Guidelines for each category

The first step is to check our eligibility criteria for all applicants and our exclusions. If you are eligible to apply you should then read the guidance for the relevant category.

Supporting the potential of arts to enrich and transform lives.

Contributing to greater harmony between people and the planet.

Helping people facing poverty, hardship or disadvantage lead fuller, more independent lives.

  • Arts

    Our aim
    We believe that art has the potential to enrich and transform lives.

    That is why we help make the highest quality art available to all. We do this by supporting arts organisations that represent excellence in their field at a national level.

    What we fund
    We concentrate our funding in two main areas:

    • Regional museums and galleries. We aim to strengthen these institutions, with a focus on using curatorial skills to enhance collections for public benefit.

      This is an annual programme with its own criteria and decision-making process.
    • The performing arts, mainly theatre, music and dance. We may support other performing art forms if the organisation and its work are exceptional.

      You can apply at any time under this heading. 

    What we look for
    Performing arts organisations should demonstrate some of the following:

    • national significance in the nature or quality of the work
    • bringing the performing arts to people who would not otherwise attend
    • inclusion of new and emerging talent as a part of their overall programme of work (ie the development of talent is not the organisation's main focus)
    • innovative approaches.
  • Environment

    Our aim
    We aim to contribute to greater harmony between people and the planet.

    We are particularly interested in organisations that integrate the needs of communities, habitats and species.

    What we fund

    We concentrate our funding in two main areas:

    1. Managing habitats: creating richer, more sustainable places on land or in the oceans.

    We welcome your application if it:

    • aims to enrich and develop healthy ecosystems. This could include better management of, experimenting with or linking together habitats, including large-scale interventions that help restore places of special significance, or 

    • takes a broad approach to working on a specific issue. We favour niche national charities, including those that focus on particular species as they relate to their wider habitat.

    Here we fund work in the UK only, but please see the point below about UK Overseas Territories. 

    ​​2. Protecting the seas: replenishing and supporting marine ecosystems.

    We welcome your application if it:

    • ensures that UK marine protected areas (MPAs) are well planned, implemented and maintained. We will also consider an application to protect marine areas other than MPAs if it is convincing, or

    • uses market forces to reduce overfishing. This could mean certification schemes, developing markets for the most sustainable fisheries, and working with restaurants, wholesalers and retailers to increase sustainable sourcing of seafood.

    Here we prioritise work in UK waters. However, we will consider exceptional proposals for overseas work from UK-based NGOs when directly relevant to the UK.

    We want to help reduce the human impact on the most significant and threatened habitats in UK Overseas Territories. We welcome applications from UK-based NGOs with local partners for work in these areas. Here we only expect to make a small number of grants.

    What we look for
    Organisations that do some of the following:

    • appreciate the importance of habitats to human wellbeing, as well as the impact of people on their habitats
    • promote livelihoods or employment for local communities
    • use natural resources in a sustainable way.


  • Welfare

    Our aim
    We aim to help people facing poverty, hardship or disadvantage to lead fuller, more independent lives.

    We expect a variety of people to benefit from our funding. They might include: young people in care or at risk of getting into trouble; carers; vulnerable or isolated adults; those with chronic ill health; disabled people; families (in the broadest sense) living with serious difficulties, perhaps because they have disabled children, are affected by a relationship breakdown or have a history of disadvantage.

    What we fund
    We concentrate our funding in two main areas:

    1. Enabling individuals to realise their potential by:
      • building self-confidence and skills to improve opportunities
        such as personal development, mentoring or other kinds of support
      • helping people gain greater control over their lives and the practicalities of daily living
        such as having somewhere safe and secure to live, being mobile, managing budgets and finances, and recreational activities
      • encouraging a greater voice for those who are less easily heard
        such as enabling people to speak for themselves, providing advocacy support or other steps to ensure that individual concerns are heard.
    2. Strengthening and building relationships to improve people’s lives by:
      • creating dependable personal and social networks
        such as peer groups, friendships or family ties
      • bringing together diverse individuals, groups and communities
        such as intergenerational activities or other work to promote greater understanding or integration.

    What we look for
    We prioritise charities that:

    • actively involve beneficiaries in their work
    • focus on those in greatest need or most excluded
    • provide compelling evidence of the positive impact of their work
    • meet immediate needs with an eye to reducing future needs.