Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Commission funding, all applicants must:

  • Be a UK registered charity, charitable body, not-for-profit or community-interest organisation (which may include properly constituted but unincorporated groups, Industrial and Provident Society, Registered Friendly Society, companies limited by guarantee, community interest companies, social enterprises etc.)
  • Deliver work exclusively in England, Wales or Scotland (not Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man).
  • Have unrestricted income of less than £6.5 million in the most recent year for which signed-off accounts are available, i.e. 2007/08.
  • Propose work that does not fall under the statutory remit of public bodies, unless as part of a consortium / partnership where the public / statutory body is a key partner and majority funder.
  • Submit the application form by the stated deadline.   All questions in the application form must be completed.
  • Only be lead party to one application (This means that you can be the lead applicant in relation to either a consortium bid OR a single organisation bid.  In addition, you can be a member of other partnership (consortium) bids.)  
  • Only apply for funding under one of the three priority areas (see section 3. below). For example, you can submit an application under either priority area one or priority area two but not both.
  • Not request more than £150,000 per year from EHRC, e.g. if your project runs over a 3-year period then you cannot apply for more than £450,000 from EHRC (although the total project may cost more).  

The Commission will NOT consider funding:

  • Applications for work from bodies whose main purpose is to give funds to other charities, individuals or other organisations.
  • Certain capital projects, e.g. the building and/or development of land and buildings which will result in a residual asset with ongoing liabilities accruing to the Commission.
  • Fundraising appeals, academic research (though action research bids are welcome) or bridge / replacement funding.
  • Statutory bodies or private companies that apply as single organisations or as lead applicants of a partnership (consortium) bid.  (Although both may apply as members of a partnership (consortium) bid.)


The Commission will, in addition, prioritise bids from applicants based on the following principles, many of which reflect feedback received during the recent public funding consultation:  

  1. Applications that demonstrate a commitment to the ongoing involvement of local communities and stakeholders in their work.
  2. Applications that demonstrate a commitment to learning and impact (on communities and on policy) in a way that will enable the Commission to see how information, research and evaluation is being used to develop and disseminate their work.
  3. Applications that provide an evidence base to support need, such as baseline data against which the project can measure success and a strategy to disseminate learning.
  4. Applications that demonstrate a commitment to partnership working.
  5. Applications that demonstrate efforts to ensure sustainability of the funded project beyond the life of our funding.
  6. Applications from organisations that have in place a robust equality and human rights strategy and associated action plan.
  7. Applications that have a specific national / regional / local reach which will help in the delivery of our strategic priorities, including local priorities.  (To understand more about our local priorities please contact your local advisor – see FAQs).
  8. Applicants that demonstrate a keen focus on accessibility issues.
  9. Applications that are in line with, and are best placed to help deliver, our strategic priorities.  For example, in certain situations 'front-line' organisations – i.e. organisations that work directly with and provide services to, on behalf of, or for individuals and communities – will be better positioned to deliver our priorities.  (This does not preclude second or third tier organisations from applying but they would need to demonstrate how their work will be of direct benefit to disadvantaged people, or state how they are working with a 'front-line' organisation in partnership.) 

We would not expect applications to comply with all of these principles, but your bid will stand a better chance of success if you can demonstrate how it would meet at least some of our priorities.  We appreciate that there will be different considerations required to deliver the various priority areas, depending on the type and scale of activity being proposed.  We will take these into account as part of our assessment.

Last Updated: 05 Jun 2009