Help with using this site

Search for funding

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Search for funding

You can search the trusts on this site in two ways:

It is not necessary to provide information in each of the search sections, but the more detail that you supply the more targeted your results will be.

The search results are displayed in varying degrees of detail. An initial results grid allows you to refine the list of results that you are presented with, and from this list you can then choose which trusts to display full details for.

Using Keywords

The top half of the screen allows you to search for a specific trust using keywords, in the same way that an internet search engine might.

Underneath the box where you type the keyword you should select one of the following options to limit the search.

Trust Name: The default option is to search for words from the trust name. Type the word(s) that you think appear in the trust name in the box and then hit the search now button at the bottom of the screen.

The website will run the search, but can only match the exact word(s) that you have typed.

EXAMPLE: Typing Barclays will bring back different results to typing Barclay.

All description text: If you select this option then the entire database will be searched for the terms you have entered. This can be very useful if you want gain an overview of how popular a particular topic is. It can also be useful if you are searching using uncommon words, which you only expect to return a small number of results (e.g. searching for Ballet).

  • This search technique does however come with a caution, because it simply matches the search term with the description text regardless of the context.
  • EXAMPLE: This means that the results for searching for the word individuals will include trusts where the detail states “we do not fund individuals”.
  • This search will also only match the exact words you have entered, so if a different term has been used to describe the area you are interested in then this will not show up in the results
  • EXAMPLE: If you search for disabled but the term used throughout the database is disability then you will not return any results.

Trust address: Selecting this option matches the term you enter with the main address of the trust. This is useful if you already know the address of a specific trust, but you can also use it to identify all trusts that have an office in a certain town or city.

  • The more exact you can be the more chance you have of returning accurate and specific results.
  • EXAMPLE: searching for London will return over 1000 but searching for Camden will return only 2.

Trust postcode: This option is available to help you quickly identify a trust that you know about already. The postcode can be entered in full to give you the exact trust you need, or you can put in the first part of the postcode to find out the trusts in a given area. S1 would for example find trusts based in central Sheffield.

Trustee names: This search can be useful if you want to look for a trustee you are familiar with. By typing their name and then hitting the search button you will be able to locate all of the trusts that they are associated with. This can be particularly useful as trustees often act on behalf of more than one trust of similar purpose, and might look favourably on your application if they have granted you funding before.

Charity commission number: This is the final way to make a keyword search more specific, and is really only useful if you already know the number of the trust you are interested in. Every trust has a unique six figure number that they can be identified by so when you search using this number only one result will be given.

Describe your project/organisation

The bottom half of the screen allows you to describe your specific funding need by answering a series of questions. This search method is valuable because by selecting your answers from the options provided, you can be sure that they will match the terms used in the database.

Q1. Where is your project based?
Many trusts place geographical restrictions on their funding, so it is useful to answer this question and eliminate trusts that you will not be eligible for from the results.

  • If you select a very specific place then the search engine will automatically include trusts that fund broader areas in which this place is based, so it is best to be as precise as possible.
  • EXAMPLE: If you have selected Swansea, then a trust that says it provides funding throughout Wales will be included in the results.
  • If you are seeking funding for a project that will be run in a different location to your organisation, then you should select the project location.
  • EXAMPLE: If your offices are in Central London but you are running a project in Essex, then you should select Essex as the location

To answer this question you should click on the select button and then a separate window will open, which gives you three ways to answer the question.

Q2. Who are the beneficiaries?
This option should only be used if you are looking for funding for a particular group of people, such as women or people of the Jewish faith. If you seek funding for a general project such as a community centre for an entire neighbourhood, then it is better not to answer this question as you might eliminate some useful funders from your results.

Use this search feature in the same way as the locations tree, highlighting a group that seems relevant and using the down a level button to make the selection more precise.

If you feel that your project will be relevant to more than one group then use the Ctrl key to highlight more than one option, and then add them all to the space underneath.

Q3: What type of organisation are you?
This question allows you to describe your organisation by selecting an option from the drop down menu. There are eight different options from which you should select the most relevant; it is not possible to choose more than one of these options.

Large national body e.g. Shelter
Small national body e.g. Mind
Organisation that is not a registered charity e.g. Amnesty International
Branch of a national network e.g. Norwich Age Concern
Headquarters of a national network e.g. Make Poverty History Campaign Headquarters
Local organisation e.g. Barnsley Access Select Committee
Regional organisation e.g. Yorkshire Charities Group

By answering this question you will help the search engine to eliminate trusts that you will not be eligible for and thus make the results more accurate.

However, many organisations will not fit exactly into one of these categories. If you are in this position then it is best to leave the question blank.

Q4: What is the focus of your activity?
This question has been included to allow you to describe the reason that you are looking for funding. There are various options arranged in a tree format, and you can select the most appropriate ones using the method described for the locations tree.

When you run the search, the category general charitable purpose will be automatically included to ensure you have access to all trusts, which do not limit their funding by purpose

Q5. What type of funding are you looking for?
If you know exactly how the funds will be spent then you should answer this final question. It provides a variety of options in a drop-drown menu from which you should select the relevant one. It is not possible to select more than one of these options, so if you feel that none are appropriate then it is best not to provide any answer, as you might exclude useful trusts from the results.

EXAMPLE: If you are hoping to source money for a minibus then you should select vehicle. This will refine your results because all of the trusts that will not fund vehicles will be excluded.

Example Searches

In order to return the most relevant trusts, you do not necessarily need to answer every question. The following scenarios explain how you might combine search tools in different situations.

  • EXAMPLE 1:

If you are a small organisation that runs a legal advice centre in Croydon and the building requires some renovation work then you might run the following search, answering the four relevant questions, and ignoring the keyword search option completely.

Q. Where is your project based? A. Croydon
Q. What type of organisation are you? A. Local Organisation
Q. What is the focus of your activity? A. Legal & Advice Services
Q. What type of funding are you looking for? A. Building/Renovation

  • EXAMPLE 2:

If you are looking for funding for a HIV/AIDs awareness programme in Zambia then you might run an initial search that finds all trusts where Zambia is mentioned, as this is not a common country. To do this you could use the keyword search box, and select the all description text option.

Retrieved Trusts

Once you have set the search criteria, you will be able run a search by hitting the search now button at the bottom of the screen.

The results will then appear on the right hand side of the screen, organised in a grid that helps you to identify the ones that seem most relevant. From this grid you can choose to view all the results, view results by subject area or view the results by geographical area. Click here for full details about this grid.

List of trusts
Once you have chosen which trusts you would like to view, a list will appear in a new window. This list is initially organised alphabetically by the full trust name, meaning trusts that begin with the word The will be listed under T.

It is possible to sort the list in a different way; if you click on the arrow icon next to each column heading it will re-sort the list.

EXAMPLE: If you would like to organise the list from the trust with the most money down to the trust with the least money then click on the bottom arrow, next to the heading Total Annual Funds.

At this stage you can scan through the list, and by checking the area that trusts fund, you can see which ones are likely to be useful to you. The majority of inappropriate trusts should have been screened out by the options you selected earlier, but this final step helps you to refine the results even more.

At the bottom of this screen, you also have the option to save your search conditions.

If you click on this link then the search conditions that you entered will be saved in the profile section of the website, and you will be able to run the search without having to enter them again.

Full trust details
If you have scanned the list and feel you would like full information about a trust then click on its name. This will lead to a pop-up window that includes full trust details. The following sections will appear on a typical entry, but the amount of information included will depend on how accessible a trust is.

  • Trust Name and postal address.
  • Contact name and contact details
  • Charity number
  • Date the information was last updated
  • Financial Info- figure for the total amount of money that can be given in grants
  • Grant total- how much money was available for grant applications in the year that is stated
  • Area of work- this outlines the area that the trust is most interested in sponsoring and is assigned from analysis of the trusts funding. This is indicative rather than definitive and should not stop you from closely reading the entry
  • Trustee- the names of all trustees will be included here if they are known
  • Beneficial area- this explains what geographical (rather than subject) area the trust is interested in funding. This section will also explain if this is just a preference or if it is an absolute. Where this information does not appear the trust does not restrict its funding by area.
  • Information available- this section describes the information available directly from the trust. If there is a website, this is usually the best starting point for information
  • Exclusions- this is one of the most useful of the sections as it outlines the areas that the trust has explicitly stated it cannot fund and it also will provide information about areas where grants will usually not be given as well.
  • Applications- this section will tell you how you should apply to this trust if you want your application to be considered
  • General information- any other information that we have been able to discover about the trust will be included here. This could be details like why the charity was founded, who they have recently favoured with applications and any editorial comment that the experienced DSC staff feel qualified to provide.

If having viewed the trust you think that they might be of use to you, you can save their details or print their details using the buttons at the top right hand corner of the window.

Results Grid

1. View all
If you select this option it will bring up a list of all of the trusts that matched your search.

2. Choose according to subject
Categories have been assigned to each trust depending on the areas that they have indicated they will support.

If you click on a subject that is likely to be relevant to you, a list of all the trusts that provide funding for that purpose will appear.

  • If you have provided an answer to Q4 (What is the focus of your activity?) then the subjects that are listed will match the options you selected.

3. Choose according to geographical area
The columns of the grid allow you to make the results that are displayed more precise.

The left column contains trusts which specify that they only provide funding to projects that are based in a certain region
The middle column shows trusts that will fund projects based anywhere in the UK
The right column shows trusts that will fund projects based in the UK but also in other countries.

  • If you have provided an answer to Q1 (Where is your project based?) then the regional trusts that are included should match the region you selected.
  • If you did not answer Q1 then the regional trusts that are included might not be relevant as they may only fund projects in an area where you are not located.

Help: Location of your project

This box allows you to select a specific location of your project.

Please note that you must search on where your project will be based, which is not the same as where your organisation is based.

Choose one of the buttons at the top of this page.

  • You can do a Keyword Search of the area
  • You can search by postcode
  • or Browse the locations

Help: Who are the beneficiaries?

This window allows you to select a type of beneficiary of your project. You can browse through different levels and then select the required beneficiary.

Click OK when this is complete.

Help: What is the focus of your activity?

This window allows you to select the focus of your project. You can browse through different levels and then select the required focus.

Click OK when this is complete.

Help with Payment

Buy Online
If you would like to pay for your subscription online, please select this option. Payment by this method is completely secure, and DSC uses Worldpay to administrate your payment.

Please have your credit or debit card ready so that you can enter your details. You will receive confirmation by email when your payment is accepted, and you will be able to logon to the site immediately.

Pay by post, phone or fax
If you would like to pay for your subscription by post, phone or fax, please select this option.

You will be given the choice of:

  • Submitting your payment by cheque via post
  • Submitting your credit card details on the phone
  • Submitting your credit card details by fax

Once your payment has been processed and accepted, DSC will contact you with your logon details.

Profile Help


Personal Details
There are four parts to the profile section. When it first opens it will show you Basic details about your subscription. The information that is shown here initially should match the information that you provided when the subscription was taken out.

When you first register with the site please ensure that all sections are complete, and click on the advanced details option at the top of the page to fill out this further information.

If you need to change any of this information, for example if you want to alter the contact name for your organisation, please ensure you keep a record of what the original details were.

You may need these original details in future dealings with DSC because the financial records from the start of your subscription will be stored under them.

Once you have completed the advanced details page you have the option to make some of this information searchable through the directory of users by selecting the Yes button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Saved searches
By clicking on the saved searches option from the menu at the top of the screen you will be able to re-run any search that have chosen to save.

If you choose to save a search then the conditions that you have used for this search will be saved, rather than the results. This means that if you click on the search name (chosen by you) in the future, it will run again using the most current website information.

The saved search option can also be used to create a few basic search entries that you can then add on to.
EXAMPLE: You could save the answers to several questions, such as where your organisation is located and then when you recall this search in the future you will only need to add more details for the project(s) that you running.

Saved trusts
When you click on the saved trusts option from the menu at the top of the screen you will be shown a list of all the trusts that you have chosen to save. The trust name and basic information are provided, and if you click on the name a window will open displaying full trust details, which you can print out.

Downloading information
It is not possible to download the full details about the trust, but you can extract the basic contact information in an Excel spreadsheet. In order to do this you must tick the box to the left of the trust name and then click on the download trust information button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

If you click on this then the window will refresh itself, but this time there will be a bar in pale blue shading added to the top of the screen. If you click on this text then a new excel spreadsheet will be created, that contains the following information:

  • Organisation Name
  • Organisation Address
  • Correspondent
  • Telephone Number

The columns in the spreadsheet will be standard size when you first open it up, but you can drag these out to display the full data.

Once this spreadsheet has been created you can save it and print it in the usual way with Excel files.