Allen Lane Foundation

Grant Sources

Grants are available to small registered charities, voluntary groups and charitable organisations in the UK for work that makes a difference to people’s lives as opposed to simply alleviating the symptoms or current problems and should aim to reduce isolation, stigma and discrimination.

Objectives of Fund

The Foundation makes grants to voluntary not-for-profit organisations in the UK for work which benefits groups of people who are under-represented in UK society.

Overall, the Foundation wishes to fund work which:

  • Will make a lasting difference to people’s lives rather than simply alleviating the symptoms or current problems.
  • Is aimed at reducing isolation, stigma and discrimination.
  • Encourages or enables unpopular groups to share in the life of the whole community.

Value Notes

The Foundation typically makes around 150 grants in a year with a total value of between £750,000 and £800,000.

The Foundation makes single grants, or grants split over two or three years.

One-off grants of between £500 and £15,000 are available. The average grant is between £5,000 and £6,000.

Grants repeated for more than one year vary from around £500 per annum up to £5,000 per annum, for a maximum of three years.

Who Can Apply

Small registered charities, voluntary groups and charitable organisations in the UK can apply.

Registered charities are eligible to apply as well as other organisations which are not charities, but which seek funding for a charitable project. This could include, for example, constituted voluntary groups or Community Interest Companies

To make sure its grants have an impact, the Foundation will not fund larger organisations. If an organisation works in a relatively local area – a village, or estate or small town – to be eligible it will have an income of less than about £100,000.  At the other end of the spectrum, an organisation which works across the whole of the UK will be eligible if it has an income of not more than about £250,000.

The Foundation makes grants for work all over the United Kingdom but not where the beneficiaries of the work all live in London.  Organisations which have their offices in London would still be eligible provided the people who benefit from their work are not only in London.


The following activities are not eligible for funding:

  • Organisations that directly support the LGBT community.
  • Organisations working with single nationalities.
  • Work within Greater London. (Organisations which have their offices in London are eligible provided the people who benefit from their work are not only in London.)
  • Academic research.
  • Addiction, alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Animal welfare or animal rights.
  • Arts or cultural or language projects or festivals.
  • Children and young people or families.
  • Endowments or contributions to other grant-making bodies.
  • Health and healthcare.
  • Holidays or holiday play schemes, day trips or outings.
  • Housing
  • Hospices and medical research.
  • Individuals
  • Museums or galleries.
  • Overseas travel.
  • Particular medical conditions or disorders.
  • Physical or learning disabilities.
  • Private and/or mainstream education.
  • Promotion of sectarian religion.
  • Publications
  • Property purchase, building or refurbishment.
  • Refugee community groups working with single nationalities.
  • Restoration or conservation of historic buildings or sites.
  • Sports and recreation.
  • Therapy eg counselling.
  • Vehicle purchase.
  • Work the trustees believe is rightly the responsibility of the state.
  • Work outside the UK.
  • Work which will already have taken place before a grant is agreed.
  • Work by local organisations with an income of more than £100,000 per annum, or those working over a wider area with an income of more than £250,000.

The Foundation will not normally make grants to organisations which receive funding (directly or indirectly) from commercial sources where conflicts of interest for the organisation and its work are likely to arise.

Eligible Expenditure

The Foundation aims to help organisations to become sustainable. The funding will support running and core costs to enable them to have flexibility, security and longevity.

The funding is for work that takes place within the UK.

To be eligible, the work must directly benefit adults from the following groups, or generalist work which includes significant numbers from more than one such group:

  • Asylum seekers and refugees (but not groups working with a single nationality).
  • Gypsies and Travellers.
  • Migrant communities.
  • Offenders and ex-offenders.
  • Older people.
  • People experiencing mental health problems.
  • People experiencing violence or abuse

The following types of activities are eligible for support:

  • Provision of advice or information.
  • Advocacy
  • Arts activities where the primary purpose is therapeutic or social.
  • Befriending or mentoring.
  • Mediation or conflict resolution.
  • Practical work, such as gardening or recycling, which benefits both the provider and the recipient.
  • Self-help groups.
  • Social activities or drop-in centres.
  • Strengthening the rights of particular groups and enabling their views and experiences to be heard by policy-makers.
  • Research and education aimed at changing public attitudes or policy.
  • Work aimed at combating stigma or discrimination.
  • Work developing practical alternatives to violence

Grants may be used for start-up, core or project costs, for example:

  • Volunteers’ or participants’ expenses.
  • Venue hire.
  • Part-time or sessional staffing costs.
  • Work aimed at strengthening the organisation such as trustee or staff training.

The Foundation is particularly interested in unusual, imaginative or pioneering projects which have perhaps not yet caught the public imagination.

How To Apply

Applications can be made at any time. The Foundation processes applications throughout the year, and will come back to applicant within a couple of weeks with their initial thoughts.

There are two Trustees’ meetings each year and applications that are received:

  • Before the early part of April 2017 could be considered for the June 2017 meeting.
  • Between mid-April and early August 2017 could be considered for the October 2017 meeting.

There is no formal application form. Applications should include a completed registration form (available from the Foundation’s website).

An application should be no more than four sides of A4 and should be accompanied by the budget for the work, plus a copy of the budget for the whole organisation, the organisation’s latest annual report and accounts.

An application from an organisation should answer the following questions:

  • What are the aims of the organisation as a whole?
  • How does the organisation try to achieve these aims?
  • How does the proposal:
    • make a lasting difference to people’s lives rather than simply alleviating the symptoms or current problems;
    • reduce isolation, stigma and discrimination; or
    • encourage or enable unpopular groups to share in the life of the whole community.
  • Why is the organisation’s an unpopular cause or beneficiary group?
  • What will the grant be used to pay for?
  • What difference would this grant make to the organisation’s work?
  • How much will the work cost?
  • Is the Foundation being asked to meet the whole cost?
  • What other sources of funding have been approached?
  • How will the organisation know if the work has been successful?
  • How will the work, and the way it is done, promote equal opportunities?

If an applicant has any queries about making an application, they are advised to contact the Foundation direct. Applications should be sent to the Foundation’s office.

Processing an application tends to take between two and six months.

More details can be found at The Allen Lane Foundation website


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