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 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 should now be uploaded via the online application form, if you encounter difficulties please get back in touch via GrantsFund@indpendentage.org and we shall assist you as best we can.

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 which has a physical signature shown in it.

If we apply for a grant of £10k, is the grant offered on an ‘all or nothing basis’ or could we be offered less than requested?

The grants will only be allocated as the full amount requested (between £5,000 to £15,000), we would not grant an amount smaller than that requested as this may cause complications for the project which you have applied to fund.

We missed the deadline for round 2, can we still apply for round 3?

Unfortunately, the deadline for round 2 was 2nd July at 9am, and due to a high volume of applicants during this round we do not have the capacity to accept applications sent after this date.

Round 3 opens in mid-August so please re-apply then, being aware that for round 3 we have an online application rather than sending documents rather email. This is set to go live for submission on 17th August. 
 

Can we apply for round 3 if we were rejected in round 1 or 2?

Unfortunately, we wouldn’t accept an application from an organisation who had applied in round 1 or 2. We have a very thorough assessment process and have had a large quantity of applicants and limited funds to grant. Although we would really love to support all organisations that apply it simply isn’t possible, but we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.

Please let us know if you would be interested in Independent Age contacting you to discuss other areas of support such as training, events, fundraising, safeguarding and social media.

We’re sorry we can’t support you through this Fund and wish you the very best of luck.

We applied for £15k in our application and were not successful, if we request a smaller amount could our application be re-considered?

Whilst we would love to help every organisation that has applied unfortunately our decision remains the same. We have a very rigorous application process, with many layers of assessment, and the team of assessors and the decision panel look at the application as a whole when making their decision. So, although we would love to help you to deliver the project unfortunately we are not able to, but we wish you the very best of luck.

Alongside the Independent Age Grants Fund we would like to understand where else we could support you in your work in the future. If you would be interested in Independent Age contacting you to discuss other areas of support such as training, events, fundraising, safeguarding and social media.

We’re sorry we can’t support you through this Fund and wish you the very best of luck.

We have already applied for the fund and have not heard back about the decision, does this mean we have not been offered the grant?

Due to the high volume of applications we have needed to give ourselves a bit longer to assess applications and for our panel to meet. Therefore, the date of confirmation is open to change, please keep an eye on the website as this is updated regularly. 

No matter what the decision is on your grant application we will be in touch via email to confirm the outcome. 

If you have any questions, or are waiting on the decision from round 1 please email GrantsFund@independentage.org

We have completed an application form as per round 2 instructions, can we email this to you or do we still need to complete the online application to be accepted?

We will need the submission to be via the online application form to be accepted into round 3.

We are moving to an online application form for Rround 3, which is going to open slightly later than originally advertised on our website – 17th August.

The online application mirrors the form you have already completed and so you can copy and paste to the online form quite easily. 

Eligibility

We do not have a safeguarding policy as our staff have no frontline involvement with vulnerable adults, can we proceed with an application?

Although your service may not undertake frontline work with vulnerable adults, you will still need a safeguarding policy to be eligible for the Independent Age Grants Fund. In line with good practice, we require all applicants to have a policy. You may (from time to time) want to engage with service users in different ways – e.g. to obtain feedback on your services or you may want to involve volunteers (where having a policy is essential) and safeguarding policies should also cover staff and trustees.

Safeguarding policies usually include definitions of abuse, processes for reporting concerns, and include named people in the organisation responsible for safeguarding, training requirements and how decisions on DBS requirements are made. Although this may feel distant to the work you do, you may find not having a policy excludes you from other funding opportunities. There are lots of model policies which can be a useful starting point – NCVO produce guidance. The Charity Commission also produce information which may be of use https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-duties-for-charity-trustees.

We are not eligible for your fund but would really like to work with you, are there other projects we can be involved with?

Yes. Alongside the Independent Age Grants Fund we would like to understand where else we could support you in your work in the future. Please let us know if you would be interested in Independent Age contacting you to discuss other areas of support such as training, events, fundraising, safeguarding and social media. Email us at GrantsFund@independentage.org

Is property included as part of our reserves? Would unrestricted funds of our charity be deemed to include two properties owned by the charity. Both are vested in the Charity Commission and neither is accessible as a direct means of funding our work.

Unrestricted funds don’t usually include fixed assets (properties) because although technically you could sell the properties and release cash, if you did you wouldn’t have anywhere from which to run the services. So, we don’t include properties in the calculations. You can ignore them when calculating your reserves.

Can we apply for a grant to help with the costs associated with the re-opening of our facillities or for purchasing IT equipment for some of our older carers?

These are not the only areas we will fund but we wanted to provide clarification on what is eligible within these areas because we were receiving a lot of applications around this – outlined in the guidance document here https://independent-age-assets.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2020-08/IA-FR-402_Guidance%20to%20complete%20the%20application%20form_v9.pdf?ADWEE5WvUd9AL48z6vbKp5af2XinqBO8.

The type of projects we will fund remains broader as long as it fits with the key focus areas for the Fund – outlined in the overview document here https://independent-age-assets.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2020-06/IA%20Grants%20Fund%20overview%20and%20focus.pdf?3xIbAGvSPIELXarirjV4zCsjnO4Klxnf

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.

We are a Welsh based organisation, can we apply? If so, most of our governing documents are in Welsh, can we apply with these documents or do we need to translate into English?

Yes, we accept applications from all nations within the UK, you can check eligibility requirements here.  We do ask for all documents to be sent in English, unfortunately our assessors aren’t able to assess applications in any other language.

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.

We are trying to upload our documents and keep encountering errors, can we email these documents to you instead?

We are sorry to hear you are experiencing difficulties with uploading documents; if you have tried a few times to upload documents and it has still failed we first suggest that you try using a different web browser, i.e. using Google Chrome or Mozilla as often this can make a difference.

If you are still encountering difficulties, then please email us on GrantsFund@independentage.org with your supporting documents via email and we shall try to support you. 

We are trying to submit our application but we keep encountering error messages, how can we submit our application?

We are sorry to hear you are experiencing difficulties with submitting your application. The online application form will only allow you to submit once all documentation required for assessment is included. If there is a document missing or you are not eligible you will be unable to submit your application. To check you have all the supporting documentation that we require and to check our eligibility requirements, please visit the Grants Fund website link here: 
https://www.independentage.org/community/grants-fund
If you are still experiencing issues, please email us on GrantsFund@independentage.org.

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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