Grant Making Criteria

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These criteria are intended as a guide only; the trustees are not obliged to apply all or indeed any of them. However, applications that broadly meet these criteria are more likely to succeed than those that meet few of them. Applications are considered on an individual basis and it is perfectly possible for the trustees to favour an application meeting fewer criteria than one which is passed over. The trustees’ decision is final.

Please also bear in mind that that we receive more applications than we can meet and, however regretfully, we cannot help everybody.

General Criteria:

Who can benefit
• Organisations compatible with the categories set out below
• Whilst the trust has a special interest in Methodism, all charitable categories are considered.
• There is a strong preference for organisations that are registered as charities in England & Wales, or are exempt from registration such as established churches. Others must be small scale, show a clear charitable purpose, be properly constituted as a non-profit making body, and be operated entirely on a voluntary basis. 
• Small innovatory projects with a good measure of self-help or voluntary input are preferred.

Geographical area
• For all causes including Methodism, a very clear preference for our core area of the West of England, namely Bristol and Somerset (especially West Somerset), Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. Whilst technically we can support the wider area of England and Wales, we very rarely do so.

• In addition, and for Methodist causes only, the whole of the area included within Bristol Methodist District. The Bristol District incorporates Gloucestershire and Wiltshire north of Salisbury.
• We are a comparatively small trust, and are forced to be selective. We get many more applications than we could ever hope to fulfil from within our core area; therefore, if you are outside it, you are very unlikely to be successful.

What is funded
The broad categories we are supporting at present (in decreasing order of the amount awarded and averaged over the last three years) are:
• Medical and Disablement (28.7%)
• The Disadvantaged (19.9%)
• Youth and Children (16.8%)
• Other Churches (9.4%)
• Community Projects (6.8%)
• Methodism in the Specified Counties (6.5%)
• The Environment (5.5%)
• Other (6.4%)

What is not funded
• No grants to specific individuals, even if through a charitable organisation.
• No grants to institutions that are not registered charities or established churches that pay wages or other remuneration (this will rule out most Community Interest Companies for example)
• Large projects (over £500,000 or projects with more than £250,000 still to raise).
• General appeals by national charities.
• Grants are not normally given for running expenses of a charity.

Typical grants awarded
We usually make one-off grants for a specific project or part of project. A grant will not normally be paid until all the other funds needed for the project have been raised and the project started (eg - building contract signed). We tend not to come in at the early stages of fund-raising, as it ties up funds for too long between the award and the payment criteria being met.
• Usual range of grants:  £100 - £2,000
• Typical grants:  £500 or £1,000

Typical examples of grants paid in recent years:
• £2,000 towards the cost of renovations to a Methodist Church
• £1,000 towards the cost of activities for a visually impaired sports club
• £1,000 towards the cost of starter kits for housing the homeless
• £1,000 towards the cost of provision of a new scout hut
• £ 500 to a parish church towards a new community centre
• £ 500 to a hospice towards the cost of new equipment
• £ 250 towards the cost of a gardening catalogue for sales of a disabled work scheme

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