Grant Application Guidelines

Benevolent Fund, Charitable Grants
Registered Charity No. 266189 

How to Apply for Funding 

Before making an application, please read the Guidelines and information about the Process for Applying, as outlined below.  You should only submit an application if your work falls within our priorities. Applications may be made using the form on our website. 

Guidelines for Applicants 

The Weavers' Company Benevolent Fund was set up in 1973 with funds from The Worshipful Company of Weavers, which is the oldest City of London Livery Company and has a history dating back before 1130 AD.

The Benevolent Fund is the Charity through which the Company directs its main charitable giving and the Charitable Grants Committee apply the income to support work in the following areas of interest.

  • Young Offenders 
  • Prisoners and Ex-prisoners
  • Young disadvantaged people, especially those at risk of criminal involvement

We are especially interested in helping smaller organisations which offer direct services. Organisations must normally be registered charities or in the process of applying for registration. The Company will consider funding up to £15,000 per annum and will normally award a grant for one year only. To make sure grants of this size have an impact, we will not normally fund large organisations.

Applicants must show that they have investigated other sources of funding and made plans for the future, which should include replacement funding if appropriate.

We receive a great many appeals each year and the most common reasons for the Trustees not being able to make a grant include:

  • applications not falling within our guidelines;
  • charities asking for more than the grant figures given in the guidelines;
  • application forms not being correctly completed.

Funding Priorities

1.   Supporting offenders and ex-offenders

Many offenders and ex-offenders suffer from a variety of difficult and complex problems and they are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. We will fund work that addresses the social and economic problems faced by this group and their families, and provide them with support, life skills training and a way back into education, training and/or employment, so that they may reintegrate and make a positive contribution to society.

2.   Helping disadvantaged young people

The Trustees are keen to support projects working with disadvantaged young people to ensure that they are given every possible chance to meet their full potential and to participate fully in society. We normally define young people as being aged from 5 to 30 years.

What will we fund?

  • Size of organisation.  Though income is not a barrier to an application being considered, the Committee's preference is to support small organisations. Local organisations such as those working in a village, estate or small town should normally have an income of less than about £100,000. For those working in larger cities and/or across the UK, income should not be more than £250,000.
  • Funding Limit.  Grants of up to £15,000 per annum may be awarded, but smaller applications are also welcomed.
  • Duration of funding.  Grants are normally awarded for one year only. The Company can however exceptionally consider applications for multi-year funding, up to three years.
  • Pump-priming.  We particularly welcome applications for pump-priming grants from small community-based organisations where our grant would form a major element of the funding.
  • Project funding.  We prefer to support projects where our grant will be used for an identified purpose.
  • Associated Costs.  If you are applying for project funding, you should make sure you have included the cost of any overheads associated with the work, such as office/secretarial support, so that the project is not under-funded.  It is in your best interest to ensure that you have realistically assessed the cost of the project.
  • Core costs.  We will consider applications for core funding for new projects, such as general administration and training that enable an organisation to develop and maintain expertise. Only those organisations whose main purpose fits within our area of interest are eligible to apply.
  • Innovative or pioneering work.  We like to encourage new ideas and to fund projects that could inspire similar work in other areas of the country.
  • Continuation funding.  We may consider providing ongoing funding for successful projects which have proved their worth.
  • Emergency or deficit funding.  In exceptional circumstances, we may provide emergency or deficit funding for an established organisation. Applicants most likely to be granted emergency funding are charities which the Company knows or has previously supported.

What will we not fund?

  • Long-term support.  We will not normally provide long-term support.
  • General appeals.  We will not support sponsorship, marketing or other fundraising activities.
  • Endowment Funds.  We will not support endowment funds, nor bursaries or long-term capital projects.
  • Grant-giving charities.  We will not provide grants to grant-giving charities.
  • Retrospective funding.  We will not make grants for work that has been completed or will be completed while the application is being considered.
  • Replacement funding.  We will not provide grants for work that should be covered by statutory funding.
  • Building projects.  We will not fund building work, but may help with the cost of equipment or furnishings.
  • Disability Discrimination Act. We will not fund capital projects to provide access in compliance with the DDA.
  • Personal Appeals.  We will not make grants to individuals.
  • Umbrella bodies or large, established organisations.  We will not normally support projects in which the charity is collaborating or working in partnership with umbrella bodies or large, established organisations.
  • Overseas.  We will not support organisations working outside the UK, nor overseas expeditions or travel.

Work that we cannot normally support includes

  • Work with children under 5 years of age
  • Universities or colleges
  • Medical charities or those involved in medical care
  • Organisations of and for people with disabilities, including learning and physical disabilities
  • Environmental projects
  • Work in promotion of religious or political causes

The Process for Applying 

To apply for a grant, complete the application form on-line, then print the form and mail it to The Weavers' Company together with your supporting documents.  Details of how to do this and what documents to include are given below.

Closing dates for applications are published on our website and you are advised to apply in good time.

Once we have received your application form, the process is as follows:

  1. Receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email, provided that the application is received at least 10 days prior to a closing deadline.
  2. We will contact you should any further information be required for the initial assessment.
  3. We will let you know within two weeks of a closing deadline whether or not your application has been shortlisted for further consideration.
  4. If shortlisted, you will be visited by a member of the Company who will discuss your project with you in more detail and who will make a recommendation to the Commitee.  Our members live throughout the UK and are often able to bring local knowledge to bear.  The number of applications received far outstrips the funds available so that even if a positive recommendation is made, it may not be possible to award a grant.
  5. All shortlisted applicants will be advised in writing of the Committee's decision within two weeks of the meeting. 

Because of the various stages involved, it may take up to four months from receiving your application until a final decision is reached and this should be taken into account when planning your project.  Any applications that arrive too late for consideration at one meeting are automatically rolled forward to the next.  

Application deadlines See Application Form

Completing the Application Form

Applications can be made using the form on our website.  Create an on-line account using an email address and set a password which you will need to access your application later. The completed form cannot be submitted on-line, or sent by email.  It must be printed and posted

There are 7 sections to the form, each to be completed as fully as possible.

  • Information entered will auto-save. To force a save click Next or Previous (buttons are at the bottom of each page. There is no specific 'Save' button). 
  • You will be prompted to enter information for some questions before you can progress to the next stage. If you do not have relevant details, you can still continue with your application by clicking Continue Anyway.
  • For financial and other numerical questions please enter ‘0’ where the answer is nil.
  • Some questions have a character and box size limit. Please ensure answers are given in the space provided (additional information can be added at Section 6).
  • To access a partially completed form, go to the Application Form page on the website, enter your email address and password and press Submit.
  • When completed, you should print the form, sign it and post it to the Weavers' Company at the address detailed on the form together with (a) a signed copy of the organisation's latest audited or independently examined accounts and (b) job descriptions if applying for salary funding.
  • It is not possible to download a blank application form.  A partially completed form can be printed by navigating to the final page, agreeing to the terms and conditions and then selecting Print.  You can then view all the questions and log back into your application to enter additional data.

Further advice and information:  For further advice and information about the Company’s Charitable Grants or if you would like an application form to be sent to you by e-mail, please contact Anne Howe, Charities Officer
Tel:  020 7606 1155