We have created the following checklist of information that you should have available before you start your application:

  • Your charity’s legal name, head office address and registered charity number
  • A brief description of your charity’s activities, who you support and the needs of your beneficiaries
  • A summary of the number of beneficiaries you have supported in the last year
  • An electronic copy of your most recent published charity accounts. These must include a signed independent examiner’s or auditor’s report
  • Any helpful documentation such as an annual report, impact report, executive summary, business plan, or strategy that you would like to upload to support your grant application
  • The contact details of a person in your charity that deals with publicity opportunities.

If you are applying as a branch using the head office’s registered charity number, please also ensure that you have to hand:

  • The latest published accounts together with the independent examiner’s/auditor’s report that were submitted to the Charity Commission under the registered charity number
  • If you have your own branch accounts, please submit these as supporting information to help us understand your particular branch
  • Written permission from head office to use the main charity registration number to apply


Please note that we are only able to accept one application per charity number and that reapplication rules will apply to that registered number, regardless of whether a different branch of the charity applies under the same registration number.

Application form example questions

Please note, this document is for information only, and will not be accepted as valid application forms. To apply, please click on the apply button and follow the online process.

Small grant application form sample questions

Application tips

Please bear in mind the following tips when preparing your application:

  • Please write in clear simple English – avoid jargon.
  • Chose a title for the project that is accessible and self-explanatory.
  • Make sure the application is fact based – with figures and evidence which support your claims.
  • Ensure that your figures add up - check and triple check.
  • Don’t take up lots of space explaining the general issues that lie behind your work. Assume we have a basic understanding of the context in which you operate.
  • Ensure that you’ve clearly explained the organisation’s track record, impact and partnerships, as well as what the organisation is going to do and why it is qualified to do it.
  • Are you responding to a problem? If so, outline why it needs to be solved.
  • Make time for expansive research around your subject – collate statistics, facts and quotations that prove the need for your proposed activity.
  • Detail how you will go about achieving your ultimate aims; reference short, medium and long-term objectives.
  • Tell us why you are unique and remember if the services are commonplace throughout the country you will need to show how what you do is distinctive.
  • Ask someone who doesn’t know the project, or your organisation, to read the application before you submit it. If they can understand what you are proposing, it should be easy for the grant assessor to understand the proposal.

Financial Information Section Explained

When completing your application for a small grant, please note the definitions of the following financial terms.


Voluntary Income

Grant income from other organisations, foundations, grant makers, or legacies and individual donations that are not part of fundraising efforts.

Statutory Income

Income (including contracted services) or grants given by a Government body or organisation for example Local Authorities, local Councils, NHS or Arts Council

Lottery Income

Income/grants received from lottery organisations such as the Big Lottery Fund, the People’s Post Code Lottery, and the Health Lottery.


Donations raised through events and fundraising efforts, such as raffles and lotteries, bucket collections, dinners and sponsored events


Any subscriptions or fees charged to become a member of the charity/organisation

Product Sales and Fees

Any income received from the sale of charity goods or services, not including those for fundraising efforts such as merchandise.


Any income received from bank interest or resulting from fund or other investments


Any income that does not fit into the categories above. Please detail what this income is from


Charitable Purposes

Any funds spent on providing services directly to the beneficiaries, such as therapist’s salary costs, rent of premises to provide services, cost of equipment etc.


Any funds spent on efforts to raise funds or publicise the charity and its services


Any funds spent on governance and back office required to keep the charity running


Restricted Reserves

Funds set aside to be used for a specific purpose set by the grantor of the funds, e.g. project funding or donation made towards a particular purpose

Unrestricted Reserves

Funds held by the charity that are not for a specific purpose.

Fixed Assets

These include the value of land, buildings and equipment. IF included in the Unrestricted Reserves figure on your accounts, please deduct.

Designated Reserves

Funds set aside internally by the trustees of the charity for a particular purpose, including but not limited to a particular project or winding up costs, or essential future spending

Further information

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