Application guidelines for a charitable grant

We suggest that you read through these guidelines before writing your application. The information these guidelines contains is as follows:

  1. Which organisations are eligible to apply for a grant.
  2. What the Charity is unlikely to fund.
  3. What our Grants Committee/Trustees look for in an application.
  4. Checklist of what to email to us.

Which organisations are eligible to apply

All registered charities and other organisations which support the Army community, which includes veterans, serving soldiers, their families and immediate dependants, may apply.

We support in the first instance a broad range of charities, with a preference to members of COBSEO/Veterans Scotland. That said, when appropriate we will consider applications on a case by case basis from:

  • Not-for-profit organisations & Community Interest Companies (CICs)
  • Community projects
  • Housing associations

What the Charity is unlikely to fund

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity supports a wide range of organisations, though please note the guidelines below which indicate areas which are not normally funded:

  • We are not able to accept applications from those organisations that do not support serving soldiers, veterans and their immediate families, and/or the wider Army community.
  • We will not normally consider any funding request made within 12 months of the outcome of a previous application, whether a grant was received or not.
  • Whilst we do support some educational and training activities, this does not include gap years, study trips, fundraising expeditions or sponsorship. Sponsorship referrals should be passed to the Charity’s communications department.
  • The Charity does not normally fund specific (i.e. named) posts and salaries. Trustees will consider contributing to an organisation’s core operating costs of which we recognise general salary costs will be a part of this. This is primarily because grants are single-year commitments.
  • The Charity will not fund the full cost recovery of any project, but may consider a request to contribute towards this.
  • Typically grants are made for a single year; however, the Charity’s Trustees may consider making a grant spread over a number of years at their discretion if they feel this would be appropriate.
  • The Charity tends not to support umbrella organisations, preferring to support those organisations working directly with beneficiaries at a grassroots level.

What our Grants Committee/Trustees look for in an application

Applications for grants to charities are considered individually by our Grants Committee and confirmed by Trustees. In assessing applications, we follow the COBSEO Funding Principles, which are available to download here, and in particular will be taking the following issues into consideration:

  • The Governance and Trustees of the organisation.
    • The Committee will look closely at any evidence provided to prove that the organisation is effectively managed and has in place satisfactory operating procedures and risk management procedures. This includes ensuring that core services are adequately resourced and stable before expanding into new projects, locations or services.
  • The financial viability of the organisation including reserves.
    • Organisations that are relatively stable financially tend to be in a better position to run effectively and deliver the quality of services for which the charity was created. The Trustees look for signs that the charity/organisation is likely to remain running – these signs include, but are not limited to, past history, local support, an appropriate level of reserves, statutory and local council funding/grants from other charities, trusts or corporate organisations.
  • Where the Charity or Organisation is operating in the mental health space we will expect as a minimum that the organisation is a member of COBSEO and has agreed and signed up to the COBSEO guiding principles for the delivery of Veterans’ and Service Families’ Mental Health Care.
  • The degree of need for the project requiring funding.
    • There are many ways to evaluate this, however, indicators include the level of local commitment to the project, evidenced by such things as fundraising activity, volunteer effort, local authority support, and most importantly the number of Army veterans, family members or serving soldiers the project will reach, or has reached, and the outcomes achieved.
  • The amount spent on administration and fundraising as compared to the charitable activities.
    • Along with a range of other considerations, the Committee/Trustees review applications in light of the financial health of the organisation, including costs incurred in relation to expenditure on meeting charitable objectives, The Committee/Trustees expect that administration costs are kept at a reasonable level and they consider these in light of the type and size of the organisation.
  • The ability to gain sufficient funding to meet the appeal target/requirement.
    • The Committee/Trustees are keen to assist projects where they can have a high degree of confidence that the necessary funds can be secured from relevant sources, therefore it is important to demonstrate the level of funds already secured and from what sources; as well as the likely targets to address any shortfall. The Charity will wish to know whether any organisations have received LIBOR funding and be made aware of the plans to ensure the operation continues when LIBOR funding ceases. Any LIBOR funding the organisation as received will be taken into consideration when deciding whether to award a grant.
  • The recognition our Charity will receive.
    • Critical to any application will be how our grant will be formally recognised by the receiving organisation and their willingness to work with our communications team in providing suitable case studies and material to support our Charity in further fundraising.

Application checklist

Lastly, please check that you have included all of the following with your application before emailing it to

Funding proposal that includes:

  • Parts 1 and 2 of the application form as appropriate
  • Summary of your charity’s purpose and activities.
  • Details of the project or need for which you are applying.
  • Numbers of the Army family the project will support and outcomes if you have received a previous grant.
  • Fundraising strategy including any LIBOR/Covenant Fund Trust funding received.
  • Operational budget.
  • Method of recognition of any grant made.
  • Copy of the most recent report and audited accounts (charities required to submit their report and accounts or an Annual Information Return to the Charity Commission should also provide confirmation that this has been done).
  • Any supporting documentation you feel will contribute to our understanding as appropriate, e.g. case studies, architectural plans etc.