The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant-making trust that distributes grants to charities whose core work is in the areas of learning, the arts and health. As schools are increasingly accessing funding from Foyle, this article will explain what they fund, as well as giving practical advice on making a successful application.

The Foyle Foundation was formed to implement the terms of the will of the late Christina Foyle. She was the daughter of William Foyle who, with his brother, founded the family owned bookshop Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London in 1904. Christina joined the business at the age of 17 and continued to manage it until her death in 1999 at the age of 88.

The foundation came into existence in November 2001, since when it has disbursed 36.4M in grants (to the year ending June 2009). Most of these grants range between £10,000-£50,000 and all are UK based, as the foundation specifically does not fund international work.

Following a strategic review, the Foundation merged with its sister charity The Batty Charitable Trust in March 2009 and from July 2009 has revised its objectives. The Foundation now operates a Main Grants Scheme supporting charities whose core work covers Arts and Learning and a Small Grants Scheme covering small charities in all fields.

Application criteria

Applications will only be eligible for consideration if they are aimed at benefiting people within the UK.

Only organisations which have recognised charitable status can be considered. For schools this means either declaring their charitable status conferred through their affiliation to a church, or applying through a PTA or friends’ group which has gained charitable status. Gaining such status is a lot less complicated than most schools expect.

These are the two main grounds for ineligibility. Similarly, retrospective funding will not normally be considered, nor will funding for projects that have already started (except for capital projects still under way, that will not be completed for some time).

Organisations and projects which provide direct benefits and services to the public, rather than to special interest groups, will be favoured in the decision-making process by the foundation. The trustees will also show particular interest in those groups which find funding difficult to obtain. It is important to note that, as part of the project appraisal process, the level and purpose of the applicant’s reserves will be taken into account. The foundation will consider funding for revenue and capital projects.

It is essential that applicants demonstrate how the project will be sustainable – if this is an ongoing activity – after the grant expires. An organisation may only apply for one grant in any year. In situations where the applicant is part of a wider national organisation which is supported by the foundation, then no other regional branches or affiliated groups will be supported during that year.

Support for learning

The foundation provides funding under the category of ‘support for learning’ and within this area key priorities are:

  • Libraries, museums and archives
  • Special educational needs and learning difficulties.

Funding details

Any grant offered by the trustees should be able to be used in full within two years of being awarded, otherwise the foundation may withdraw the grant. In the majority of cases the funding will be in the region of £10,000-£50,000. Only rarely will an application for less than £10,000 be considered.

In those situations where a grant of over £50,000 per annum has been awarded, the foundation will not normally accept any further applications from the same charity within three years from the date of the award or final instalment.

Applications are accepted all year round and there are no deadlines. Following an application it takes on average four months for a decision to be made by the trustees and therefore applicants are advised to apply at least six months prior to requiring funding. When applying for a grant it is important to allow sufficient time to allow the trustees to make a full study before reaching their decision.

Normally applications are acknowledged within two weeks, including those which are rejected. Once an application has been acknowledged and accepted as valid the applicant may be contacted for further information by the chief executive and, in some cases, a visit might be arranged in order to carry out a more detailed appraisal prior to presenting the application to the trustees.

More information and contact details HERE

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