Applying for a Grant

Guidelines for applying for funding assistance from the Ulverscroft Foundation.

The Ulverscroft Foundation supports projects that help visually impaired people. Within any group of people there will be an element of visual impairment; grants can only be considered if the VI element is significant.

Applications for funding can be considered from any source, UK or overseas. Applicants need not necessarily be a charity: they can be a CIC or social group.

Applications should be made in writing (we do not have an application form). We can accept email applications. Make your application as detailed as possible. Your application should include at least the following:

  • details of your current service to visually-impaired people, if any, and how it will be improved or enhanced by the proposed project. We do not need to see lengthy, generalised descriptions of the challenges faced by blind and visually-impaired people;
  • an estimate if possible of how many blind and visually-impaired people currently use your service, and how many will use it in the future;
  • any funding received or pledged to date for the project in question, and the names of other organisations to which you have applied;
  • a copy of your latest annual report and accounts;
  • confirmation that your organisation has a safeguarding policy for vulnerable children and/or adults, as appropriate;
  • confirmation that your organisation has an equal opportunities policy.

Our Trustees meet quarterly to consider applications: in January (deadline 5 December),  May (deadline 15 March), July (deadline 15 June) and October (deadline 15 September). Please note: the dates of our meetings may be subject to change.

Our Foundation receives a large number of applications. If we have given a grant to, or considered an application from your organisation, we are unable to consider any further applications until a period of 18 months has elapsed.

In general we will not fund staff salaries or ongoing running costs for an organisation. Staffing costs for specific, time-limited projects may be considered at the Trustees’ discretion.  Research projects which involve salary costs may also be considered.

The Trustees reserve the right to seek independent, specialist advice on particular applications where appropriate.

Criteria for Awarding Grants

In making a decision about whether to support an application, our Trustees will take the following factors into account:


Preference will be given to projects which will lead to longer-term benefits after the initial funding has ended.  Applications which have a  short life span will have little weighting.  For example, a bid to fund an audio-described theatrical performance is unlikely to succeed, while a bid to purchase equipment to provide this service on an ongoing basis would be more attractive.

Value for Money

The Ulverscroft Foundation has a duty to make best use of its resources. We will look at the overall project benefits, noting the number   of people who will benefit, the costs and the timescale.  You will need to show that you have eliminated unnecessary costs and that you have secured the best prices for any service, equipment or materials you propose to purchase.

Financial Viability

Our Trustees will examine your audited accounts to determine whether your organisation, and the particular project for which you are bidding, is financially viable. They will take into account the overall financial health of your organisation, your income and expenditure, and any other sources of funding which you are able to access.

Matched Funding

If you have approached other potential donors the Ulverscroft Foundation may pledge a sum of money to be released only when other  funding is secured.


Our Trustees will consider all bids however small.  However, some  small-scale pilot projects may be capable of application on a larger scale, or may offer a model that can be adopted by other organisations.


Organisations we support are expected to build in accessibility to their  services and premises as a matter of equal opportunity. You will need to demonstrate that your organisation has an Equal Opportunities Policy which is regularly monitored and reviewed.


The Ulverscroft Foundation has no direct contact with those who benefit from our funding.  However, the organisations we help fund, in the UK  and abroad, work with some of the most vulnerable adults and children.  We have a responsibility to ensure that all those who benefit from our support are able to do so in an environment which protects them from  bullying, abuse or other forms of harm.  You will need to demonstrate that your organisation has implemented a Safeguarding Policy and has procedures in place to implement and monitor the policy. Our own safeguarding policy can be found here  Safeguarding Policy 

Monitoring and Evaluation

If you have received a large grant or pledge (over £10,000) from the Foundation, we will require you to provide periodic updates on progress.  You will need to demonstrate that our grant has been spent on the purposes for which it was awarded.  Any variation will need to be approved by our Foundation before you proceed.

Specific Categories of Bids

Public Library Appeals

Applications from public libraries run by local authorities will be considered if these are additional to the local authority’s core service.  We can support, for example, transport for reading groups, reminiscence projects, the acquisition of specialist equipment etc.  The Ulverscroft Foundation is highly unlikely to support public libraries run by private  companies. Volunteer-run libraries may be supported if they are supported in cash or in kind by the local authority.

Charity to Charity Donations

The Ulverscroft Foundation will not support other charities which could be considered to be doing similar work – for example, funding research projects. In these cases they will be advised that the proposed  beneficiary organisation may approach the Foundation directly.

Research Projects

We will consider applications for funding to support academic and clinical research.  In evaluating bids we will take into account the predicted clinical benefits and the timescale for achieving them, as  well as the proposals for disseminating research results to the wider sector.  The Trustees reserve the right to seek independent specialist advice on bids which fall outside their area of competence.

Last reviewed January 2019

Applying for a Grant from the Ulverscroft Foundation