An introduction to grants

Grants are a form of restricted funding. So the funding must be spent on a specified programme of activity or an agreed set of resources. Depending on the size of the grant, you may have to provide a detailed budget to the funder, as well as evidence of expenditure, a programme evaluation, and regular progress updates. You may also have to sign a grant agreement or contract.

Grants are subsidies and offer organisations the opportunity to undertake activities which can't generate enough income to cover their costs, often running projects that make a real difference to people’s lives. Grants can be used in a wide number of ways, to support research and development, help build capacity or establish new activities which over time could become self-financing.

Key things to know about grants

  • Grant funding tends to be short-term, so you'll need to build in from the start your exit strategy
  • Many funders have specific priorities for types of activity they want to fund – and this doesn’t always match up with what you want to do
  • Funders may have terms and conditions to manage the project - such as new financial procedures or systems
  • The application process can take time, each funder has their own criteria, priorities and processes which means every application has to be tailored. It then takes time to get a decision and receive the grant.

Explore grants

This section will help your explore grants in more depth with information and practical tools to help you improve your applications. Work your way through:

Start your funding search for grants

Put the theory into practice use our funding search to identify the most relevant funders to your project.