Core Funding - Grant Sources for Charities - Charity Fundraising

Posted on 16 January 2023 by | Category Fundraising Resources
Core Funding - Grant Sources for Charities

Top Trusts and Foundations Supporting Core Costs


The issue of how to cover your core costs is often a challenge for many charitable organisations. Core costs are your everyday running costs that are not directly applicable to service delivery. Examples of core costs include management and admin costs, accountancy and audit costs, general office costs, or costs relating to fundraising, governance and compliance.

Core funding provides charitable organisations with the resources to test new approaches, improve service delivery and ensure security and sustainability. Some organisations use core funding to support back-office functions such as administration – ensuring the organisation is as effective as it can be in achieving its mission. Other organisations may use core funding to test to new approaches, which improve services and performance, or adapt to changing service user needs. The flexibility of core funding enables these activities to be carried out effectively and efficiently.

Unfortunately, some donors do not see core funding as a practical use of resources, making it less available than funding for project costs and often difficult for charitable organisations to secure…

…But to make things easier, wouldn’t it be great if there was a list of trusts and foundations who support core costs?

Well, here it is…


The Tudor TrustThe Tudor Trust provides grants to smaller, community-led organisations that work directly with people who are at the margins of society. The size of the grant awarded by the Tudor Trust is based on the needs of the organisation. Last year 92% of The Tudor Trust’s grants went towards core funding – this included salaries, overheads and day-to-day running costs.


Esmee Fairbairn FoundationEsmee Fairburn Foundation provides grants over 1 to 5 years to charities working in the fields of injustice and structural inequality, environment and social change, and building stronger communities. 66% of their active grants are for core costs, or are unrestricted.


Henry Smith CharityThe Henry Smith Charity aims to use its resources to help people and communities at a time of need and to bring about positive change. They achieve this by funding organisations that work with people to reduce social and economic disadvantage. The Charity provides grants between £20k – £60k per year for 1 to 3 years – this includes running costs, salary costs and project costs.


Porticus UKPorticus UK provides grants to charities working in the areas of education, society, faith and climate. Grants are flexible and cover costs relating to greatest organisational need, this includes core costs. There is no maximum or minimum grant size.


Garfield Weston FoundationThe Garfield Weston Foundation supports a broad range of organisations making a positive impact to the lives of the communities in which they work – welfare, youth, community, arts, faith, environment, education, health and museums and heritage. The Foundation offer regular grants under £100k and major grants over £100k, towards capital, core and revenue costs, and project costs. Organisations are encouraged to apply for whatever is their greatest priority and area of need.


Lloyds Bank FoundationThe Lloyds Bank Foundation supports charities through core cost funding and developmental support. The foundation fund charities that work with people aged 17 and over, who are affected by one or more of their identified complex social issues. These include dependency on drugs and/or alcohol, asylum seekers and refugees, care leavers, domestic abuse, homelessness, learning disability, mental health, offending, sexual abuse and exploitation, trafficking and modern slavery, young parents and racial equity. Grant size ranges, depending on the programme.


Trusthouse Charitable TrustThe Trusthouse Charitable Trust offer grants to small and medium sized organisations working to address local issues in communities of extreme urban and rural deprivation. The trust awards grants for core costs, salaries, running and project costs through its small grants programme (single year grants between £2k and £10k) and major grants programme (single or multi-year grants between 10k and £100k).


National Lottery Community FundThe National Lottery Community Fund distributes over £600m a year to people and communities across the UK, enabling them to thrive. The Fund has a range of programmes offering grants from <10k to >500k, for between 1 and 5 years. Grants cover project activities, operating costs, organisational development and capital costs.


Comic ReliefComic Relief awards grants through a range of programmes of different sizes, to support disadvantaged people in the UK and abroad. This includes grants to cover core and revenue costs, such as salaries, and small capital items, such as office furniture and computers.


Masonic Charitable FoundationThe Foundation provides grants to charities working to support disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people (up the age of 25 years) or to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life. The Foundation’s small grants scheme focuses on providing core funding, up to a maximum value of £15k for up to 3 years.


Swire Charitable TrustThe Swire Charitable Trust has 3 core grant-making programmes –  Opportunity, Environment and Heritage. The trust funds individual projects that are aligned with these funding priorities, although they also recognise that charities are often best placed to allocate resources within their organisations. They therefore award many grants on an unrestricted basis and are willing to support core costs. There is no maximum or minimum grant size.


Paul Hamlyn FoundationPaul Hamlyn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK – investing around £30 million each year across several funding priorities. The Foundation’s funding priorities are arts, education, migration and integration, young people, social change and strengthening communities. Grant sizes vary across the different programmes, ranging from £15k to £400k. Core funding is a key priority of many of the funds, focusing on overall organisational health, strategy, and testing and developing new ideas and approaches.


Charity Fundraising Ltd provide fundraising, strategic and impact consultancy to the voluntary sector. If you would like support to identify more core grant funding opportunities for your charity then take a look at our Trust Funding Research Service or give us a call to discuss your needs.