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Funding FAQs

Chagos Conservation Trust – Blenheim Reef © Jon Slayer

Here are the answers to some of the most common queries. If you cannot find what you need here, or would like to clarify something, please call us on 020 7930 8566.

Will you support work that takes place in a single UK country?

We fund organisations from any part of the UK whose work has impact across the UK.

Work based in individual countries may be funded where:

  • The work is of UK-wide significance - this may be because of the issue tackled, for example, Scotland has the most substantial marine environment in the UK, or because the work is so exemplary or pioneering that it will be of special interest and relevance elsewhere in the UK; or
  • The work covers more than one UK country - which could be a single organisation working across borders or a partnership of organisations in different countries; for example, an activity in Wales and NI would qualify; or
  • The organisation is working across England

Do you make grants overseas?

Our Environment category provides for a small number of grants for work in UK Overseas Territories, and exceptionally for marine projects outside UK waters. We only consider applications from UK-based NGOs.

When do you fund core costs and when do you prefer to fund a project?

As a responsive funder, we listen to what you judge is important. Our main interest is in supporting small to medium-sized organisations whose work matches our funding priorities. We believe that core funding is usually the most valuable contribution we can make. If you think a project grant would be best, you can apply for that instead.

We are aware that a modest core grant will have a limited impact on the finances of larger organisations. If your turnover is close to £10m a year, it may be better to apply for a project grant.

Does an application have to fit more than one of your categories?

An individual application or grant does not directly have to relate to all three elements of our aim – relating to people, society and the natural world. An environment grant, for example, might focus on a particular habitat, with the individual and social benefits only becoming evident indirectly or in the longer term.

We are also interested in work which fits more than one of our categories. Such applications must be a good match with the criteria of at least one category, with a link to another being a bonus.

When will you fund research?

We recognise that rigorous research and policy analysis can provide the evidence and arguments to advocate for important changes in practice. We prefer to fund this sort of work if it is grounded in real life experience, includes the voices of those affected, and is likely to make a practical difference. When considering such proposals, your track record, expertise, knowledge of the context and understanding of how to effect such change will be important considerations.

Do you fund universities?

Not usually, and not for their core work. Exceptionally, we may consider an application from a specialist unit if you are a centre of excellence and a leader in your field. Your work should:

  • be distinctive and likely to make a practical difference
  • involve partnerships with charities or NGOs
  • have a budget that includes no contribution to overheads
  • strongly match our funding interests.

How much can I apply for?

Our minimum grant is £10,000. There is no maximum. Last year our grants ranged from £20,000 to £150,000. To get an idea of the kind of grants we award, take a look at the grants list.

How long will you make a grant for?

Most of our grants are for two or three years.

When is the best time for me to apply? Do you have any deadlines?

For the majority of applications there are no deadlines and you can apply at any time. We make decisions regularly throughout the year.

Some work strands, such as the Regional Museums and Galleries Fund have an annual application deadline. Please click here for more information.

How quickly will I know your decision?

We will acknowledge your application within one week.

We have a two-stage application process. We aim to deal with all first-stage applications within 10 weeks, though most people will hear more quickly. On the rare occasion an application takes longer, we will be in touch.

Second-stage applicants are asked to apply within a month of being invited to do so. You should receive a decision within a maximum of three months.

When can I reapply if I have been turned down?

One year from the date of the decision.

When can I reapply if I have a grant? Do you provide continuation funding?

We usually ask you to wait for one year after the grant has ended. We may consider a continuation grant in highly exceptional cases only – please contact the Head of Grants to discuss this on dorothee@ellerman.org.uk.

Can I discuss my application with you before I apply?

We are always happy to discuss potential applications. Before you get in touch, please read our guidance.

Do I have to be a registered charity to apply?

We will only make grants to registered, excepted or exempt charities.

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