Skip to main content

Your web browser is not fully supported by BBC Children in Need, so parts of the website may not function correctly.

Close up of a girl's hand on her wheelchair in a group of volunteers

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply for a grant?

We fund not-for-profit organisations that work with disadvantaged children and young people aged 18 years and under. The children and young people must live in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

This includes:

  • Charitable incorporated organisations, including Scottish charitable incorporated organisations
  • Community interest companies (CIC) limited by guarantee
  • Companies limited by guarantee with a clause in their governing document preventing distribution of profit (including social enterprises)
  • Housing associations
  • Industrial and provident community benefit societies
  • Registered charities
  • Religious institutions
  • Special schools, with provisions for children with learning difficulties or disabilities that cannot be met within a mainstream setting
  • Voluntary organisations with a clear not-for-profit clause in their governing document

We do not fund local government bodies, including councils at all levels. We do not fund any NHS bodies or prisons.

We expect all organisations to have met our minimum standards for grantmaking.

If you are still unsure whether your group is able to apply for a grant please check our A to Z Guidance or contact us.

Our Emergency Essentials Programme awards grants for individual children and young people. It supports struggling families by funding specific items to meet children’s most basic needs. Examples could include a bed to sleep in, a cooker to provide hot meals, or clothing in a crisis. We do not usually accept applications to provide welfare funds.

In exceptional circumstances, we may consider a case from an organisation targeting a wider audience. An example might be organisation aiming to make starter packs for young homeless people.

We may also consider applications for a specific item to assist a child affected by illness. Those applications would need to be made by an eligible organisation that can answer questions about the child and their situation.

Yes, as long as a significant majority of the children and young people who would benefit from the grant are aged 18 or under. Please note that we will only fund the costs of working with the young people aged 18 or under.

This also applies to applications for work with disabled young people.

Organisations that already hold a grant from us can apply to our Project Costs or Core Costs streams, as long as the current funding is due to end within 12 months. You won’t be eligible to apply for other BBC Children in Need funding if you already hold a grant from us with more than 12 months left to deliver.

Both our Project and Core streams support work for up to three years. Being a current or previous grantee is no guarantee of being offered further funding. We will consider each application on its own merits, and in line with our National and Regional areas of interest.

If you’re successful in applying for another grant, we will not release any new funds until we’ve signed off on your final report for the previous award. You will need to start spending the new grant within 12 months of the date it is awarded.

Yes. Please refer to our Minimum Standards , which tell you the basic requirements your organisation needs to have in place.

You should submit a 12-month financial forecast with your application, instead of a set of accounts. As a minimum, your forecast should include:

  • Projected income
  • Projected expenditure
  • Evidence of planning around income generation

You may also be eligible for our new ‘Emerging Grants’ fund which opens in spring 2023. You’ll find more information here.

We seek to prioritise smaller, local organisations.

We will rarely fund Project Costs for organisations with an annual turnover of more than £2million in the most recent, complete financial year. We will rarely fund Core Costs for organisations with an annual turnover of more than £1million.

We understand that some organisations with higher income deliver vital work for children and young people. We will accept applications from the following organisations regardless of turnover:

  • Hospices (including children’s hospices)
  • Housing Associations
  • Applications delivering work nationwide (across a whole nation) or UK-wide (across multiple nations within the UK)

We understand that, in some circumstances, larger and/or national organisations may be best-placed to deliver work to communities who need it most.

These are projects or services where the children and young people who benefit live across the UK.

For example, your project or staff might be based in one area, but deliver a service to children and young people all over the country. This could be through online or telephone support, remote face-to-face work, or by bringing participants to your location.

If you apply for UK-wide work, you’ll need to tell us how you plan to reach children and young people across the whole UK.

We treat independent branches of national organisations as separate organisations. Independent branches must have their own constitution and financial accounts, their own management committee and must be fully responsible for their own finances. We can accept applications from each branch.

For Project Grants
UK-wide organisations can have one project grant in each of the four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). Within each nation our usual rules apply to local branches of a larger organisation.

For Core Grants
Organisations may only hold one Core Costs grant at any time, regardless of where in the UK they deliver their work.

The organisation cannot hold a Core grant if it has a Project grant in any of the Nations.

We can fund groups working in partnership. The nominated lead organisation must make the application, and will be accountable for:

  • Delivery of work as agreed
  • Safeguarding
  • Managing the grant and reporting back
  • Management of any workers funded as part of the grant
  • Ensuring that the work achieves its stated outcomes

Applications from partnerships must also meet our Minimum Standards  for grantmaking.

A partnership agreement should be in place before you apply, and you’ll be asked to summarise this in your application.

What do you give grants for?

The people and organisations that BBC Children in Need fund will be:

  • Working with children and young people aged 18 years and under
  • Working in the heart of their communities, particularly in times of crisis
  • Putting children and young people at the centre of everything they do, from design to delivery
  • Addressing challenges faced by children and young people, building their skills and resilience
  • Empowering children and young people, and extending their choices in life
  • Keen to keep learning about and developing their work with children and young people
  • Committed to making a difference in children and young people’s lives

You should also check that you meet our Minimum Standards for grantmaking.

It’s very important that you refer to our online A–Z Guidance before you apply for funding. It may also save you the time and effort of applying for costs we don’t fund.

Our A-Z Guidance includes details of our grantmaking policies. Some will be relevant to every application, such as our Safeguarding Children policy. Others are important for certain types of applications, such as work involving counselling, or projects seeking funding for equipment.

  • Our Project Costs and Core Costs streams support projects for up to three years
  • We do not make grants of over £120,000 (or £40,000 per year), and most grants we make are for much less than this
  • Each year we receive far higher number of funding requests than we are able to support
  • Applications for larger amounts are always more difficult for us to fund
  • Applications for grants of £15,000 or under per year will receive a quicker decision from us, and so will be able to start work sooner if successful
  • We will only consider applications for over £15,000 per year from organisations who have registered with the appropriate regulatory body
    • These include the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the Scottish Charity Register
    • If you are a Company limited by Guarantee, you must have registered with Companies House.
  • If your work directly supports certain groups of especially vulnerable children and young people, you’ll be unable to apply for less than £15,001 per year
    • In particular, this means work with children affected by child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation, or serious youth violence
    • Our approach to funding work in these areas involves making larger grants, and building deeper relationships with delivery organisations

Yes. Our Core Costs funding stream supports essential organisational and administrative spending for charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Core Costs funding can be spent on your organisation’s central day-to-day operations – the key expenses required to keep your organisation running. These might include, for example:

  • Management and administration
  • HR and payroll
  • General office expenses
  • Accountancy and audit
  • Communications and outreach
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and learning
  • Governance, regulatory, and compliance costs

Applicants to this programme can apply for grants for up to three years. We aim to give quicker decisions for grants of £15,000 or less per year.

Yes, we accept applications for staffing costs as long as the roles are focused on making a difference to the lives of children and young people. You can ask for staffing costs in both our Project and Core funding streams.

When applying for staffing costs please think about these things:

  • Please ask for the salary you think the post deserves and not what you think we will want to pay. We want to fund posts to succeed and expect the salary to be in line with similar posts across the sector.
  • The costs for all salary posts should be detailed on your application form. If you are not completely sure about the costs, please involve your treasurer to make sure that these are correct
  • New posts need to be publicly advertised; consider whether you need to include recruitment costs as part of your application
  • Don’t forget to include other costs associated with employing someone. This could include National Insurance and pension contributions
  • Remember to allow for inflation in your costs

We recognise the need to engage sessional staff for the purposes of delivering specific forms of project or activity. For example, this could be short-term or one-off holiday play schemes. However we believe that, where possible, it is more likely to produce good outcomes for children if organisations offer fixed-term contracts to cover projects.

We may consider applications for work that supports parents, or which offer training in parenting skills, as long as it will directly benefit the lives of children and young people. Very clear evidence of these outcomes will need to be provided.

We don’t fund capital or building projects. This includes new construction, as well as renovation or conversion of existing premises and venues. ‘We will not fund any costs for fixed equipment (e.g. boilers, lighting, etc). We may consider requests for non-fixed equipment (e.g. play or sensory items) that do not total more than £20,000.’

When should we apply and what happens next?

Our Project Costs and Core Costs streams have no application deadlines. You can apply at any time. We will not any fund work that has already taken place, or any costs incurred, before the date we give you a decision. If your request is successful, you must start spending your grant within 12 months.

Plan your application date so that you will receive a decision in plenty of time before the work will begin. We receive a very high number of applications between October and January. If you submit a form during these months, it make take longer to get a decision.

An organisation can only hold one Project or one Core grant at any one time. The exception to this is that UK-wide organisations can have one Project grant in each of the four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). An organisation cannot hold both a Project and a Core grant.

If you submit an Expression of Interest form but we do not invite you to submit a full application, your decision letter will explain how long you will need to wait before submitting another Expression of Interest form. This will be a minimum of six months after this decision.

  • If you currently have either a Small or a Main grant from BBC Children in Need that will end within the next 12 months, you can apply for a Project or a Core grant.
  • If you currently have both a Small and a Main grant from us, you can apply for a Project or a Core grant once either your Small or your Main grant is in its last 12 months.
  • You can’t apply for a Project or a Core grant if you currently have more than 12 months left on:
    • a Small grant only
    • a Main grant only,
    • both a Small and a Main grant.
  • If you don’t currently have a Small or a Main grant from us, but you do have another type of BBC Children in Need grant (e.g. We Move, YSA, Curiosity, Inspiring Futures, etc), you can apply for a Project or a Core grant at any time.

Important information if you are a current grantee and you want to apply to our Project or Core funding streams:

  • If you currently have a Small and/or a Main grant in its last 12 months, and are successful in applying for a Project or a Core grant, this will become the only grant you hold with us when your Small and/or Main grant(s) reach their end date.
    • You will not be able to apply for a second Project or Core grant while you already hold one – even if you previously held both a Small and a Main grant at the same time.
    • For this reason, organisations should think carefully when applying for a Project or a Core grant about which type would be the best way to support their future work.
  • If you currently hold a Small or a Main grant in the last 12 months of delivery and are successful in applying for a Project or a Core grant, funds for the new grant will not be released until that existing grant has ended.
  • Our grants cannot be used to fund any activity that is already being funded through another grant. We cannot fund the same activity twice. All applications should clearly demonstrate that they are either for different work, or for work with a different cohort of children and young people.

Both our Project and Core streams support work for up to three years. Being a current or previous grantee is no guarantee of being offered further funding. We will consider each application on its own merits, and in line with our National and Regional areas of interest.

If you’re successful in applying for another grant, we will not release any new funds until we’ve signed off on your final report for the previous award. You will need to start spending the new grant within 12 months of the date it’s offered.

The first step in applying for Project or Core Costs is to fill in a short Expression of Interest (EOI) form online. Use the EOI form to tell us a bit more about your organisation, and the work you want us to fund. You’ll access the EOI form in your online account.

If we would like to support the work outlined in your EOI form, we’ll send you a full application form to complete. Our National and Regional Plans will help you understand how we prioritise decisions.

After you submit your EOI form, we’ll send you an email to confirm that we have it. This email will give you more information about what happens next:

  • If your EOI is not progressed to the next stage, we’ll email you to explain our decision
  • If we do decide to progress your EOI, we’ll send you a link to a full online Application Form
  • Once we’ve sent you this link, you’ll be able to access the full application form in your online account
  • You’ll have 120 days to submit your full application, from the day we send you the link

We may decide that your EOI would be a better fit for one of our other funding streams, and not the one you’ve applied to. In that case, we’ll send you a link to an application form for the stream that best supports your planned work.

After you submit the full application form, we’ll send you an email to confirm we’ve received it. This email will also give you more information about what happens next:

  • First, we will check that the costs you applied for are eligible for our funding
  • We will then use a standardised process to help us decide which applications to take further. Among other things, this process will consider:
    • The current volume of applications
    • The current budget available
    • Our regional or national areas of interest
  • We may ask you to book a time slot with us for a brief phone call about your safeguarding procedures
  • We may also ask for more information about your application or your work
  • Applications are sent to a decision-making meeting in your region or nation, where a funding recommendation is made
  • Recommendations are passed to our trustees, and a final decision made about whether to offer you a grant

Once a decision is made, we’ll email you to confirm the outcome. We’ll soon be publishing more information about how long it will take to hear a decision.

Please note that you may be contacted by a freelance Assessor who is working on our behalf; these Assessors do not have BBC Children in Need email addresses. If you are unsure about whether you have been contacted by someone who is genuinely working on our behalf you can contact us on 0345 609 0015 or [email protected] to check.

If your application is successful, we’ll send you an email to confirm this. The email will explain more about what happens next. You can also find more information in the ‘I have a grant ’ section.

  • Attached to the email will be an award letter. This outlines the terms and conditions of your grant, and includes a Grant Acceptance Form
  • Both the Chair and Treasurer of your governing body should sign and date your form
  • Please read your award letter carefully, as there may be some further conditions on your grant. These are changes you’ll need to make, or things you’ll need to tell us, before we can award you the agreed funding
  • You must start spending the grant within 12 months of the date that we email you our decision

If your application is unsuccessful, we’ll send you an email to confirm this. The email will give you a brief reason for our decision, and include details about when you can apply again.

You can also contact us if would like further feedback.

If your application is not awarded you will receive an email informing you of the decision. That email will give you some brief reasons why your application was not funded. The email will also tell you when you can next apply.

This depends on how far your application has been progressed. If your project is unsuccessful before reaching the assessment stage, we will send you an email briefly outlining why. Due to the high volume of organisations registering through this process, we cannot give you any further feedback at this stage.

If your project does reach the assessment stage, we will send you an e-mail with feedback on your application. If you wish to request further feedback, details on how to do this will be contained in your decision letter.

We receive three times more ‘Expression of Interest’ requests than we are able to invite to submit a full application. Of those invited to submit a full application 1 in 2 get funding.

What extra documents do I need to attach to my application form?

A governing document outlines an organisation’s rules, objectives and how they make decisions. This document is often called a constitution. For Community Interest Companies (CICs), it is called a Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Your governing document should state:

  • That the organisation is not for profit, or clearly show that all income is applied to the organisation’s charitable purposes (and not distributed to members, shareholders or owners)
  • Charitable aims that are suitable for working with children and young people in the UK
  • A dissolution clause or asset lock clause (for CICs). This shows that your organisation’s assets will be distributed to a named not-for-profit organisation with similar charitable aims in the event of closure

Your accounts should:

  • Cover a 12-month period
  • Be no more than 18 months old
  • Be signed and dated by your Chair or Treasurer of your Governing Body

If your most recent accounts are more than 18 months old, you must also provide your most recent set of Management Accounts. These will show:

  • Income and expenditure over the last 12 months
  • Any income brought forward
  • Income due to be carried forward

We need different types of accounts from different types of organisation, as follows:

A new organisation may only be able to show projected income and expenditure over 12 months. Your forecast should include, as a minimum:

  • Projected income
  • Projected expenditure
  • Evidence of planning/clarity around income generation – how do you expect the organisation/work to grow over the next year?

An organisation with income of less than £25,000 should provide income and expenditure, as well as any balance sheet items.

An organisation with income of over £25,000 but less than £1million should provide accounts that have been reviewed by an appropriately qualified person. This is not deemed an audit. Audited accounts will be needed if total assets (before liabilities) exceed £3.26million, and if the organisation’s gross income is more than £250,000.

An organisation with income of over £1million should provide externally audited accounts. This is likely to include a detailed Trustee report, and notes to the accounts.

If your organisation’s accounts documents do not show a breakdown of restricted and unrestricted funds or current assets and current liabilities, (and you are required to do this by your regulator), please complete the Financial Template. To complete this you will need to have a record of your income, expenditure, and reserves as well a breakdown of any current assets and liabilities. To access the financial template and guidance please click here.

Please note, if you are completing the financial template, you will also need to submit your most recent set of accounts with your application form as well.

We prefer to receive electronic versions of your accounts, for improved efficiency and sustainability.

If you’re having trouble attaching documents to an online form, you can email them to us at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your organisation’s name, so that we can match your documents with your application form.

If you’re still unable to send us documents electronically, please telephone our helpdesk on 0345 609 0015 (option 2), or email [email protected].

We do not require any further documentation from applicants who are asking us to fund staffing costs.

We’d prefer you not to send us any more information than we’ve asked for. This helps us to process your applications more quickly.

Please make sure that any additional materials you do send us contain no personal or sensitive information.

Help! I'm having trouble with the online application system.

We want to be as accessible and supportive as possible for your organisation. This could mean translating our application into another language, or providing forms/guidance in alternative formats. We will also speak to you to help clarify any questions.

If you need help to apply, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (option 2), or email [email protected].

No, we can only accept applications online. If you need help to apply, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (option 2), or email [email protected].

If you are having technical problems with your application form, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (options 2), or email [email protected]. Our helpdesk is open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. You can also contact your local regional or national office.

  1. Save an electronic version of your documents to your computer somewhere you can easily find
  2. Choose the name of the relevant document in the drop-down box (e.g. accounts)
  3. Click ‘Browse’ to look through the folders on your computer, and select the file from where it is saved
  4. Once you select the file, click on ‘OK’
  5. The file path (this is the name of the document and the folder it is kept in) will appear in the box below. Click ‘Upload’ and the document will start to attach
  6. When uploaded, the online form will list your document as an attachment at the bottom of the attachments page
  7. Repeat this for all the documents
  8. Click on ‘SUBMIT’

If you are having any technical problems with your application form, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (option 2) or email [email protected].

We can support you to complete an application, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (option 2) or email [email protected].

You will only be able to submit your application form if you have answered all the questions and attached the documents we need.

Some of the questions have word limits. Others have specific instructions on how to answer (for example when you have to give number answers you should not use any punctuation). If you haven’t followed these instructions, red arrows will appear to highlight any problems when you try to submit your form.

Once you have addressed these problems, click on the update button at the bottom of the screen. You should then be able to submit your application.
If you’re still having problems, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (option 2) or email [email protected].

Some sections of the form count characters, rather than words. You might have too many letters in your answer. Each individual letter, space and item of punctuation will count towards your character limit.

If you continue to have problems, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (option 2) or email [email protected].

 

If you have any questions about your application, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (option 2) or email [email protected]. You can also contact your local regional or national office.

We will do our best to answer any questions you may have, but we are unable to help you write your application.

We can’t check applications before they are submitted. Your local CVS or funding advice service may be able to help.

If you have any questions about your application, please phone us on 0345 609 0015 (option 2) or email [email protected]. You can also contact your local regional or national office.

Cymraeg/Welsh

Am y dudalen Cymraeg cliciwch yma.

addbankCN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background calendarCN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background CN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background CN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background chevron-down chevron-lchevron-rchevron-upcommentcross>CN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background detect-locationdocumentdownloadCN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background emailembedexportfavouritefilterhelphomeinfoiphone iplayer liveCN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background more-horizontalmore-verticalphonepingitpostCN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background quote-end quote-open searchsettingsshareshowcase-threads social-facebook social-instagram social-linkedin CN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background social-pinterest social-twitter social-youtube sounds CN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background CN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background ticktimeCN0891 Icons for Resources - No Background puzzle-shelfAsset 1