Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some FAQs we have received since launching the Fund. We have put them in to categories to help you navigate through the questions. We will be updating this section regularly as the questions come through.

Application form and submission

We are interested to apply for funding, where can we find the application form?

The application form can be accessed from our website here https://www.independentage.org/community/grants-fund, alongside guidance information to complete the form.

We have had a problem downloading the application form from the Grants Fund website. What should we do?

If this happens, please send us an email at GrantsFund@independentage.org and we will send the application form alongside guidance information to help you complete the form.

We can only download a PDF version of the application form. Is it possible to obtain a Word version of the form?

If would like to obtain a Word version of the application form, please send us an email at GrantsFund@independentage.org and we will send it to you.

We have had problems filling in the PDF version of the application form, can we submit it as a Word document?

Yes, you can submit the form as a Word document.

We are about to send the completed online grant application form, but we cannot find a way to attach supporting documents. How should we send them?

All documents, including the application form should be emailed to GrantsFund@indpendentage.org.

Do we need to provide our annual accounts with physical signature shown in it when submitting supporting documents?

Yes, you need to provide us with details of your annual accounts and they must include a physical signature.

Eligibility

We are a social enterprise, a Community Interest Company (CIC) or a company – can we apply?

We’re sorry but we can only accept applications from charities registered with The Charity Commission for England and Wales, The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, or The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). If we raise more money so that the Fund can continue in the future, we will be looking at this decision again.

We are a local project and responsible for our own fundraising but share our charity number with a larger charity, with an income over £1 million. Our income locally is under £1 million - can we apply?

Unfortunately, the income level we're assessing is that of the accountable body. Meaning that even with a separate committee and accounts, if you share a charity number with the accountable body which has a turnover of over £1 million then this would make you ineligible to apply.

We are exempt from charity registration – can we apply?

If your organisation has ‘excepted’ charitable status, then yes, you are eligible to apply.

We normally employ a paid member of staff; however, the position is currently vacant – can we still apply?

We would allow an application provided you intend to fill the post and are confident you can do the work while this is happening.

Our income, on average, over the last 3 years is just over £1 million a year – can we apply?

All the work you are doing is important and we wish we could help. We’re sorry but we have to stick to the £1 million limit due to our limited funds.

We work with dedicated volunteers (none of us work in paid capacity) to support older people in our community – can we still apply?

Unfortunately, we do require you to meet our eligibility criteria to apply – this includes being a registered charity and having one full-time or part-time paid member of staff.

The eligibility criteria states that to apply for the Fund we have to have at least one paid member of staff. Does self-employed consultant fall into this category of a paid member of staff?

Yes, a self-employed consultant can be considered as a paid member of staff. 

Is it possible for two charities to work in partnership and submit a single application for a joint project?

Yes, you are able to work in partnership and submit a single application for a joint project, provided you both meet the criteria for the Fund (e.g. under £1 million, etc.). One of you will have to accept any grant on behalf of the 2 organisations and be responsible for managing the money.

Technical issues

What should I do if I encounter problem opening documents on the Grants Fund web page?

If this happens, please send us an email at GrantsFund@independentage.org and we will try to assist you while we look into the problem.

General

How does the grant programme define 'older people' and at what age can we begin to classify our service users as older individuals?

We have deliberately not set strict age limits for the Fund because we know that people experience the challenges that can come with older age at different times of their lives depending on many factors, for example, where they live, their background or their attitude to ageing. If your work supports people who you define as ‘older’ and you can make a case that age is a contributory factor to the issues they are facing, you are welcome to apply.

We want to discuss the Fund with someone, is there a phone number we can call?

Unfortunately, due to our limited capacity, we will not be able to answer queries by phone as we are focusing on processing applications as quickly as we can. If you have a question, please can you email us at GrantsFund@independentage.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Additional Question

Question
On reading the background to the work you do, we wondered if our services made us eligible for funding. Your services seem focused on reaching the elderly and drawing them into the community, combatting loneliness and isolation which we completely understand. Ours is providing practical support for ensuring our clients are receiving correct benefit entitlements, debt, inadequate housing and fuel poverty. Many of our clients are elderly, suffering from long term health conditions including mental health and live in rural isolation.

Answer
We are sorry, but we are not able to fund advice, information or support services targeted at all older people. This is hugely important work, but we simply don’t have enough funds at this stage to help meet this need. We can only support work that is specifically targeted towards older people in our two priority areas - older people who are living in particularly complex or challenging situations or in danger of being out of sight and out of mind.

We have given some examples of what we mean by these two priorities, but we know there may be many other reasons why some older people may be facing even tougher challenges than older people more generally. If you provide a service for the public or for all older people but have focused projects or existing work specifically designed to reach clients who fit within our priorities, you will need to do three things:

  • Tell us about the challenges these older people are facing and how the coronavirus has made an already difficult situation even worse
  • Describe the work you are already doing that is targeted towards these older people, how you are reaching them and your past achievements in helping them
  • Explain how the work you are planning to do will respond directly to the additional challenges they are facing because of the coronavirus and the difference you hope it will make to their lives.

We know that fundraising is currently very challenging and the temptation to try to make your work ‘fit’ is high. But we are expecting hundreds of applications for this Fund and know that we will have to disappoint many good and valuable proposals simply because others speak more strongly to the priorities of the Fund. However, if you are confident that you can make a strong case, we are happy to accept an application for any kind of work that you believe will make a real and immediate difference to them. Practical services, emotional support, advice, emergency help or anything else they might need – we trust your judgement about what the priorities are and where money is best spent.

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