Frequently asked questions for community-based organisations



What are the Trust’s priority areas for support?

Our priority areas for support are:

  • Care of older people, including rehabilitation and palliative care
  • Projects which, if successful, could enable you to apply for funding from other sources.

We also have a scheme for contributing funding building and physical infrastructure developments.

Is there a standard application form?

We have a single-stage online application process.  You will need to register for an account on our Grants Management Portal and then select the scheme for which you are applying.  The online application form will only appear within the Portal when the scheme is open to applications so do check current deadlines for opening and closing dates.  You can download copies of the application forms below to help you start planning your application – but do please note that we will only accept submissions via the Grants Management Portal during the published application periods.

Application forms

Building and physical infrastructure grant

Project grant

Where can I find help on registering for Dunhill's online Grants Management portal?

We have provided a “how to” guide.  But if you need any further help, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The portal is asking me for an ORCID - what is that?

Don’t worry.  You don’t need to complete this step.  It is for academic and clinical research grants applications only.

Where can I see examples what sort of work the Trust funds?

You can see examples of our funded projects in the Our work in action section

What would you say a good application looks like?

Our grants team have put together the following tips…

1. Make sure you’ve read about the Trust and our strategic priorities and eligibility criteria.  This may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many applications we receive which fall outside of these.

2. Be clear about your vision and how you will achieve and sustain it. Organisations without a plan tend to be unsure of what they want to achieve and have last-minute scrabbles for funding. This is unlikely to provide future financial sustainability.  Think about what will happen when the funding comes to an end and consider how you will promote and protect the sustainability or legacy of the project.

3. We like to fund projects which have a clear need and/or are innovative.  We are looking for evidence that your project will not duplicate existing provision in your area/locality. Linked to this, we’re looking for how you will go about addressing an issue in a particularly creative or innovative way.  Simply stating that you need a new day centre or a volunteer co-ordinator is unlikely to be enough to be successful. You need to tell the story of how your project will tackle a problem in an effective way.

4. Show that you know what your community needs. Submitting an application without properly assessing community needs and finding out what you target groups want is one of the main gaps we see. You will need to prove that this need exists and demonstrate that you have undertaken relevant consultation/research. Don’t assume that simply knowing what the problems are will be enough.

5. Show how you have been gathering (or plan to gather) evidence of your impactAn annual report for your organisation is a good way of demonstrating your credibility and track record. Working with your local university, college or research agency on a longer term evaluation of your services is another great way of showing this commitment.

6. Show that you can build networks, communities of interest and consortia. Good relationships with mainstream agencies are important but with increasingly constrained public funding, developing partnerships and services with other voluntary and community groups in your area is important and will enhance your credibility if done well.

7. Ensure that your governance and financial management are working well. 

8.  Think carefully about your budget.  Do not include any non-specific items, such as “contingency costs” or “miscellaneous”.

9. Allow yourself plenty of time for your application: everything takes longer than you think. Will you need input from your finance officer or sign-off from your Trustees? You will need to create an account on our Grants Management Portal to submit your application.  Check the deadlines and work back from there. 

10. Assume that we are not familiar with your organisation. Often what you might think is perfectly clear may not be so clear to a new reader.  Ask someone not closely involved with the project to read your application before you submit it.  And don’t forget to proof read it.

Can I submit more than one application at a time?

Unfortunately not.  Our policy identifies the Trust’s priority areas for support to enable you to decide which of your projects best fits these.

How do you assess applications?

Your application will be reviewed against our Grant-making Policy and assessed on whether they meet the our eligibility criteria and strategic priorities.

Applications for project and building and physical infrastructure grants will then be scored by members of the Community Grants Committee and awarded on the basis of a scoring of the application’s:

  • Demonstration of evidence of need/demand
  • Demonstration of an innovative approach, or one based on clear evidence/ good practice
  • Clear articulation of project outcomes and impact
  • Clear articulation of how benefits are to continue to be delivered after the end of the project (sustainability)
  • Clear, practical and achievable project plan
  • Clarity and credibility of plans for evaluation/ information sharing
  • Value-for-money

All recommendations of the Committee are referred to the Board of Trustees for final approval.  You should note that we receive many more applications than we can possibly fund and even if an application meets all of the criteria above, may still fall below the cut-off for funding.

Where can I find the deadlines for submission of an application?

Current deadlines for the various grants schemes are published on our website, just scroll to the relevant scheme.

When will I hear if my application has been successful?

We publish the timetable for each round of applications on the Current Deadlines page of our website.  The Community Grants Committee meets twice yearly to consider applications.  Their recommendations are then made to the next meeting of the Board of Trustees for final approval and you will usually be notified within two weeks of that meeting.

Is there anything that the Trust definitely will not fund?

We won’t normally approve applications that involve:

  • providing clinical services or equipment that, in the opinion of the Trustees, would be more appropriately provided by the National Health Service or other statutory bodies;
  • sponsorship of individuals;
  • organisations based outside the United Kingdom, or whose work primarily benefits people outside the UK;
  • hospice revenue or capital costs;
  • charities with an annual income in excess of £10m, or assets valued in excess of £100m;
  • continuation/replacement funding where a project or post has been previously supported from statutory sources or similar;
  • general building maintenance;
  • core running costs.
Will the Trust provide me with funding directly?

It isn’t our policy to do so.  We will generally only fund work within UK registered charities, NHS institutions and UK academic institutions.

Will the Trust consider applications from outside the UK?

The Trust only funds work undertaken in the UK, by a charity or institution that is registered in the UK and where the resulting work has a primary application within the UK (so for instance this excludes research into most tropical diseases).

Does the Trust have links to the tobacco industry?

No.  The Trust does not receive or seek funds from any external body and promotes the highest ethical practices in scientific and medical research and fully complies with the Joint Protocol of Cancer Research and Universities UK on Tobacco Industry Funding to Universities (2004).  Please read about our history.


Grants for community-based organisations

Check the available funding schemes

Governance documents

View policies and terms and conditions of award

The Dunhill Medical Trust
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6 New Bridge Street
London EC4V 6AB



Telephone: 020 7403 3299