Henry Smith Charity – Main Grants – Improving Lives

The Henry Smith Charity is one of the largest independent grant making trusts in the UK, distributing over £30 million each year. The Charity’s main focus lies with funding organisations that bring about lasting change in people’s lives and help them to benefit from and contribute to society.

The majority of the Charity’s funding is distributed through its two main grant programmes – Improving Lives and Strengthening Communities.

The Henry Smith Charity’s Improving Lives programme is part of the Charity’s Main Grants programme. It aims to support people in the UK for whom other sources of support have failed, are inappropriate, or are simply not available.

There are six funding priorities:

  • Help at a critical moment.
  • Positive choices.
  • Accommodation/housing support.
  • Employment and training.
  • Financial inclusion, rights and entitlements.
  • Support networks and family.

Grants of between £20,000 and £70,000 per year for one to three years (most grants are for three years).

The Charity will not consider making a grant that is equivalent to more than 50% of the annual running costs of an organisation.

Applications for continuation funding will be considered.

Applications are accepted from registered charities and other types of not for profit organisations in the UK, such as community interest companies or constituted community groups if they can explain how the funding would be used for charitable purposes.

To be eligible, organisations must:

  • Have an annual income of between £50,000 and £3 million (£5 million in exceptional circumstances).
  • Be at least 18 months old and have published annual accounts and a track record.
  • Have a constitution, which demonstrates charitable purpose, if the applicant is not a registered charity.
  • Provide details of how their constitution prevents funds being removed from the organisation (asset lock), if the applicant is a community interest company.

The Charity supports established organisations delivering services directly to beneficiaries and is looking for services which can demonstrate a track record of success and evidence the effectiveness of the work.

Applications can be submitted at any time. There are no deadlines and applications are assessed as they are received.

There is a two-stage application process. Initial applications must be made via the online application form on the Henry Smith Charity’s website. Successful stage-one applicants will be notified and will progress to stage two.

The application process takes approximately six months.

Read full guidance and apply online here

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