Have you got a question about Eligibility, or our Grant Application Process, please take a look at some of the common questions we are asked that may help you

Q. What kind of organisations can you fund?

A. We can make grants to organisations which must be either a UK registered charity, community interest company, credit union or a not-for- profit company limited by guarantee or social enterprise company. Community interest companies and social enterprise organisations must have a governing document which shows the name, aim/purpose, objects of the group, including a dissolution clause - what happens if your group ceases to function. This clause should show that you are a not-for-profit group by confirming that any assets remaining after all debts are paid will be given to another voluntary group with similar aims. This document should also include details of your Trustees or management committee. Statutory organisations are excluded from applying for funding.

Q. Do you fund schools directly?

A. No, we do not fund statutory organisations such as schools.  However we do support organisations as listed above delivering financial capability projects in a school-based context.

Q. Is there a maximum annual income level for eligible organisations ?

A. As the Charity's resources are modest, the Trustees prefer to fund small to medium-sized non-profit organisations. Organisations should have an income under £500,000 and have less than six months free reserves. 

Q. What do you mean by free reserves?

A. Free reserves are the total current assets (i.e. total assets minus fixed assets) shown on your balance sheet, minus any balance of 'restricted' funds.  Designated funds are part of your free reserves, and should not be deducted.

Q. We are a new organisation without our first years accounts, are we eligible to apply? 

A. Yes.You should submit your most recent set of management accounts along with your forecast income and expenditure for the next twelve months. Additionally, in your funding proposal, explain your situation so that we know why a full set of accounts is not available. 

Q. How much can I apply for?

A. We make grants from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand. To keep in line with our money saving values, we expect applications to be planned well and within a budget up to £7,500

Q. Do you fund debt advice?

A. No - activity costs must relate to future service delivery. Which is pro-active in delivering financial life skills, money management education and or debt avoidance. Applications only providing debt advice/management will not be considered.

Q. Does our organisation need to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to deliver financial life skills?

A. No - but it is a very fine line of what is permitted and what is not - please review the following guidance from the FCA on what is debt counselling (individual debt advice) and what is classified as giving general information. Please be careful what terminology you use.

Q. Can I discuss my ideas with the MSE Charity before applying?

A. Yes, we want to give you the best possible chance of submitting a successful application. We are therefore happy to discuss briefly potential applications. Please contact our Operations Manager in the first instance via email.

Q. What sort of things are most likely to get funding?

A. We fund a very wide range of charities for all sorts of activities related to increasing personal financial capability. The applications most likely to be successful are those that ask us to fund a specific activity cost rather than a general contribution to running costs or a much larger project. We do not fund capital costs for example laptops, tablets, or other items of equipment. Your application must meet the requirements set out in the Application Guidance document for each round, so make sure you read it carefully.

Q. Do you fund capital costs such as contributions to a building fund?

A. No, we only fund specific activity costs related to financial capability projects only.

Q. What sort of evidence of need should we provide? 

A. Statistical evidence of deprivation or need in your particular area or amongst the group of people you are working with is very helpful. Evidence of demand for the activity you are seeking funding for is also helpful, such as waiting lists, requests for the activity, surveys you have carried out etc.

Q. Do the people delivering the activity need any specific qualifications? 

A.You must demonstrate that the people delivering the project have appropriate qualifications and experience to work with the people group targeted by the project. In addition they must be qualified and experienced in delivering financial education.

Q. Are there any deadlines?

A. Yes applications are only accepted in the grant round months of February and September, please check your eligibility for the grant theme before applying.  If more than 40 applications are received the grant round closes early.

Q. What happens if more than 40 applications are received in the grant round?

A. You will be advised by return email that the grant round has closed, and that unfortunately your application can not be considered at this time.

Q. How soon can I re-apply if I didn't make it to being one of the first 40 applications?

A. If you have not been able to submit your application, you are eligible to apply in the next grant round assuming your project meets the theme focus of the grant round. 

Q. How soon can I re-apply if my application is considered but not successful?

A. If you are unsuccessful, you must wait a year to re-apply, so if you apply in the September 2017 round your organisation could re-apply in September 2018 assuming your project meets the theme focus of the grant round.

Q. I applied in the February 2017 Round, but was unsuccessful, can I apply for the February 2018 round?

A. Yes, assuming your project meets the theme focus, our general criteria and you have not received a grant from us in the last two years, you are very welcome to re-apply.

Q. How soon can I re-apply if I am successful in gaining funding?

A. If you are successful in receiving a grant you must wait at least one year from the project end date.  For example if you received a grant in 2017 you would have to wait at least until 2019 to re-apply.  

Q. What are the chances of being funded?

A. If you are one of the 40 applications accepted in a grant round, and you meet the criteria, we would hope to offer funding to at least 1 in 4 applications; however it does depend on many factors so there is no hard and fast rule. 

Q. How will I know if I have been successful?

A. If you are successful, we will endeavour to advise you by email informally within 5 working days of the GAP decision meeting date.  If you are unsuccessful you will be advised by email within 10 working days of the GAP decision meeting date.  

Q. Why has the Panel not offered us the full amount of the funding we applied for? 

A. Funding is limited, and the Panel may feel that the budget you have submitted does not represent good value for money or you may have included some items which are not eligible for example laptops, tablets or other items of equipment.

Q. Do you provide feedback for unsuccessful applications?

A. Generally no, we are a small Charity, with only one part time employee, so do not have the resources to do this. However if you are not successful, there are usually a variety of reasons, these generally are but not limited to;  there are limited funds available and competition for funding is high; other applications in the round were judged to meet the requirements of the Application Guidance better; the budget for the project doesnt demonstrate good value; the application doesnt provide compelling evidence how it meets the Application Guidance, or it isn't in line with the mission of the MSE Charity.