Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions
When are you opening your next round of grants? 

Our Open Fund grants rounds' deadlines for 2021/22 have passed. Future Open Fund grants' rounds will be announced in 2024. 

Why are there no Open Fund rounds in 2023? We currently have thirteen charity partners receiving multi-year grants and one charity partner receiving a one-off grant. We always knew, in terms of our size, resources and income available, that we could not fund more than round twelve charities at any one time. We are currently focusing on our relationships with our current partners, learning from these charities, and then using this learning to feed into a refreshed strategy and plan for 2024 onwards. 
Most of my charity's work and users are in Lambeth and Southwark, but we also work with people and communities in another borough. Can I apply?

No, I'm afraid not. We only award grants to charities that only work in Lambeth or Southwark. We give unrestricted grants because charities have told us these are the  most valuable type of grants. Peter Minet Trust's geographical area is Lambeth and Southwark and we only work in Lambeth and Southwark. So, we can't give unrestricted grants to organisations working with people and communities outside the boroughs as the funds could then be supporting work outside our geographical area.

We know this can be frustrating, but we're a small funder with limited funds, committed to unrestricted giving and also need to focus

We understand that some charities working just in Lambeth and Southwark with people and communities in Lambeth and Southwark may sometimes have a visit or activity outside Lambeth and Southwark and this is OK.

Why is there a priority for Black-led charities? What does this mean? If our charity is not Black-led, can we still apply?

As part of our work with Southwark Community Response Fund and London Funders in response to the Covid-19 emergency in 2020, we saw that many voluntary groups experiencing discrimination were not accessing grants, including Black-led charities.  In Southwark Community Response Fund's Wave 3, we prioritised our funding, leading to an increase in the number receiving grants.

By Black-led charities, we mean charities that are primarily led by Trustees and staff identifying as Black, African, Caribbean, Black British or Any Other Black, African or Caribbean background (more than half of Trustees and more than half of staff).

Other charities could still apply. 

We recognise the diversity of individual identities and lived experiences and reflect on our language all the time - please contact us if you have reflections to share. 

How many Open Fund grants did you make in 2022?  In June 2022, we awarded 7 three-year grants of £25,000-£30,000 pa and 1 one-off grant. You can read about these awards here
Who did you fund before 2022? Here's information on Open Grants awarded in March 2020 and stories from our charity partners. You also download a spreadsheet of all our Open and Strategic Grants here, where there's also a link to the 360 Giving portal that lets you search on what organisations other funders have supported. 
How many charities applied in your last Open Fund rounds and how many were successful? What was the reason for rejecting applicants?

Open Fund Round 1: March 2020: 

In March 2020, there were 29 applicants and 11 of these were shortlisted to Stage 2. After visits to 10 of those shortlisted, 7 grants were made. 39% of applicants that met our eligibility criteria, received a grant. 

The main reason applicants were rejected at Stage 1 was because they didn't meet our eligibility criteria. For example, they also worked with people and communities outside Lambeth and Southwark. There were 4 applicants that didn't receive a grant after the Stage 3 visit, mostly because we felt some aspects of their governance needed strengthening in order for Peter Minet Trust to award a large, unrestricted grant. 

Open Fund Round 2: January 2022: 

In January 2022, there were 26 applicants and 11 of these were shortlisted to Stage 2.  After visits to 11 of those shortlisted, 8 grants were made. 44% of applicants that met our eligibility criteria received a grant. 

8 applicants were rejected at Stage 2 because they didn't meet our eligibility criteria. Of these, 5 had incomes either above or below our criteria (£25k-£300k) and 3 charities also worked outside Lambeth and Southwark which is an exclusion. 7 applicants were rejected at Stage 2 that were eligible, but were not as strong as those who were shortlisted, particularly around the charities' vision and planning. 

What do you mean by 'good governance' ?Why don't you fund charities or groups that need help or funding to develop good governance, for example, with developing a Safeguarding Policy?

By good governance we mean that:

- you know your strengths and challenges

- you have a vision for your charity’s future

- you have good governance in place including a signed Safeguarding and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policies, reviewed in the last 12 month

- you have efficient financial processes

We know there are charities doing great work that need support and funding to put good governance in place.

However, we’re a small funder with one part-time staff member so our focus right now is on working with charities with good governance already in place. We don't have the resources to offer more practical support. Some other bigger foundations offer this support including the Lloyds Bank Foundation.

Can I submit my application by video or audio? We don't currently have the storage to manage this. If you find our online form challenging in some way, let us know by email and we can arrange a time to talk. 
Why aren't you funding charities with incoming resources over £300,000 a year? Under our previous small grants scheme, we were turning down 77% of applications. We know that charities of all sizes do important work, but we have decided to focus on those with income of between £25,000-£300,000 as part of a new strategic approach.  You can read about our research here and also look at information on local funders supporting larger charities here.
Why aren't you funding places of worship? We  know that there are many programmes that benefit the whole community run by some places of worship for people of any faith or no faith. However, we now give unrestricted grants and so don't fund places of worship as some of their work is for people of one particular faith, rather than the whole community eg: prayer services.   
If I'm unsuccessful either at the first or second stage, can I re-apply? Yes, if you're not successful at either stage, you can re-apply in the next application round or future rounds. We will be giving feedback if you're not successful and we hope that will help you to work out whether you want to re-apply again.
How does Peter Minet Trust make decisions on grants?

The Director reviews applications to check that they meet our eligibility criteria and then reads the form, annual accounts (from your Charity Commission record) and other information publicly available, like a website, contacting the charity if something is not clear. The Trustees review all the applications at a Trustees' meeting, looking at how they meet Peter Minet Trust's priorities. Trustees have a range of experience, including with charities, and then agree on a shortlist of charities who are invited to complete a Stage 2 form, and a visit is arranged. Final decisions are made at a second Trustees' meeting with feedback given to applicants that are not awarded a grant. 

We are developing how we make decisions all the time and will share our changes here. 

Why aren't you funding nurseries, schools and other educational institutions? We have limited funds and have had to focus. We also know there are some other local funders that support work in schools. We support charities that are working with young people, but not the nurseries, schools, institutions or Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) themselves. 
Can I apply for a Strategic Grant? No.  Our Strategic Fund is for organisations, charities or partners that we identify, usually in partnership with other local funders. In 2022 year, we awarded a strategic grant of £1000 to IVAR (research agency and charity) for its Open and Trusting Campaign and in 2020 gave strategic grants to United St Saviour's Charity and Walcot Foundation as part of the Southwark and Lambeth Community Response Funds that they led. You can read about these partnerships here and the difference the response funds made. The majority of our funding is focused on our Open Grants Fund. 
Why did you change your approach to funding in 2019? Before 2019 we funded around 40 charities a year with small and micro one-off grants of under £5,000.  There wasn’t time to meet organisations and get to know them. More and more  charities, large and small, were submitting full applications to us and fewer were successful - 77% were being turned down. This was wasting valuable time for many charities.  We asked charities what they needed most and they said larger, multi-year grants for unrestricted funding. The Trustees decided to respond to this and focus our limited resources on smaller numbers of larger grants, focusing on smaller charities that are based in Lambeth and Southwark. You can read more about our research here.
I have another question? Please email us via Contact Us. We'll be up-dating this list of questions and answers as often as we can.