Fundraising from trusts
Tips for raising money from trusts.
Trusts are charities that offer grants to other organisations or to individuals. They give grants for work that meets the trust’s own specific aims and objectives. They are often very small organisations, run by a few volunteers. Their money usually comes from the interest of one large donation or bequest. The amount of money trusts have available varies from very little to millions of pounds.
Selecting trusts to apply to
Most trusts have been set up for a specific purpose and receive far more applications that they are able to support. It is therefore important to find the trusts that best match the project you are planning. For more help with how to do this, look at our information on Planning a funding application.
For groups in Brighton & Hove:
- The Resource Centre maintains a list of useful local funders, which includes some trusts.
- Community Base has a subscription to Trustfunding.org.uk – a subscription website that lists 4,200 grant-making trusts in the UK. Groups in Sussex can contact Community Base to arrange access to the database.
- Brighton & Hove Council’s Communities Team has a subscription to the Grantfinder database. Contact them to arrange a searching session.
If you are based elsewhere, you may be able to find another local voluntary sector support organisation that has a subscription to Trustfunding.org.uk, or another similar website such as Grantfinder.co.uk.
Once you have selected your trusts, take your time to prepare applications that will really convince them that your project matches their criteria, and that your group has the ability to make it work.
Some trusts will have an application form that you can download from their website, or that they will post to you. Others will ask you to send a letter of application. Trusts often take many months to reply. You should write to them well in advance of when you will need the money.
The majority of trusts give very little guidance on what to include in your application. We recommend you use our information sheets on Planning a Funding Application and Writing a Funding Application to help you think through which trusts to apply to and how to make your application as strong as possible.
Page updated February 2019