Use this section if you have any specific questions relating to funding from John Lyon’s Charity and the application process. If you cannot find the answers you are looking for, please email the charity on [email protected]
Click to navigate to the relevant FAQ section:
Types of Grant
- What type of grants do you give?
- Will the Charity fund core costs?
Yes, the Charity will fund core costs, particularly when there is a good case that they cannot be found from existing resources. The amount requested must be reasonable but if you have no other core funding it is unlikely that the Charity will be able to help.
- Does the Charity require match funding?
No, this is not a requirement. However, we may not release funds until the majority of the funding is in place, particularly for big capital projects. Requests are assessed on a case by case basis.
- How long do you give grants for?
Fund Duration of grant Main Grants Up to three years Schools in Partnership Up to three years Small Grants One year. For up to two consecutive years. Repeat requests may be referred to the Main Grant Fund School Holiday Activity One year. For up to three consecutive years
Applications & Bank Statements
- What is the maximum amount I can apply for?
Visit each of our Grant Fund pages to find out how much you can apply for.
- Can I download a copy of your application form?
- What should I put in an initial proposal letter?
- Do you have deadlines for application forms?
You can apply for any grants programme at any time. We strongly recommend that applications are submitted at least six months in advance of the project starting.
Fund Deadlines Main Grants Grants are considered by the Trustee three times per year in November, March and June. Schools in Partnership Grants are considered by the Trustee three times per year in November, March and June. Small Grants Considered on an ongoing basis School Holiday Activity October half-term – 21 September
Christmas holiday – 16 November
February half-term – 18 January
Easter holiday – 1 March
May half-term – 25 April
Summer holiday – 1 June
Visit our How to Apply pages for further information on the application process for each of the Grant Funds.
- Can I email my application?
- I have been asked to submit a bank statement. What should I do?
If you are applying to the Charity for the first time or you have not received a payment from the Charity in the last three years, the Charity requires you to submit a *PDF version of your Bank Statement. It must clearly show your organisation’s name, bank account details and must be dated within the last 3 months. The Bank Statement must be sent via email to [email protected] at the same time or shortly after, submitting your online application.
If you have received a payment from the Charity within the last three years and your bank details have not changed, you do not need to provide a new statement; we will use the bank statement we already hold on file.
* The PDF must be the version you download if you have Online Banking OR a saved PDF version of the hard copy of your Bank Statement.
- Guidelines for using the Grants Portal
- Do you visit projects?
Yes, we aim to visit all projects before sending out an application form. Sometimes a visit may be carried out by one of the Charity's specialist advisors, but you will be informed if this is the case. For long term grants of up to three years we also carry out monitoring visits.
- What happens if my application is successful?
If your application is approved by the Trustee we will write to you informing you of their decision and send you a Contract outlining the Terms and Conditions of your grant. This will set out our grant requirements and any specific conditions that may need to be completed. You will also receive Branding Guidelines to confirm that you understand and agree to the Charity’s policy on branding and acknowledgement. We will only release funding once this form has been signed and returned to us and we are happy that all conditions have been met.
- How long does it take for a decision to be reached?
The Trustee meet two months after the deadline date for applications in November, March and June. The application process from proposal letter to decision takes approximately six months. Applications assessed under the Small Grants Fund are processed more quickly.
- How long does it take to receive money after the Trustee has met?
If you have returned your Contract and completed all the conditions we will release the grant payment. The Contract needs to be signed by a Trustee and have all bank details correctly completed. These bank details need to match the bank statement you have previously provided to the Charity. Your Grants Manager will email you to inform you of the exact date of payment. In some cases, particularly in large scale capital bids we will not release funds until we are sure that building works are due to commence or that funding is required immediately.
- My application to you was unsuccessful. When can I re-apply?
It is advisable that you do not approach the Charity again for at least two years.
- My application was unsuccessful. Do you provide feedback?
Should your proposal be unsuccessful, you will receive a formal letter with the decision. It is the Trustee policy not to provide feedback in addition to this letter.
- Claiming your grant
If your application has been successful and you are awarded a grant from John Lyon's Charity, you will receive formal notification by email. This email will contain several documents in relation to your Grant.
1. The Approval Letter
This informs you of the amount of grant that you have been awarded and the terms and conditions of that grant. It will also detail how to claim the first tranche of your funding and when your first report is due.
2. The Contract
You will need to return a signed PDF copy of the Contract once you have met any conditions specified on it and you are ready to claim the grant.
We pay our grants directly into your nominated bank account, the details of which are requested on the Second Stage Application Form. You will need to confirm these bank details on your Contract. This account information needs to match the details you provide in the Second Stage Application Form. If you have not yet supplied the Charity with an original Bank Statement, you will need to include one when returning the signed Contract.
The Grant Contract must be signed by your Chair of Trustees or a member of the Board of Trustees (charities) or Chair of Governors or other Governor (schools).
Your Trustees / Governors are responsible for ensuring that the funding that you are awarded is used for the charitable purpose for which it was agreed. When they sign this Contract, they are also confirming the bank account details completed are correct and any grant conditions have been met. The signatory is checked with the Charity Commission and your annual accounts. For Local Authorities, the signatory needs to be the relevant Departmental Director.
3. The Branding Guidelines
The Branding Guidelines contain information about the usage of the Charity’s name and logo. Please retain these for future reference, or pass them to the relevant department that is responsible for your marketing.
Subject to the approval of the Grants Team, the Charity’s logo is available for use on your website or publicity materials. The logo is not available for download from this website. If you would like to use the logo, please contact the Communications Manager, Florence Battersby on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that we should only be referred to as John Lyon’s Charity. If we have been referred to incorrectly, we may ask you to withdraw any printed materials or expect a correction to be issued. We are more than happy to review proofs of any marketing materials.
Your signed Grant Contract and Branding Contract should be returned to the Charity in a timely manner. It is expected that all grants will be taken up as close as possible to the time of award and definitely within the same financial year that they were awarded. If there has been a delay to your project start date, please contact your Grants Manager as soon as possible.
5. The release of payment
If you have returned your Contract, Branding Contract and completed all the conditions we will release your grant payment. For Capital Grants we will generally not release funds until building work has commenced.
- Informing us of significant events
It is necessary for you to keep the Charity informed of any significant events that will have an impact on the work that we are funding, or on your organisation as a whole. Please do not wait until the end of your grant to advise the Charity of these changes.
You should inform the Charity immediately if any of the following changes occur:
- A change of post holder whose salary is paid for by a grant from John Lyon’s Charity
- The departure of a key member of staff in the project or organisation, even if we are not funding that post (e.g. Chief Executive, Project Manager, Youth Worker, Development Manager etc.)
- Significant delays or changes to the project we are funding
- A major organisational change or new policy direction
- A change to your organisation’s name or constitution
- Significant and unexpected changes to your Trustee board
- A severe funding crisis or other threat to the viability of the organisation including insolvency
- A potential merger
- Winding up of the organization
- Any other significant change to your organisation or project.
Your contract with the Charity requires you to submit a report on the expenditure of your grant. Your reporting deadline will be on the grant approval letter and contract for each year. You will also receive an automated reminder that your report is due one month before the deadline.
All reporting is administered and submitted via the Grants Portal under 'Requirements'. You can also check your Grants Portal 'Requirements' to find out when your report is due.
One year grants
For one-off grants you will need to provide a report within one year of receiving the money. You must report to us within this period even if you have not spent all of the grant.
For 'ongoing' or 'multi-year' grants of up to three years, you will need to submit a report for each year of funding. Each report should be submitted within ten months of you receiving the grant detailing the way you have expended the money. If you are reporting on the final year of your ongoing grant, a report must be submitted within one year of you receiving the money. You will also need to submit your latest signed and audited accounts or confirm when they will be available to us.
Please note: You will be able to view the reporting forms on our Grants Portal, from the time your application has been approved. This can be done by clicking on the report under the 'Requirements' tab.
For guidance on how to submit a report online, visit our Grants Portal Guidelines page.
- Monitoring Visits
Your Grants Manager may also undertake a Monitoring Visit to see how your project is progressing. If your grant is related to a specific activity (for example, an arts workshop) please advise your Grants Manager of the session dates over the year so that they can attend at an appropriate time.
- Re-applying for funding
If you would like to make a further application to the Charity, you should contact your Grants Manager six months before the end of your current grant period. In some circumstances fixed-term grants may be eligible for renewal depending on circumstances, records of achievements, and the availability of funds. Requests for repeat funding are up to the discretion of the Trustee and are handled on a case by case basis. In most cases, a pause between funding periods will be recommended.
Monitoring and Reporting
- Why is reporting important?
If you receive a grant from the Charity, it is a contractual requirement to report each year on the progress of your grant. We need to learn from the experience of those who received grants we expect reports on the progress of each project. Without this feedback, examples of good practice and valuable initiatives can be lost. The information we get back from supported projects will also help shape future policy.
For Main Grants and Schools in Partnership Fund Grants, yearly Monitoring Reports must be submitted for consideration by the Trustee. The Charity must receive approval from the Trustee in order to release the next tranche of grant.
All grant holders must submit a Final Report at the end of their final year of funding. It is important to know that the Charity cannot consider any future applications until all outstanding reports have been received.
Find out more about reports under our information for Grant Holders.
- If my application is successful, when will my organisation have to submit its report?
Reporting Deadlines will be provided by your Grants Manager on the email sent to inform you that your application has been successful.
Fund Deadlines Main Grants Approximately ten months after the payment date. This is to allow two months for any issues with the grant to be discussed and resolved. The Trustee must approve the release of funds for the next tranche before the grant can be paid to you. Small Grants Roughly six weeks after the end of your activities School Holiday Activity Roughly six weeks after the end of your activities Schools in Partnership Approximately ten months after the payment date. This is to allow two months for any issues with the grant to be discussed and resolved. The Trustee must approve the release of funds for the next tranche before the grant can be paid to you.
Important: The Charity cannot consider any future applications until all reports have been received.
- My organisation is a company limited by guarantee. Am I eligible for a grant?
The Charity can only award grants to registered charities. Click to open our Eligibility Checker in a new tab.
- Can I apply as an individual?
No. We can only award grants to registered charities. Click to open our Eligibility Checker in a new tab.
- Do you accept proposals from national organisations?
We will consider proposals from national organisations that are delivering a service in the Charity’s Beneficial Area that is not currently being provided by a local Charity. Proposals are considered on a case by case basis and it is necessary that you provide information on your connections in the borough including those with local community organisations and/or schools you currently work with. We will not fund national organisations with no track record and reputation in the Charity’s Beneficial Area.
- What are your priorities?
Education. Which is consistent with the Founder's own expressed interests. Over 100 state primary and secondary schools have benefited.
- I have an existing project for which funding is about to run out. Can you help?
Yes, we are happy to fund existing projects. However, we are unable to give grants as direct replacements for the withdrawal of funds by statutory authorities for activities which are primarily the responsibility of central or local government.
- You have funded our project already - can we come back for another grant for the same purpose?
In some exceptional circumstances fixed-term grants may be eligible for renewal depending on changing circumstances, records of achievements, and the availability of funds. This is up to the discretion of the Trustee and is handled on a case by case basis. Usually, after a funding period there should be a pause in funding of at least 18 months.
- We already have a grant. When can I re-apply?
Fund Deadlines Main Grants You can apply for up to three years. At the end of your grant, you must wait for at least 18 months before you can receive further funding. However, you may begin the application process by submitting a Stage 1 Proposal after 12 months. Small Grants You can apply for up to two consecutive years. Then you may be referred to the Main Grants Fund, however this will need to be discussed with your Grants Manager. School Holiday Activity You can apply for up to three consecutive years. Then a break of at least 12 months must be taken. Schools in Partnership You can apply for up to three years. At the end of your grant, you must wait for at least 18 months before you can receive further funding. However, you may begin the application process by submitting a Stage 1 Proposal after 12 months.
- Do you support research?
No, we do not support research based projects. Please visit the 'Our Grant Funds' pages to see what the Charity can and cannot consider under each fund.
- My project covers boroughs that are outside your Beneficial Area as well as those within it. Can I still apply?
The Charity is only able to fund projects that are for the benefit of the inhabitants of the nine London boroughs in our Beneficial Area. If your project straddles the boundary of our Beneficial Area we are happy to assess your proposal but funding will be proportional to the numbers of users that come from within our area. For example, if 50% of users are from Camden and 50% from Islington, any funding proposal must be targeted to those users from Camden and show other sources of income for those users who are from Islington. Applications will always be assessed on a case by case basis. Priority is usually given to charities who are based in the Beneficial Area.
- My project is based in Islington and is therefore not within your Beneficial Area. Why do you restrict grants to those nine London boroughs?
Tips & Hints
If you are applying on behalf of a school, you may have some questions about how to apply for a grant. Use this section to find out more information. If you have any other questions, please contact the Charity on 020 7259 1700 or [email protected]
- Types of Grants
1. Are schools able to apply under any of the charity’s funds?
Schools can apply under all of the Charity’s Funds. There is a specific fund open to Schools which include the Schools in Partnership Fund.
2. Are schools able to apply for funding towards a project delivered by an external charity or specialist institution?
Yes, please see our hints & tips for working with Arts organisations here.
3. Our school needs a new sports hall, can you fund this?
Unfortunately, we cannot consider grants for buildings for secondary schools. Capital grants for primary schools can be considered under the Charity’s Small Grants Fund only if there is a specific community or family element to the project.
1. Our school has not had an OFSTED inspection, are we still able to apply?
Unfortunately, we can only accept applications from schools that have been inspected by OFSTED. If your school has recently been inspected but has not received an outcome or report yet, please indicate this on your proposal.
2. We are a faith-based school, are we eligible to apply for a grant?
If your school is faith-based, you can still apply for funding as long as you have an open admissions policy. The Charity cannot fund faith schools with a closed admissions policy. You should provide details on the admissions policy with your proposal letter.
1. Who needs to submit the initial proposal on behalf of the school?
Ideally the initial proposal will be submitted by the headteacher or project lead. It is important that you provide the name, phone number and email for a contact person at the school who can help us if we need to ask further questions on your application. If your proposal is successful, you will be required to submit a Declaration Form with your Stage Two Application. Please ensure this form is signed by the Headteacher and the Chair of Governors.
How long does it take to receive money after the Trustee has met?
If you have returned your Contract and completed all the conditions we will release the grant payment. The Contract needs to be signed by both the Headteacher and Chair of Governors and have all bank details correctly completed. These bank details need to match the bank statement you have previously provided to the charity. Your Grants Manager will email you to inform you of the exact date of payment.
1. Will someone from the Charity visit the school to assess the project?
Yes, we aim to visit all projects before sending out an Application Form. Sometimes a visit may be carried out by one of the charity's specialist advisors, but you will be informed if this is the case. For long term grants of up to three years we also carry out monitoring visits. If you have a project that runs on specific dates, please provide your Grants Manager with a range of dates so that they can ensure they are able to attend a session.
2. If we receive a grant will we need to complete lots of paperwork for monitoring?
Because we need to learn from the experience of those who received grants we expect reports on the progress of each project. Without this feedback, examples of good practice and valuable initiatives can be lost. The information we get back from supported projects will also help shape future policy.
For one off grants you will need to provide a report after one year. This does not have to be long but should give us some indication of how the Charity's money was spent. For ongoing grants of up to three years, you will need to submit a report after each year of funding. The report should act as your formal request for your next tranche of grant.
For more details about our reporting requirements please see the downloadable guidelines.
Living Wage Funder
- What is the Real Living Wage?
The Real Living Wage is a is an hourly pay rate based on the cost of living. It is independently calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, every November. Further information can be found on the Living Wage Foundation’s website.
- What is the difference between the Minimum Wage and the Real Living Wage?
The Minimum Wage is calculated by the Government based on median income figures. Currently it is £9.50 per hour for over 23s. The Real Living Wage is higher, as it is calculated based on the cost of living and currently stands at £10.90 per hour across the UK and £11.95 per hour in Greater London. Further information can be found on the Living Wage Foundation’s website.
- How much is the Real Living Wage?
As of September 2022 the new Living Wage is:
Across the UK: £10.90
Greater London: £11.95
This is the minimum wage that we expect to be paid for all salaries funded by the Charity.
- Which salaries does the Real Living Wage apply to?
Everyone above the age of 16 on a salary funded by John Lyon’s Charity (working with children and young people). This includes apprenticeships, internships, sessional and freelance staff.
- If we cannot pay the Real Living Wage, will my application be considered?
John Lyon’s Charity will continue to consider all applications received. As a Living Wage Friendly Funder, we strongly recommend you consider paying all staff the Real Living Wage. However, we acknowledge some applicants may be unable to do so. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact us on 0207 259 1700 or at [email protected] to discuss the matter further.
- What happens if John Lyon’s Charity is only part-funding a post?
If John Lyon’s Charity is part-funding a post, we will pay the Real Living Wage for the part we are funding.
- Where can I find out more about the Living Wage?