Trusthouse Charitable Foundation

Trusthouse is a medium-sized independent grant making foundation which makes approximately 150-200  grants totaling around £2.5 million a year to projects relating to rural issues and urban deprivation. Trusthouse is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Henry Smith Charity, although the two charities are entirely separate and you can apply to both organisations at the same time.

Who and What They Fund

  • Charitable organisations (including CICs, social enterprises, not-for-profit registered companies and voluntary organisations) based in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which have a total annual income under £500,000 and which can demonstrate a successful track record in addressing local community problems in areas of extreme urban deprivation and/or remote and socio-economically deprived rural districts.

  • General costs including core costs, salaries, projects costs; capital expenditure on buildings or essential equipment.

Funding Priorities

Any project needs to fit in with one or both of their overarching themes; Rural Issues and Urban Deprivation, e.g. if are applying for running costs towards a project for young adults with disabilities, you must be operating primarily in an area of high multiple deprivation, where the disadvantage of disability is further exacerbated by local issues of unemployment, low incomes and poor housing.

Your application should describe your area and how the deprivation statistics translate into daily life for your clients, how your project tackles these issues and demonstrate measurable evidence of your success in providing solutions for both clients and the wider community

Rural Issues

They classify ‘rural’ as areas with less than 10,000 inhabitants in your village/town. Your postcode must be within then most deprived 50% of the latest Index of Multiple Deprivation. Your community must be based in a remote, rural, economically deprived area where there are few local facilities, transport may be an issue, incomes are low and there are limited opportunities for fundraising.

Typical projects are: 

  • village halls which act as the hub of community activity and cohesion; 

  • projects for young people who are isolated from accessing opportunities available to their urban peers; 

  • activities which support older people to continue living independently; community transport schemes. 

This is not an exhaustive list and they are always interested in hearing about other projects which can help fragile rural communities to build a sustainable future.

Urban Deprivation

They classify ‘urban’ as areas with a population of more than 10,000. Their focus is on projects based in areas of extreme urban deprivation and your postcode must be ranked within the most deprived 20% of the latest Index of Multiple Deprivation. Local issues are likely to include multi-generational unemployment, poor educational attainment, poor quality and overcrowded housing, tensions between different generations and/or ethnic communities, a culture of low aspirations and achievement. 

NB Northern Ireland

Organisations must be based in areas where local postcodes are based in the most deprived 50% of the N Ireland Index of Multiple Deprivation, with the exception of organisations in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, Portadown and Lurgan where the postcode of the organisation must be within the most deprived 20% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

 Major Grants Programme - open to any eligible organisation with a total annual income under £500,000

  • Single year grants between £7,500 and £20,000 for core costs, salaries, running and project costs.

  • Multi-year (maximum 3 years) grants between £7,500 and £20,000 a year for core costs, salaries, running and project costs.

  • Grants between £7,500 and £60,000 for one-off capital costs, where the total project cost does not exceed £2M. Applicants must have secured a minimum of 50% of the total project cost before applying.

Small Grants Programme - open to any eligible organisation with a total annual income under £250,000

  • Single year grants between £2,000 and £7,500 for core costs, salaries, running and project costs or one-off capital costs.

  • Applicants cannot apply for more than 50% of the total cost of the project, and grants will not be paid until the remaining 50% has been secured.

  • Successful applicants can apply in two further successive calendar years. No further applications can be made for two years after the completion of the third grant.

How to apply

To apply online see the website

  • Small Grants applicants will receive a final decision within 4-6 weeks of receipt of your application assuming they need no further information from you.

  • Major grants applicants will be informed in 6-8 weeks if the application will be included on the agenda of the next available Grants Committee meeting. Notification of the Grants Committee’s decision will usually be made within a week of the meeting.

  • Major Grants may receive a visit from an assessor. They try to visit as many applicants as possible, but this does depend on the availability of staff, trustees and volunteer visitors.

  • They operate a rolling programme and you can apply at any time throughout the year. For 2019, the Grants Committee meetings will take place in January, April, July and November. There are no deadlines, however, the agenda of a meeting simply closes when they have sufficient applications. Applications received after they close the list for one meeting will automatically be rolled on for consideration for the following meeting.

  • Applications need to be received at least six weeks before a meeting to be included on the agenda.

  • They strongly recommend that you apply as and when you are ready. Submitting close to a meeting means you will have to compete with a higher number of applicants than usual. For this reason, they do not give fixed deadline dates.

  • They cannot guarantee that any application will go to a particular meeting: it depends on the number of applications already being considered, the time they need to make an assessment of your application and the amount of funds available for the meeting.