Grant Making for Charities

Trustees often say that grant-making isn’t an easy thing to do well.  For example, trustees have a duty to ensure that their funds are being spent in furtherance of their objects and not for political purposes. In all cases, there should be a degree of oversight, supervision and reporting back procedures. Trustees of grant-making charities and other grant giving bodies might wish to consider:

  • Preparing a grant policy – depending upon the amount of money they have to give away this will equip trustees to better assess applications based on compatibility of their objects with the subject of the grant applications; and, if it is published on a charity’s website, it will help applicants to decide whether or not to apply for a grant
  • Imposing written terms and conditions on grant recipients – such as:
    • In the case of grants for research:
      • Prior approval of the trustees to be obtained before research is published
      • A time limit on completion and publication of the research
      • Who should own the copyright in the research?
      • Restricting authorship of the research to persons approved by the trustees
    • When contributing to building costs – releasing funds against architects’ certificates:
      • Consider reserving naming rights to the building
      • If partially funding, make it conditional upon matching funding
      • Consider if terms of repayment of the grant are appropriate and if the charity’s right should be secured or guaranteed by a third party
  • Lending money – this is not for the faint-hearted – it takes time to administer loans and they may be governed by financial services legislation.  On the plus side, it can enable funds to be “recycled” for future charitable projects.

Our solicitors are experts in charity law and they can help you put the right structure in place to protect your charity’s funds. Call us today on 01895 207862 or email charities@ibblaw.co.uk.


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