or how you identify them for the project/service
  • If beneficiaries are referred, please describe any referral pathways or if they self-refer, how do they know about your service
  • If there are secondary beneficiaries, include their demographics and how they benefit from the project
  • How accessible is the project? How will beneficiaries get to the project?  Is there transport provided?
  • Is the building accessible to disabled people?
  • Are there any charges for the project or membership fees – are there any waivers for those unable to afford fees?
  1. Describe how you will deliver the project? Please include any charges for the services/activities you plan to provide. (Max 2100 characters, approx. 300 words)

How is the Project Delivered? (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)

Please explain the tasks and work undertaken to achieve the aims of the project.  Do include:

  • What the delivery of the project involves – e.g. counselling sessions, mentoring sessions, befriending, activity clubs etc.
  • How often are sessions/appointments etc. held
  • How long are the sessions/appointments
  • What is the structure of a session/appointment – include activities, tasks as well as any materials and resources used.
  • Who is responsible for delivery – e.g. Coordinator, Manager, Therapists, Play Workers, Youth Workers, Befrienders, including any volunteers
  • It is worth including any training, supervision etc. that project staff/volunteers may need and how volunteers are recruited – vetted etc.
  1. How do you know what the impact of the project will be? (Max 2100 characters, approx. 300 words)

All projects seek to make a difference. It is therefore important to briefly state what the short term and long term outcomes are expected to be. Consider including:

  • How long has the project been delivered for? Tell us what the project has achieved to date in terms of the difference it’s made.
  • If it’s a new project how have you determined what the impact will be
  • How will you/have you captured this data and what is the evaluation process.
  • You may wish to use evidence of past successes (yours or others), empirical research or similar to demonstrate how this project will be successful
  1. Please tell us how you involve service users in your service development and delivery? (Max 2100 characters, approx. 300 words)

Please tell us how you involve service users in service development and delivery:

  • Do you have focus groups or forums that service users are part of?
  • Are any service users part of the trustee board?
  • Do you ask (formally or informally) your service what they would like to be delivered? If so please do include these and the results in your application.
  • Are service users involved in the development of projects?
  • If this is not applicable, please explain why.
  1. Please describe how funding from the MCF will be used. (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)
  • For example, if it is to fund a salary, please include a job description for the relevant role, or if it’s for project clearly state what part of the project the funding will be used for; whether it is materials, resources, rent, hire of a venue, refreshments etc.
  1. How many people will be helped by the project?
  • Please explain how you calculated this figure
  • Do include any secondary beneficiaries, how they will be helped, and how you calculated this figure

Project Staffing

  1. Please tell us how many staff will be involved in the project:
  • Do include full and part-time staff as well as volunteers
  1. Please identify any partner organisations (whether voluntary sector, statutory or other) of the charity (Max 700 characters, approx. 100 words)
  • Are you working with any other organisations to deliver your work?

Project financial information

  1. Please provide a detailed budget breakdown for the whole project and/or role (Max 2100 characters, approx. 300 words)

Project Breakdown (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)

Please provide a detailed budget breakdown for the whole project and/or role.

  • Please try to highlight clearly what the MCF funding is for
  • You may submit your budget as an excel attachment, but please use this space to add some narrative
  1. How many years are you applying for and what is the amount of funding per year for the grant?

Please note this must not be more than the total request amount detailed in the invitation email.

  • If you need to change the amount, please contact a member of the Charity Grants team to discuss this.
  • Total amount requests that are larger than agreed in the invitation email will not be considered.
  • Ensure that the amounts total up correctly and correspond with your budget.

Part funding (max 1400 characters; approximately 200 words)

  1. If you are applying for part funding, please give details of other funders you have approached or intend to approach.
  • Ensure you list the funders and the amounts you have requested
  • Please indicate whether these have been successful, pending or you still need to apply
  1. If the grant will help to launch a new service

Please enter the date when the anticipated start of the service is. Please note:

  • The date must not be before the final approval outcome date of the grant round you are applying for
  • The MCF does not provide retrospective funding
  1. How will the project be funded after the proposed grant period? (max 1400 characters; approximately 200 words)

Please detail any plans you have for after the grant has ended, include whether

  • You intend to apply for further grants from other foundations/trusts
  • Project becomes self-sustaining – if so, how
  • Project is to end after the funding comes to an end
  • You intend to apply to statutory sources for funding

Monitoring and evaluation of the project

If you’d like to see examples of our monitoring forms, go to the Resources section on our website.

  1. Please describe what main outputs you want to deliver and how you plan to measure them. (Max 2100 characters, approx. 300 words)

Outputs are the activities, products and services that you deliver that help achieve the desired outcomes.  Please detail:

  • The number of participants in the project
  • The number of volunteers engaged
  • The number of sessions delivered, etc
  1. What are the desired outcome for the project? (Max 2100 characters, approx. 300 words)

Outcomes are the resulting benefits for the beneficiaries

  • Please describe what changes and benefits the project will deliver for beneficiaries
  • How will you measure these changes and benefits? Please explain any measuring tools for the project you will be using – i.e. Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale, Surveys, Questionnaires, Bespoke measuring mechanisms
  • How often do you measure the impact of the project?
  • Will you be working with any researchers to carry this out?
  1. Is this project part of any long-term change? (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)

Please detail:

  • What are the long-term changes and how will you know that these will happen – i.e. research, experience etc.
  • As a result of the project, will there be any lasting impact, how will you know this?
  1. What are the risks associated with the project and how do you intend to minimise them? (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)

It is a good idea to:

  • List the risks identified and any mitigations to guard against them. For example safeguarding, funding, staffing etc
  • If it is for a position, does it need to be advertised or has someone been identified?
  • Recruitment of volunteers and/or participants – how this will be carried out, will training be provided?

Publicity of the Grant (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)

  1. It is important that the MCF publicly recognises the generosity of its donors whilst also demonstrating how funds are spent. Please summarise what action you will take to promote your grant from the MCF. (Max 2100 characters, approx. 300 words)

Please include:

  • Details of how you will work with the MCF Press Team to gain maximum publicity in local and regional print and broadcast media
  • Will you invite local Freemasons to the project to meet staff, volunteers and if appropriate, beneficiaries
  • Arrange relevant photography; invite MCF representatives to speak at project launch
  • Promote the grant via social media posts, annual report, newsletters.
  • Using the MCF logo where relevant and any naming opportunities
  • Press release and interviews for media outlets
  • Any other means of publicising the grant
  • If there limitations to the publicity opportunities, please explain this

Additional Information (max 2100 characters; approximately 300 words)

  1. Is there anything further you’d like to add to your application? In particular, your response to COVID-19?
  • You may have already told us about your COVID-19 response in your other answers, but there’s more space here to explain in more detail how your charity has coped with COVID-19.

Supporting Documents

To support your application, please upload up to 3 supporting documents. Please note that the maximum file size in total for all of your supporting documents is 25MB.

These are:

  • Published annual accounts
  • Budget breakdown
  • Job description
  • Other supporting document such as evidence of a pilot project, annual report or executive summary, evaluation of the project or impact report or case studies

Further information

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

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