Apply for a grant

Who Can Apply

Organisations/groups must:

  • Be a registered charity or other non-profit making body (community groups/PTA’s/sports groups etc).
  • Have a constitution or other governing document
  • Have a committee of at least three unrelated Trustees/Directors (if you have more than this the majority must be unrelated individuals with no financial interest in the organisation).
  • If your organisation is a social enterprise (including CICs) there is particular guidance available- please contact a member of staff or review our guidance document below: CIC’s/Social Enterprise guidance.

What We Don't Fund

Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation will NOT support the following:

  • Projects not benefiting people living in Bedfordshire (with the exception of a few identified areas via the London Luton Airport Near Neighbours fund)
  • Grants to individuals or families for personal needs
  • Direct replacement of statutory obligation and public funding
  • Promotion of religious or political causes
  • Groups with significant financial free reserves
  • Retrospective grants
  • Contribution to endowment fund, payment of deficit funding or repayment of loans
  • National charities that are not providing clear local benefits
  • Overseas travel or expeditions
  • Sponsored or fundraising events or groups raising funds to redistribute to other causes
  • Medical research and equipment for statutory or private healthcare
  • Start-up funding for a project that is unable to start within nine months
  • Commercial ventures, unless the group is a registered not for profit organisation
  • General appeals
  • Animal welfare, unless the project benefits people (e.g. disabled riding schemes)
  • Fees for professional fundraisers
  • Statutory agencies including Parish Councils and schools in the discharge of their statutory obligations

Guidance for Applicants

As an independent local grantmaker, we support voluntary and community groups working for the benefit of people living within Luton and Bedfordshire. We award all our grants from the numerous funds we manage on behalf of statutory agencies, private donors, companies and local families.

All our funds are listed in the grants section of the website together with a criteria leaflet and application form. Each fund is different – they have their own requirements, deadlines and funding limits. The majority of our funds are for grants below £10,000.

*Please do not apply for more than one fund at a time -unless you have spoken with a member of the BLCF Grants team beforehand.

It is really important that you read the criteria for each fund and make sure that you are eligible to apply both in terms of the type of project you want to do and the geographical area where you are based/delivering projects.

Please also note that the majority of our applications must be submitted online via our grants management system. If this is not possible due to specific capability or disability issues, please contact our grants team who will try to assist you.

Successful applications must demonstrate the following:

  • A strong case for support or evidence of need
  • Clear aims and objectives
  • That wherever possible the organisation or project is user led
  • That the grant will make a real difference to people within their community
  • That they have the capacity, knowledge, skills and resources to deliver its activities effectively
  • That they are financially sound with regards to finance management, held funds and annual expenditure
  • That funding estimates are realistic, reasonable and represent good value for money
  • That they have a track record of partnership working, wherever appropriate, with others working in the same, similar or complementary field of activity
  • That  they recognise continued funding from BLCF is not guaranteed and that they must be able to evidence, wherever possible, seeking funds from different sources, show efforts have been made to become sustainable, and have a clear exit strategy for dealing with a situation where funding stops
  • That they are committed to the promotion of equality, cohesion and inclusion, both within its client group and across the community as a whole and that this is demonstrated through the way it plans and delivers its activities

We support core costs/revenue costs, new or continuing projects and capital costs. We are particularly interested in small, grass roots organisations.

We want to make sure that we do our best to help you access our funding. Our professional grants team are interested in how you are supporting your local community; they are available to guide and support you through our application process.


Bedford Borough

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All Bedfordshire

North Herts & Other Areas