Grant-maker widens access to small grants programme after review


The City Bridge Foundation has doubled the size of charity that it will offer small grants to and reopened the programme after a five-month review. 

The grant-maker, which last month changed its name, said it had also doubled the maximum grant limit as part of an effort to address funding gaps and reach more organisations.

The London-based charity said it would longer cater solely to environmental projects and those benefitting older people and disabled people, and would expand its reach to organisations supporting LGBTQ+ communities and refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers. 

The funder will offer grants to organisations with an income of up to £200,000 a year, rather than £100,000, and will accept applications from constituted voluntary organisations as well as registered charities.

It is also doubling its maximum grant limit, raising it to £20,000, or up to 50 per cent of an organisation’s income. Applications for these grants will be accepted on a rolling basis and successful organisations have up to five years to spend the funds.

The funds come out of the foundation’s general funding pot, which the organisation says has about £30m available per year.

The foundation said the revamp was designed to remove barriers to funding access for smaller organisations.

The move came after the foundation launched its review of the programme in December. 

The foundation said this review involved “extensive consultation” with existing grant recipients, other charities and voluntary organisations, infrastructure organisations and funders.

Paul Martinelli, chair of the City Bridge Foundation grant committee, said the Covid-19 pandemic had proved the need to be “flexible and adaptive”, as well as demonstrating the importance of working closely with funded organisations and potential applicants when devising programmes.

He said: “With this review, we wanted to ensure the views of potential grantees were reflected, to remove barriers small, user-led organisations have accessing funding, and to offer a small-grants programme which more closely matches the needs of London’s communities.

“The changes will enable us to address funding gaps for particular groups and to reach even more small organisations, including those which are not registered charities but are doing vital work on the ground.”

The foundation has begun accepting applications on a rolling basis, with charitable organisations able to check their eligibility and apply for grants on its online portal.

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