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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 people aged 65 and over
  • For large grants, all of the beneficiaries of the project must be people aged 65 and over

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 for 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 socially isolated and lonely older people over the age of 65.

Key areas of focus

Grants can be offered to charities/projects that provide:

  • Mental and physical health support
  • Access to services, 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/projects that provide activities such as:

  • Emotional and psychological support such as counselling and peer group support
  • 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
  • Advice and information on options for those with health conditions
  • Carers and respite support

Examples of Desired Outcomes

Short Term
  • Reduced feelings of loneliness or social isolation for people in later life
  • Older people are better informed about their options and rights leading to greater confidence in choices
  • Existing services better supporting the physical, psychological and emotional needs of people as they age
  • Increased social participation
Long Term
  • Feel less lonely and socially isolated
  • Improved health and sense of wellbeing for people as they age
  • Established reliable and supportive networks
  • The older population living as they choose in a healthy and safe environment

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 support or promotion of any and all 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

Further information

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

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