Fundraising from trusts

Tips for raising money from trust funders

What are trust funders?

Trusts are charities which offer grants to other organisations or individuals to do work which meets the specific aims and objectives set by the trust. They are often very small organisations, run by a few volunteers, and the money they have available often comes from the interest of one large donation or inheritance from an individual or business. The amount of money trusts have available to give away varies from very little to millions of pounds.

Selecting trusts to apply to

Most trusts have been set up for a specific purpose, and receive far more applications that they are able to support. It is therefore important to find the funds that best match the project you are planning. For more help with how to do this, look at our information on Planning a funding application.

Although many of the trusts do not give large amounts of money, it is possible to raise significant sums by applying to a range of funds to cover several projects that you have planned.

The Resource Centre maintains a list of useful local funders, which includes some trusts.

Community Base has a subscription to – a subscription website that lists 4,200 grant-making trusts in the UK. Groups based in Sussex can access this site by contacting Community Base and requesting the password.

If you are based elsewhere, you may be able to find another local voluntary sector support organisation which has a subscription to, or another similar website such as

Writing your application

Once you have selected your funds, take your time to prepare an application that will really convince them that your project matches their criteria, and that your group has the ability to make it work.

Some trusts will have an application form that you can download from their website, or that they will post to you. Others will ask you to send a letter of application.

The majority of trusts give very little guidance on what to include in your application. We recommend you use our information sheets on Planning a Funding Application and Writing a Funding Application to help you think through which trusts to apply to and how to make your application as strong as possible.

Updated January 2017

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