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  • Applicants can only apply for one grant programme at any time
  • For small grants, at least 75% of the charity’s beneficiaries must be disadvantaged children and young people
  • For large grants, all of the beneficiaries of the project must be disadvantaged children and young people and their families/guardians.

Grant size

Small grant
  • These grants are for smaller charities whose annual income is between £25,000 and £500,000
  • Small grants are unrestricted and, for example can be used towards general running and/or overhead costs of the charity
  • Small grants range between £1,000 – £5,000 per year, for up to three years
  • The total amount of the grant requested must not exceed 20% of the total income of the charity
Large grant
  • These grants are for larger charities whose annual income is between £500,000 and £5m
  • Large grants are restricted for projects and, for example, includes salary costs, activities, materials etc.
  • Large grants usually range from £10,000 to £60,000 in total. This can be spread over one to three years.

Age Range

Our grants support disadvantaged and vulnerable children aged 0-18 and up to the age of 25 years for disabled young people.

They also include projects/charities providing family support that will benefit the child/young person

Key Areas of Focus

Grants can be offered to charities/projects that provide:

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

Example initiatives

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

  • Educational opportunities such as improving literacy and numeracy
  • Training and employment opportunities such as mentoring and skills development
  • Encouraging healthy behaviours with regards to diet, activity and wellbeing
  • Provision of adaptive technologies and equipment removing barriers
  • Psychological interventions such as access to counselling and peer support groups

Examples of desired outcomes

Short term
  • Age appropriate skills developed by the time children get to school or young people enter their first jobs
  • Children and young people receive more opportunities to access education and training
  • Existing services better supporting the physical, psychological and emotional needs of children and young people
  • Children and young people living in a healthy and stable environment
  • Are more engaged in physical and social activities through sports and social clubs
  • Have greater access to physical, psychological and emotional support
  • Greater knowledge about rights, options and opportunities
Long term
  • Improved health and wellbeing for children and young people
  • Equal opportunities for all children and young people regardless of ability or background
  • Children and young people having the best start in life no matter what their circumstances
  • Stable, healthy and supported family networks

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
  • Charities must have at least one year of independently examined or audited accounts published on the Charity Commission website for the registered charity number they are applying from

Check if your charity is eligible for a small grant

Check if your charity is eligible for a large grant

What the MCF will not consider grants for

  • Arts and heritage
  • Environmental
  • Animal welfare
  • Statutory obligations
  • Routine delivery of the National Curriculum in schools
  • The sole aim of promoting civil liberties and human rights
  • Political or lobbying activities
  • 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 promotion of any  religious doctrine
  • Contributions to general appeals
  • Retrospective funding
  • Academic research

Charities from which the MCF will not consider applications

  • Hospices
  • Current active MCF grant holders
  • Umbrella organisations coordinating fundraising on behalf of others
  • Third parties seeking funding. MCF does not support organisations coordinating funds on behalf of others
  • Social Enterprises, Community Interest Companies or Community interest groups
  • Organisations that are not registered charities or are exempt
  • 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 or other religious institutions
  • Individuals
  • Those who have had an expression of interest or application declined within the last 12 months
  • Those whose previous grant from the MCF ended less than 2 years ago
  • Those who have a current expression of interest/full application being considered
  • Regional / local branches of Home-Start. This is because the MCF currently has a major partnership with Home-Start UK which is dispersing funding nationally



Further information

For further information about our Charity Grants programmes or to discuss an application, please call 020 3146 3337 or email

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