General exclusions

Work we don’t currently fund. 


Across most of our funds, we have shared principles for work we do not fund. These are informed by a mixture of our statutory obligations as a funder, as well as our strategy which helps us determine where we think our funds can have the most value.

In addition to these general exclusions, each of our funds has its own set of criteria. Before applying, please take a look at both these general exclusions and the specific criteria of the fund you’re looking to apply to.

  • These exclusions apply to organisations who apply for our open funds, not individuals. Find out more about the criteria for our Ideas and Pioneers Fund which you can apply to as an individual, unlike our other open funds.

Past work or work beginning imminently

We do not fund:

  • Work that has already been delivered
  • Applications for work that is due to start within four months – for most of our Funds, it takes around four months from the date of your application before you receive a grant payment if you are successful

Non-charitable work

We do not fund: 

  • Activity that is not legally charitable
  • Activity that involves breaking any UK laws

Where work is charitable, we will not fund:

  • Proposals that are only for the benefit of one individual
  • General fundraising appeals, letters requesting donations and other non-specific funding requests
  • The advancement of religion
  • Loan and/​or debt repayments, or funds to reduce a deficit

Work without safeguarding in place

We do not fund:

  • organisations working with children and young people or vulnerable adults who don’t have a Safeguarding Policy and active procedures in place, or are unable to show they are working towards this. For more information on our requirements, please see our safeguarding policy

Purchase of property or equipment

We do not fund:

  • Proposals which are mainly about property or other capital items, including the restoration or conservation of buildings or habitats
  • Proposals which are mainly about equipment, although we know that certain costs related to overheads or facilities might be included in your budget as part of a broader application for core funding

Academic work, publications or events

We do not fund:

  • Academic research, scholarships, bursaries, or student fees
  • Websites, publications, events or seminars, unless part of a wider proposal

Statutory responsibilities or duties

We do not fund:

  • Work that is considered a statutory responsibility. Local authorities in England (and the equivalent in the Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) have a statutory duty to provide a range of services to their communities. These include: education services; children’s safeguarding and social care; adult social care; waste collection; planning and housing services; road maintenance; and library services. Our funding cannot be used to support work that falls under these core duties or responsibilities

Conditional exclusions

Across most of our funds, we are unlikely to fund the following, and recommend you talk to us before applying:

  • Grants where the per annum amount requested is more than your annual turnover
  • Organisations that are for-profit
  • Organisations that are seeking to build up an endowment, unless by explicit invitation from our board of trustees
  • Proposals that have been declined in the last 12 months. Applicants have to wait for 12 months before applying again, unless we have explicitly invited you to resubmit or you are applying. The main exception is our Arts Fund, which only accepts applications during set times of the year which may mean you reapply before 12 months has passed
  • Unincorporated groups and organisations. The main exception to this is our Migration Fund which accepts applications from unincorporated groups
  • Proposals that benefit people living outside the UK (except for the priority geographical areas of our India Fund). This includes overseas travel, as well as expeditions, adventure and residential courses. The main exception to this is our Migration Fund, which supports work benefitting people outside of the UK as long as this is directly related to benefitting those in the UK

Our funds

Find out more about our funding and what work we’re currently looking to support.