Apply for a grant

The application process

Initial steps

Preliminary note

From January 2022 we have reduced the geographical area from which we accept applications.  The Eligibility section sets out the new criteria. You must check the section to ensure that you fall within our revised, smaller, area.  Please check the whole section – not merely that which deals with geographical eligibility – to ensure that you can satisfy all our criteria. 

A common issue is failure to satisfy our accounts requirements.

If it is clear that you do not meet our criteria in full please do not submit an application.

Check your entry on the Charity Commission’s website

When we first consider your application (which may be some weeks after you submit it and which may sometimes be after we have already acknowledged receipt of it – see below) we will check your entry ourselves.

We expect to find that:

(a) your charity is not shown as ‘newly registered’, we require that some history of your operation as a charity is publicly available before we will consider an application from you, and
(b) you are up-to-date with your filing obligations. There have been changes to the layout of entries on the Charity Commission website. These changes mean that, when your entry comes up, we need to see a white tick in a green dot with the words “Charity reporting is up to date” to the right of the dot. It is not yet clear to us how the question of “qualified accounts” is dealt with but we stress that there is any indication that your accounts have been qualified then we will not consider your application further. Please note that this comment also applies to our pre-meeting checks on applicants.
(c) you have at least 4 trustees, but please see the paragraph next following

If you fail to satisfy any of these conditions then we will reject you at that stage. Please note that if it appears to us that two or more of your trustees are connected (principally as members of the same family) we will treat all such connected trustees as a single trustee; we accept that this is something which is not easy to determine. If you are not sending us accounts we expect to be able to access these from your entry; if we cannot, again, we will reject your entry at that stage.

Check your previous application history

If your three most recent applications have all been unsuccessful we suggest you consider whether this is an indication that the application you are considering submitting will also prove unsuccessful. It is most unlikely that any future applications would be considered.

Category code
If you consider you satisfy our criteria you should choose the category under which you consider your application will fall. Make a note of the code we have given the category as you will have to insert it in answer to question 6 on the application form.

Grant conditions
You should then read the Grant conditions.  If you are not prepared to accept these conditions then please do not apply.

Check the next meeting date
Once you are satisfied as to your eligibility and have accepted our conditions please check the date of our next meeting and the closing date for applications for that meeting. The Saintbury Trust does not make retrospective grants so there is no point in applying for funds for a project which will have been completed before the meeting takes place.

Making your application

Please send us the following by email to

  1. The completed application form.  Please use a different font (not less than size 12). The form will expand to a maximum of three sides; please do not try to expand it further
  2. A single page letter on your headed notepaper telling us anything more about your project which you think will assist the trustees in making a decision about your application
  3. Only if they are not available through the Charity Commission website a copy of your latest available accounts.  If accounts to a later date become available after you have submitted your application but before the date of our meeting we do not require you to send these – though you may if you wish.

We have no objection to your sending, if you so wish, additional material in support of your application.  However, this must be sent by email. Please also note that copies of only your application form and accompanying letter (up to a maximum of 4 pages in total) will be provided to the trustees although they will have access to any additional material at the meeting.

What happens next

We will endeavour to acknowledge your application by e-mail (only) within one month of receipt although there are times when this is not possible and, in any event, applicants whose applications are received after the closing dates for the spring and autumn meetings should not expect to hear from us before the following 1 June and 1 January respectively.

As already stated, we will no longer necessarily carry out our checks on your entry on the Charity Commission website (see ‘Check your entry on the Charity Commission website’ above) prior to our acknowledging your application but if we do, and we consider that you do not meet our criteria, or if it is otherwise obvious that you do not do so, then we will endeavour to advise you as soon as possible.

Prior to the meeting we will carry out a check (or further check) on the entry on the Charity Commission website of all applicants who have reached the agenda (again see above). We try to carry out these checks as close as we can to the date of the meeting (if possible a week to ten days beforehand) but sometimes we have to do this earlier. Whilst we would wish to avoid doing so, we do reserve the right to carry out these checks at any time after the closing date for the relevant meeting.

After the meeting

We will contact successful applications by email, with our form of receipt, and requesting bank details which must be provided on the applicant charity’s letterhead, accompanied by a voided paying-in slip.  All documents should be emailed to

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.  We try to do this within one month after our meeting.  If you have not heard by the end of the second month after a meeting (eg by the end of June for an April meeting) you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful.

Grant payments will be made to the successful applicant in the name as it appears on the Charity Commission website. As far as we are concerned this is the proper and legal name of the applicant.

Whether or not a grant is made is in the absolute discretion of the trustees.  We do not give reasons as to why an application has been unsuccessful and will not enter into any correspondence or communication on the point.

Subsequent applications

As indicated under Eligibility, we do not accept applications from the same charity at successive meetings (whether or not a grant has been approved).  Any such application will usually be rejected on receipt (although on rare occasions it may be deferred).