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Eligibility for Applying

Grant programmes


These grants are for smaller charities whose annual income is between £25,000 and £500,000

Small grants are unrestricted and do not have to be used on a specific purpose, although we do ask grant recipients to report on how they used the funding.

Small grants range from £1,000 – £5,000 per year, for up to three years

The total amount of the grant requested must not exceed 20 per cent of the total income of the charity, averaged over the past two years.


These grants are for larger charities whose annual income is between £500,000 and £5 million.

Large grants are restricted for specific projects with defined goals and budgets, and may be spent on, for example, salaries, equipment, training, monitoring and administration.

Large grants usually range from £10,000 to £60,000 in total. This can be spread over one to three years.

Key Areas of Focus

Grants can be offered to charities/projects that are focusing on:

  • Early Years
  • Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND)
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Dementia

Age Range

For Early Years applications beneficiaries must be aged 0-5 years. For Domestic Abuse and SEND applications beneficiaries must be children and young people aged 0-18, or up to the age of 25 years for beneficiaries with SEND.

This may also include family or carer support as long as the ultimate beneficiaries are the children and young people.

There is no age restriction for Dementia applications.

Charity eligibility requirements

Grants are only made to charities / projects 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

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

  • Current active MCF Small or Large grant holders
  • Charities whose previous Small or Large grant ended less than 2 years ago
  • Charities who have submitted an expression of interest within the last 12 months
  • Umbrella organisations coordinating fundraising on behalf of others
  • Third parties seeking funding or organisations coordinating funds on behalf of others
  • Social Enterprises, Community Interest Companies or Community interest groups, or exempt charities.
  • Hospices (see our Hospice programme)
  • 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
  • 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.

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