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Grant Guidance

Starting your grant

If you have been awarded a grant from BBC Children in Need – well done! Every year we receive far more applications than we can fund, so you have done well to get this far.

This page contains lots of useful information about managing your grant. Scroll down for advice on the following topics:

  • Keep your important documents safe.
  • Finding out about your payments
  • Talking to us
  • Employing staff.
  • Changing  your project.
  • Measuring the Difference you make.
  • ‘Your Difference’ training.

Keep your important documents

You will have received an email telling you your application has been successful. This email contains the following:

  • Grant offer letter.
  • Grant Award Sheet. This show the amount of money you have been given, what you can spend it on, and any conditions you have to meet.
  • Grant Acceptance Agreement.
  • Terms & Conditions of your grant.

It’s very important that you keep copies of these documents. You may need to refer to these documents throughout your grant.

It’s also important to keep good records after your grant has started. We might as you to show us proof of:

  • The number of children and young people you have worked with.
  • The difference you have made to those children.
  • What you have spent on staff
  • HR and employment records.
  • Receipts for any items you have spent £250 or more on.

Finding out about your payments

Before we can pay you, we will need you to send us some things. We cannot return original documents, but you can request extra copies from your bank. We need:

  • Grant Acceptance Agreement: This will be included in the e-mail we sent you. It says that you accept the grant according to the terms and conditions in the offer letter, Grant Award Sheet and Terms & Conditions. It must be signed by your organisation’s:
    • Chair
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary
    • or, for organisations with a turnover of more than £10 million per year, the Finance Director.
  • Proof of your bank account. We cannot pay any grant money until we have this proof. We accept any of the following:
    • Original bank statement (please note we cannot accept print-outs from online banking or photocopies of original statements)
    • Original paying-in slip.
    • Original letter on your bank’s headed paper. It must show the account name, account number and sort code. It must be signed by an appropriate employee of the bank (you can ask your bank for this; see an example of a bank confirmation letter).
  • Anything else which is listed as a condition of your grant. We will have included these in your Grant Award Sheet. Usually, we will not pay you any money until we have proof you have met these conditions. Sometimes, we may pay a small amount of your grant but won’t pay any more until the conditions have been met.

Talking to Us

You may receive a call or email from your grant officer at the start of your grant to discuss your project.

You can contact your grant officer at any time to discuss your project. It’s very important to do this if you are making changes to your project.

Lots of projects will receive a visit from their grant officer at some point during the life of the project.

You might also be asked if other BBC Children in Need staff or our supporters can visit. If you don’t think this is appropriate, please say so. It won’t affect your grant with us.

Employing staff

Many of the grants we fund are for the salaries of staff. We need the following documents at the start of these grants:

  • If the job description and/or person specification has changed since you applied for your grant, you must send us a final copy.
  • A letter/e-mail confirming the employee’s: Name; Job title; Salary; Start date.
  • If this is a new post, it must be advertised externally. You must provide a copy of the job advert. We will accept photocopies of printed adverts (e.g. in newspapers) or screenshots of online adverts. The advert should state ‘This post is supported by BBC Children in Need’. If you would like to use our logo you can find guidelines here.

If you would like advice or guidance on recruitment or other HR issues, the ACAS website provides lots of useful information.

Changing your project

You must tell your grant officer of any changes to your project. If possible, you must do this before those changes take place. In most cases we are able to agree to changes quickly and easily.

Changes you should tell us about could include:

  • Change of staff working on the project.
  • Changing the activities or services provided. You don’t need to tell us about every small change, but if in doubt, it’s best to let us know.
  • Changing your budget (i.e. if you want to spend some of the grant money differently, or if you are likely to have an underspend).
  • Changing what you report back to us about or your Differences

If you don’t know who your grant officer is, get in touch here.

Measuring the difference you make

It’s important to start measuring the Difference you make as early as possible in your grant. Have a look at our guidance on reporting on your grant.

‘Your Difference’ training

‘Your Difference’ training is offered to many of our grantees as a condition of their grant. It is a one-day training course run by BBC Children in Need and NCVO. The course introduces funded projects to BBC Children in Need’s reporting. It helps measure and show the differences a project is making in the lives of the children and young people.

Working with Children

Children and young people are at the centre of the work of BBC Children in Need. We believe that all children have the right to protection from harm. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard all children and young people we work with.

BBC Children in Need is not and cannot be expert in child protection, but we work alongside the NSPCC and other leading organisations to promote best practice in safeguarding children and young people. Good child protection and safeguarding is achieved through establishing a positive organisational culture and a number of procedures and checks.

For more information, please see NSPCC’s Online Safety resources, or Thinkuknow (An online education programme for protecting children and young people).

You can also find resources to help children self-manage their digital lives on BBC Own It.


We are interested in learning from all our funded projects about the difference they make. We ask you to measure and evaluate your project and report back to us every year.

The main thing we will want to know about are the Differences you have made in the lives of the young people you have worked with. There will also be questions about your finances, the young people you work with, your safeguarding and project learning.

The Report Form

You will be sent an e-mail towards the end of each year of your grant, asking you to complete your Main Grants Report Form. Until you get this e-mail, you won’t be able to see the form in your account.

Please read our full guidance on reporting to BBC Children in Need, including support with setting your outcomes and self evaluation, as well as FAQs and an example report form.

Main Grants awarded from April 2020 onwards:  Guidance on completing your Main Grants Report form can be found here:

Main Grants awarded before April 2020: Guidance for reporting on your Main Grant can be found here:

Small Grants: Guidance for reporting on your Small Grant can be found here:

The Differences you have made

The differences which you make are also known as your outcomes. Here we want to know how you
are going to make a positive difference in young people’s lives.

You will have outlined the differences you intend to make when you applied for a grant. If you wish to change these, you should get in touch with your local office.

We want to see differences which are:

  • Clear – Do not over complicate them.
  • Measurable – Think about how you will measure your differences. Will it be possible to
    tell if you have succeeded?
  • Realistic – It is important to make sure your differences can be achieved. Even the
    smallest changes in children’s lives can often make a huge impact. Make sure you focus
    on the young people you work with and not the bigger picture. It is also important to
    consider if your differences can be achieved within the length of your project.
  • Child Focussed – We fund projects which make differences in the lives of children. If you
    work with a young person’s environment (i.e. their parents, the community), make sure
    you only talk about how it will benefit the child.

Here are some tips for writing your differences:

  • Keep them simple. Try to write a single statement about how you will change young
    people’s lives for the better. Avoid joining multiple differences together with words like
  • Use language which shows change. A strong difference often revolves around words like
    ‘improved’, ‘reduced’, ‘increased’, ‘less’, ‘strengthened’ etc.
  • Keep them child focussed. Think about what each difference would mean to a young
  • Make sure they are relevant. It is always good to make sure it is clear how your
    differences link to the disadvantages the young people you work with experience.


Talking about your grant

BBC Children in Need are proud to be supporting your organisation. As a new project, you may wish to announce your funding award to local media, and on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

This is a great way to raise awareness of your project and the difference you are making to young lives. It’s also a way to show the public where the money they raise goes, and the impact it makes.

Using our helpful hints and press release template, you will have the tools to spread the word and announce your BBC Children in Need Grant. This template will allow you to input information on your project before you reach out to press contacts.

Acknowledge the charity

• Please always use our full title: BBC Children in Need.

• Use the correct logo! Please note, a logo agreement must be signed in advance of usage, ask your Grants Officer for more details if you have not yet signed a logo agreement.

Local press

• Using our template press release, simply fill in the details of your funding award, and share it with the BBC Children in Need press team for sign off: [email protected].

• Identify which media titles to share the release with; you can always phone the news desk to ask whether the story would be of interest, and who the best person would be to share the release with.

• Use photography to bring your project to life! If you have images which have full permissions in place and consent has been secured for all parties featured in the images, share them with journalists alongside the press release.

• Once you have everything ready and signed off, you can start emailing your local press contacts.

• Don’t forget to add in Notes to Editors. This provides additional and background information to aid in understanding the story. The press release copy before the notes to editors must be stand alone and understandable but the copy in ‘notes to editors’ might provide broader information and context. Examples of information for notes to editors include a short description of the organisation (called the ‘boilerplate’) and its website link.


Shout to your followers about your new grant; follow us on twitter and include us in your tweet @BBCCiN. Where possible we will aim to retweet your celebratory tweet to our own followers.

You can also use our hashtag #CiN

Find us on Twitter here.


Tell your Facebook supporters about your new grant and tag BBC Children in Need into the message by typing @BBCCiN (it should automatically suggest us if you’ve already liked our page).

Find us on Facebook here.

Remember that every time you upload or use an image you need to get the right permissions and consent from all parties.

Any Problems?

If you have any questions please contact us by email: [email protected].

If you have any specific questions relating to press outreach, or wish to share a press release for sign off, please email: [email protected].

Log in or apply now

Looking to manage an existing Grant or ready to start the Grant application process?

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