How to Apply for Funding

Please read these guidelines carefully and only apply if your work falls within our priorities.

Guidelines for Applicants

The Weavers’ Company Benevolent Fund was set up in 1973 with funds from The Worshipful Company of Weavers, which is the oldest City of London Livery Company and has a history dating back before 1130 AD


Benevolent Fund Priorities

1. Supporting offenders and ex-offenders

Many offenders and ex-offenders suffer from a variety of difficult, complex problems and are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. We will fund work that addresses the social and economic problems faced by this group and their families, providing them with support, life-skills training and a way back into education, training and/or employment, so that they may reintegrate and make a positive contribution to society. Our particular interest is in supporting young offenders under the age of 30.

2. Helping disadvantaged young people

The Trustees are keen to support projects working with disadvantaged young people to ensure they are given every possible chance to realise their full potential and to participate fully in society. We normally define young people as being aged from 5 to 30 years.

We are especially interested in helping smaller organisations that offer direct services. Organisations should normally be registered charities or in the process of applying for registration. Exceptionally, applications from CICs may be considered.

Our grants are relatively modest, usually with an upper limit of £15,000 per annum, and to make sure grants of this size have an impact, we will not normally fund large organisations.

Applicants must show that they have investigated other sources of funding and made plans for the future, which should include replacement funding if appropriate.

We receive a great many appeals each year and the most common reasons for the Trustees not being able to make a grant include:

  • applications not falling within our guidelines
  • charities asking for more than the grant figures given in the guidelines
  • application forms not being filled in correctly

What will we fund?

  • Size of organisation. Though income is not a barrier to an application being considered, the Committee’s preference is to support small organisations. Local organisations, such as those working in a village, estate or small town should normally have an annual income of less than about £100,000. For those working in larger cities and/or across the UK, annual income should not be more than about £250,000.
  • Funding Limit. Grants of up to £15,000 per annum may be awarded, but smaller applications are also welcomed.
  • Duration of funding. Grants are normally awarded for one year only. The Company can however exceptionally consider applications for multi-year funding, up to three years.
  • Pump-priming. We particularly welcome applications for pump-priming grants from small community-based organisations where our grant would form a major element of the funding.
  • Project funding. We prefer to support projects where our grant will be used for an identified purpose.
  • Associated Costs. If you are applying for project funding, you should make sure you have included the cost of any overheads associated with the work, such as office/secretarial support, so that the project is not under-funded. It is in your best interest to ensure that you have realistically assessed the cost of the project.
  • Core costs. We will consider applications for core funding for new projects, such as general administration and training that enable an organisation to develop and maintain expertise. Only those organisations whose main purpose fits within our area of interest are eligible to apply.
  • Innovative or pioneering work.  We like to encourage new ideas and to fund projects that could inspire similar work in other areas of the country.
  • Continuation funding. We may consider providing ongoing funding for successful projects which have proved their worth.
  • Emergency or deficit funding. In exceptional circumstances, we may provide emergency or deficit funding for an established organisation.  Applicants most likely to be granted such emergency funding are charities that the Company knows or has previously supported.

What won't we fund?

  • Long-term support. We will not normally provide long-term support.
  • General appeals. We will not support sponsorship, marketing or other fundraising activities.
  • Endowment Funds. We will not support endowment funds, nor bursaries or long-term capital projects.
  • Grant-giving charities. We will not provide grants to grant-giving charities.
  • Retrospective funding. We will not make grants for work that has been completed or will be completed while the application is being considered.
  • Replacement funding. We will not provide grants for work that should be covered by statutory funding.
  • Building projects. We will not fund building work, but may help with the cost of equipment or furnishings.
  • Disability Discrimination Act. We will not fund capital projects to provide access in compliance with the DDA.
  • Personal Appeals. We will not make grants to individuals.
  • Umbrella bodies or large, established organisations. We will not normally support projects in which the charity is collaborating or working in partnership with umbrella bodies or large, established organisations.
  • Overseas. We will not support organisations working outside the UK, nor overseas expeditions or travel.

Work that we cannot normally support includes

  • Work with children under 5 years of age
  • Universities or colleges
  • Medical charities or those involved in medical care
  • Organisations of and for people with disabilities, including learning and physical disabilities
  • Environmental projects
  • Work in promotion of religious or political causes

How to Apply

Complete the application form, download and sign it, then post it to The Weavers’ Company, together with your supporting documents.:

  1. A signed copy of the organisations latest audited or independently examined accounts; and
  2. Job descriptions if applying for salary funding.

Please do contact the office if you have any queries and we will do our best to help you.  We cannot however accept draft applications.

Once we have received your application form, the process is as follows:

  1. We will contact you should any further information be required for the initial assessment.
  2. You will be advised within two weeks of a closing date if your application has been short-listed.
  3. If shortlisted, we will arrange an Assessment Visit.   You will be visited by a member of the Company who will discuss your project with you in more detail and who will make a recommendation to the Committee.  Our members live throughout the UK and are often able to bring local knowledge to bear.  The number of applications received by the Company far outstrips the funds available, so even if shortlisted and a positive recommendation is made, it may not be possible to award a grant.
  4. All shortlisted applicants will be advised in writing of the Committee’s decision within two weeks of the meeting.
  5. Applicants awarded a grant will be required to provide progress reports for the duration of the grant.

Because of the various stages involved, it may take up to four months from receiving your application until a final decision is reached and this should be taken into account when planning your project.  Any applications that arrive too late for consideration at one meeting are automatically rolled forward to the next.

When to Apply

The Charitable Grants Committee meets in February, June and October of each year.  Because of the various stages involved in the assessment process, it may take up to four months for your application to be processed and this should be considered when planning your project

Any applications that arrive after a deadline will be automatically rolled forward to the next.

See the application form for current deadline dates:

Apply now


Further advice and information

For further advice and information about the Company’s Charitable Grants or if you would like an application form to be sent to you by e-mail, please contact:

Anne Howe, Charities Officer
Tel:  020 7606 1155

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