OK....you have found a charity or trust....What next?
Check the grant criteria
Does it provide what you are looking for?
Are you able to fulfil their eligibility requirements?
This may include your age, your condition, your individual financial situation and where you live.
If you tick all their boxes.....You are ready to apply for a grant.
Most UK charities will have an application form which you can either be downloaded from their website or by contacting the charity direct.
Some however, mainly small local trusts prefer a personal letter outlining why you are applying for funding and why you think they may be able to help you.
In most cases the charity will ask for a report or recommendation from a professional involved with the disabled person to support your grant application. This may be a health professional, social worker, family support worker, or in the case of children, their Headteacher.
The named professional may be asked to include their report on your application form or if you are asked to supply their contact details they will be contacted direct by the charity.
Some charities will not accept applications from individuals and require that a professional applies on your behalf.
All application forms will ask contact details, information about the applicant’s disability, what they need and why they need it.
Some may also ask for financial information.
For example.....they may ask how much you spend on your household bills each month and details any outstanding debts.
The charities are not asking this information to pry into people’s lives but to ensure that the money they give goes to those in most need.
Describe in detail what you need and why you need it. Some things may seem obvious to you but the trustees of the charity may not have experience of the condition or disability.
Include cost quotations to support the application to give the charity an indication of the exact amount of money you are looking for.
It is important that you do not ask for more that you realistically need when making grant applications.
If you are able to contribute towards the item or project say so in your application with details of how much you are able to pay and whether you have fundraised to achieve this amount.
A Charity may only be able to contribute towards part of your costs and may ask if you have contacted other charities. Again, be honest about your answer as charities will sometimes contact each other and agree to joint funding.
Once you have made your application don’t expect a quick reply. Some Charities only meet to allocate funds two or three times a year. Other charities may also have long waiting lists.