Open Grants Fund

Stages, Deadlines and Sample Forms

Three stages

1. Stage 1: Tell Us About You form

A short on-line form starting with some questions with Yes/No answers to check your charity is eligible, then collects contact details and then asks five questions: 1.  What does your charity do and who does it support? 2. Why are you well placed to meet the needs of the people you want to help? 3. What difference are you making? 4. What do you want to do at the moment but can’t?  5. Is your charity Black-led? By this 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 and more than half of staff). You can still apply if your charity is not Black-led. We don't ask you to request a size of grant. We talk to charities about this at the next stage.

Here's a sample Stage 1Tell Us About You form. Please don't use this sample form to apply now - use the link to the online form here.

If there's anything you don't understand, please contact us.

2. Stage 2 Application Form

We review the Stage 1Tell Us About You forms and then ask a small number of applicants to fill in an on-line Stage 2 application form.  This Stage 2 form has two main questions 1. How do you know you're making a difference? 2. Please share a couple of case studies that show the difference your work is making. The rest of the form helps us understand your operations and governance by asking who leads your charity and whether or not you have up-to-date Safeguarding and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policies (Yes/No/Not Applicable answers). We also ask you attach the policies and a finance report that sets out your latest income and expenditure and has been checked against your bank statements.  We've also left room for you to add anything else you want to tell us. 

Here's a sample Stage 2 form. Please don't use this sample form as we'll send you a link to the online application form if you're invited to Stage 2. Thank you. 

3. Meeting You

We visit you to discuss how a partnership might work and understand your funding needs.

Extra information

What happens next? We let you know we’ve received your application and when decisions are made.  We give you feedback if we don’t award a grant.

What chance do I have? We've shared information on the number of applications we received last time, the number grants made and how many grants we aim to award this time here.  We've also shared stories from our current Open Fund partners here.

Video or Audio applications? We currently don't offer video or audio applications. If you find our online form is not accessible, please email us on to arrange a time to talk about this. 

English not your first language or you find writing challenging? Don't worry - we want to hear from you. Please fill in the form in a way you're comfortable with but email us on to arrange a time to talk about any questions you have. 

What is the success rate? In 2020, 39% of eligible applicants were awarded a grant. In 2022, 44% of eligible applicants were awarded a grant. For more breakdowns on numbers applying, being shortlisted and the reasons for not receiving a grant, go to our FAQ.

Deadlines: our 2022 deadline has passed and we will publish our next deadline in 2024. As a guide our application process, here are our last deadlines:

2 November 2021: applications open

Our application round opens with a link to our Stage 1 Tell Us About You online application form. See above for links to our sample forms. Link to our online form is below.  

November & December 2021 Any questions? We can speak on the phone to answer questions once  you've read our guidance - please email to set a time. 
20 January 2022 at 5pm: Stage 1 deadline Deadline for submitting the Stage 1 Tell Us About You application forms. 

mid-March 2022: invitation to Stage 2

In mid-March 2022, we'll let you know if we're inviting your charity to submit a Stage 2 online application form or not.  The deadline for this group to submit a Stage 2 form will be 28 April 2022, ahead of a visit in May 2022 and final decisions in mid-June 2022.

Mid-June 2022

Decisions on grants awarded.

Autumn 2024 Deadlines of the next funding round published

Relationship with charities we fund

We make it clear why we’ve awarded a grant.

We agree with you how to communicate and this may include visits, phone calls and sharing reports.  We tell you what we do with this information.

We find out about what you're doing to show the difference your charity is making.

We encourage you to give us feedback and share any concerns - we want to understand your charity.