You are here

Finding grantmaking trusts

What are you fundraising for?

As you develop your fundraising plan, you will know which activities you need to raise funds for. This will help you decide which trusts to ask to fund which project. Trusts tend to prefer specific projects but some will allow their grants to be spent on general running costs. There are various resources that you may find helpful in drawing up a shortlist of potential funders for your projects.

Free online databases

Most charitable trusts and foundations will be registered with the appropriate regulator:

England and Wales

  1. Charity Commission for England and Wales and Guidestar


  1. Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

Northern Ireland

  1. Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has not yet begun to register charities but has a list of deemed charities

Other resources

  1. Funding Central (run by National Council of Voluntary Organisations) lists funding opportunities in England. It is possible to search the site without registering, but registration is free and enables you to save your searches.

  2. Wales Council for Voluntary Action provides free access to GRANTnet – you’ll need to register using an email address to search this database.

  3. Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations is currently developing Funding Scotland which will link funders with organisations requiring funding.

  4. There are 54 Community Foundations in the UK, covering all of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and most of England.

  5. Your local council (look for websites ending “”) will usually include information about local funders. If their website does not have a link from the homepage, search the site for ‘grants’ or ‘funding’.

Subscription and printed resources

Subscription online resources and printed directories are published by various organisations. You may be able to access subscription resources locally, free of charge (e.g. Council of Voluntary Organisations). National Association of Voluntary and Community Action have a directory of local organisations that may be able to help.

Your local library may have reference copies of printed directories.

Not sure where to start?

The following funders will consider applications from more than one branch of the same charity at the same time.

Awards for All

Awards for All is an accessible, simple National Lottery fund which allows community groups to apply for £300 to £10,000 for their work.

Applications are very straight forward for up to £10,000 and can be for a wide range of purposes.

Applications can be for 100% of the cost and can be used to fund existing projects and activities.

Your Area Fundraiser can support directly with templates from previously successful applications. All MS Society groups are eligible to apply, providing they have a project proposal that meets the criteria set out by Awards for All.

  1. Find out more about our Raise more funds with Awards for All eLearning
  2. See our tips for applying to Awards for All

The Co-operative Membership Community Fund

The Co-operative Membership Community Fund considers applications from more than one part of the same charity at the same time. They award grants to local groups for anything from equipment to event costs, including general running costs.

Check their website for guidelines and FAQ pages to help you through the application process. If you still have questions, contact your area fundraiser, fundraising team or national office.

Back to applying to a local trust