Guidance Notes for Application Form

Reading these notes will help you provide all the information Trustees require to assess your application and Trustees will assume you have read them.

On average we approve about one third of all applications received. A significant proportion of applications do not meet our funding criteria (please check the tab ‘We Do NOT Fund’). The majority of other rejections are a direct result of not providing the information and explanations requested in the notes below.


All questions must be completed unless otherwise indicated.

  • Your application must meet our criteria (See Our Objects, What We Do and We Do Not Fund pages on this website).
  • If your application is successful, you will be sent an offer letter by email as soon as possible which will include terms and conditions for your acceptance. You will also be required to return a Monitoring and Evaluation Form (see Existing Grantees’ Page) towards the end of each year of the grant award. Trustees will need to approve this before any further grant is awarded. Part of the approval process may involve a request to meet personnel from the Grantee either via the internet (e.g., Zoom) or through an in-person visit.
  • If further information becomes available after submission of your application but prior to the Trustees’ quarterly meeting, e.g., receiving the result of an outstanding funding application or needing to change details on this application, you will need to use the Change of Details form in the Existing Grantees’ Page.
  • Trustees do not enter into any communication about rejected applications nor is there an appeals process.
  • If you wish to save your progress and return to fill in the rest of the form at a later date, please click the link at the bottom of the application form. Your progress will be saved for a maximum of 30 days. Please be aware our initial email may go to your Junk or Spam folder.
  • Once you submit your application, you will receive an acknowledgement email within a few minutes containing a printable PDF version of your completed application. Again, check your Junk and Spam folders if not received.


SECTION A – Your Charity Profile

A1 – This information is essential for use in any future communication. If you know that any of these contact details are due to change, please give this additional information in Section D. If your organisation is in the process of becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) please provide details.

A2 – Please state the objects of your organisation as registered with The Charity Commission with any change of focus or update which may not yet be included on The Charity Commission website. Please give your main areas of interest.

A3 – Finances

– Please provide figures from the last 3 years’ independently examined accounts, starting with the most recent.

Please provide us with your latest set of accounts, especially if your annual accounts have been prepared and Board approved but not yet registered at the Charity Commission.

BRELMS Trustees will consider the accounts you provide so it is in your interest to provide the latest information or use section B5 to inform us of any significant changes. Note that every charity with income of more than £25,000 is required to have their accounts examined by an Independent Examiner and needs to include an Independent Examiner’s report (see Charity Commission for information about Independent Examiners).

If any of the points listed below apply, the most recent set of accounts for the organisation MUST be attached via email to :

  • The organisation’s income is below the Charity Commission threshold requiring submission of accounts, currently £25,000 per annum
  • The charity is newly registered and therefore, has yet to submit accounts to the Charity Commission (a draft copy would be acceptable)
  • The last set of accounts submitted to the Charity Commission is dated more than 15 months ago

Please note that as part of our grant giving policy, we now only give grants to organisations with an annual income of up to £300,000.

– How is your organisation funded based on your latest accounts?

Please give details and percentage breakdown of all funding sources. This may include statutory funding (e.g., Local Authority), funding from major national charities (e.g., Comic Relief), funding from local charities, funding from commercial activities (e.g., rental income/training courses) or other fundraising activities.

– Do you have a reserves policy?

Please note that a frequent reason an application is rejected is that; based on the applicant’s reported reserves and reserves policy, Trustees of BRELMS have not been convinced of a current need for funds. If there has been a significant change to your unrestricted reserves since your last accounts, or accounts submitted are over 15 months old, then please provide up to date figures (e.g., draft accounts). You should explain the reasons for any reserves’ changes in section B5 of the application form.

If the amount of your unrestricted reserves differs significantly from the target figure stated in your reserves policy or is more than 50% of your annual expenditure, then please explain this in section B5. With the possible exception of new and relatively low-income charities, we are unlikely to fund a charity holding a large proportion of their annual expenditure as unrestricted reserves, however, if you provide a clear explanation, Trustees will take this into consideration.

With regard to any Designated Funds, please explain the intention or plan behind the designation and what progress you are making in achieving spending on the designated purpose. Without clear explanation Trustees will view designated funds as unrestricted and part of reserves.

– What was the value of unrestricted reserves at the end of the reporting period?

Please report your unrestricted reserves at the end of the most recent accounting year using the figure from the accounts you most recently submitted to the Charity Commission.

– What was your level of unrestricted reserves as a % of your annual expenditure?

Our application form asks you to report your percentage of unrestricted reserves relative to your expenditure for your most accounting year – please use figures from the accounts you submit (i.e. unrestricted reserves amount divided by annual expenditure multiplied by 100).

A4 – Please give details of any past applications to The BRELMS Trust including the year and whether or not they were successful.

SECTION B – Your Funding Request

B1 – Describe in general terms what the funding is for

Please be specific about the services or activities you are providing. If your project is new or a pilot, please give details of how and why it developed.

B2 – Funding specifics

– Is this application for a one-off grant or a multi-year grant?

It would greatly help Trustees if the BRELMS request is clearly shown in your budget submission (section D).

– What date is your first funding required?

Please ensure that this is a realistic start date of your project. It could be several months in the future. Trustees may still agree the award, although payment will not be made until the date required.

– Provide details of how the grant will be spent

This could include funding for staff salaries, volunteer expenses, general running (core) costs or direct service provision.

Please attach a breakdown of the budget for the project/activity for which you are applying for funding. Please indicate which part(s) of the total budget you intend our funding to cover. Details of how to do this comes at the end of the Application Form in Section D1.

– How will this funding make a difference?

This is your opportunity to describe how a grant award would be used to benefit your local community, what impact you hope to achieve and how you would measure that impact.

– Who will benefit?

Which group(s) in the community is/are the primary focus?

– How many?

Please give a realistic estimate of numbers of beneficiaries.

If you are applying for direct project costs estimate the number of beneficiaries that will be supported by the funds requested in your application.

If you are applying for core costs, please estimate how many beneficiaries your organisation as a whole will directly support.

– Brief socio-economic profile of the area

Please give a brief socio-economic description of your area and overview of the community and its diverse and specific needs if relevant to the application. In particular we are interested in why the service you offer is needed and how you are targeting disadvantaged communities.

– How are potential beneficiaries referred to you?

Please explain how referrals are made to your project: this may be formally through statutory agencies, informally through community networks, or self-referral.

– What is your strategy to try to ensure the sustainability of the activities covered by your application?

This is your opportunity to explain how the project for which you are applying for funding will function effectively in the future. Trustees need to be reassured that the project is sustainable and that a longer-term funding strategy has been considered. Trustees also like to support projects which involve working in partnership with other organisations.

B3 – Who will deliver the on-going work/project?

This may be a combination of paid staff, volunteers, service users, or trustees: please give us a description of how this works in your project.

B4 – Please list any other PLANNED applications for funding which are related to this project/activity, or indicate if none.

Trustees like to see evidence of other sources of funding, voluntary or statutory, local or national. Please give current status of other funding applications for this project/activity i.e., agreed, rejected, or awaiting decision.

B5 – Please list any other PLANNED applications for funding which are related to this project/activity, or indicate if none.

B6 – Please provide your bank details.

SECTION C – Monitoring & Evaluation

C1Contact details for person responsible for Monitoring & Evaluation Report

C2 – Contact details for person responsible for  arranging a Visit.

Visits are for two main purposes: first we feel it is important to meet those people involved in the work of the project and second as part of our monitoring and evaluation process. We expect to meet the person responsible for managing the funded project, a Trustee and a senior manager (recognising that in small organisations the project and senior manager may be the same person). If a meeting is requested, award of the grant will be dependent on the Trustees’ recommendations from the visit. Time and availability issues mean that we cannot visit all grantees. Visits will either be virtual (e.g., via the internet using software such as Zoom) or in person as mutually agreed.


D1 – Known future changes e.g. change of personnel.

D2 – Pre-submission checks

– Please confirm that your charity/project is solely for the benefit of communities in Yorkshire

– Please attach a copy of your budget

If you are applying for core costs, please submit a budget for the whole organisation including income streams secured and applied for and show where BRELMS funding would contribute.

If you are applying for project funding you only need to provide the budget for the project but again show where BRELMS funds will contribute.

For both cases above please give details of how the shortfall (if any) will be met.

Check that the figures add up and it makes sense as a stand-alone document

Please note that Salary costs must be at least the Minimum Living Wage rate.

If applying for more than one year you may wish to consider cost of living increases (inflation) for future year funding.


E1 – Did you find any part of our application form confusing or difficult to answer?

If you answer yes to this question, please tell us briefly why and do not hesitate to suggest any changes we might make to improve the application form.