The Weavers’ Company Benevolent Fund was set up in 1973. The Fund’s principal aim is to support people in trouble, particularly young offenders and ex-offenders, as well as other disadvantaged young people. Preference is given to pump-priming new projects, especially those that are innovative and can serve as a model elsewhere.
Projects which fulfil the funding criteria are short-listed, then visited by a member of the Company. These assessment visits give their younger members in particular an opportunity to become closely involved in the charitable work of the Company, which may lead to a mutually beneficial relationship with its beneficiaries.
These assessments inform the Charitable Grants Committee, helping it decide on the grants to be awarded and the amount allocated. The Committee meets three times a year.
What are the funding priorities?
- Young offenders – the Company looks to support projects that involve the rehabilitation of young offenders, so that these young people can lead productive and fulfilling lives once released from detention.
- Ex-offenders – despite a focus on the rehabilitation of young offenders, the Company also supports projects that help ex-offenders of all ages.
- Disadvantaged young people – the Company realises that it is as important to prevent young people offending in the first place. It therefore supports projects that help young people make better life choices and fulfil their potential.
What will they fund?
- Size of organisation: Though income is not a barrier to an application being considered, the Committee’s preference is to support small organisations. Local organisations, such as those working in a village, estate or small town should normally have an annual income of less than about £100,000. For those working in larger cities and/or across the UK, annual income should not be more than about £250,000.
- Funding Limit: Grants of up to £15,000 per annum may be awarded, but smaller applications are also welcomed.
- Duration of funding: Grants are normally awarded for one year only. The Company can however exceptionally consider applications for multi-year funding, up to three years.
- Pump-priming: Applications for pump-priming grants from small community-based organisations where our grant would form a major element of the funding are particularly welcome.
- Project funding: They prefer to support projects where the grant will be used for an identified purpose.
- Associated Costs: If you are applying for project funding, you should make sure you have included the cost of any overheads associated with the work, such as office/secretarial support, so that the project is not under-funded. It is in your best interest to ensure that you have realistically assessed the cost of the project.
- Core costs: They will consider applications for core funding for new projects, such as general administration and training that enable an organisation to develop and maintain expertise.
- Innovative or pioneering work: They like to encourage new ideas and to fund projects that could inspire similar work in other areas of the country.
- Continuation funding: They may consider providing ongoing funding for successful projects which have proved their worth.
- Emergency or deficit funding: In exceptional circumstances, they may provide emergency or deficit funding for an established organisation. Applicants most likely to be granted such emergency funding are charities that the Company knows or has previously supported.
When to apply
The Charitable Grants Committee meets in February, July and October of each year. Because of the various stages involved in the assessment process, it may take up to four months for your application to be processed and this should be considered when planning your project
Any applications that arrive after a deadline will be automatically rolled forward to the next. The closing date for applications in 2021 is Friday 19 November.
Further details, application guidelines and link to application form