Ask at fundsforNGOs

Is it possible to get a grant for a project if you are not a charity or registered NGO?

It is unlikely that you will be able to get a grant from a grant-making organisation if you are not registered as a charity or NGO which is properly constituted with a board of trustees or governing body. Some grant-making organisations will fund individuals but if you are seeking funding for work in the community, it is likely that you will need to be registered in some way as a non-profit making organisation, social enterprise, community interest company, or registered charity/NGO.

Being formally constituted and registered ensures donors that the NGO is governed by law to carry out its duties lawfully, ensuring that grants obtained are spent in the way they are intended and that how the grant is used can be accounted for. A formal constitution when an NGO or other non-profit is set up, sets out the aims and objectives of the organisation, and the terms of reference with regard to the members of the board, their length of tenure, and its role and purpose.  Paid, professional staff or even volunteers running a project then report to the board about finances, projects, and other operational matters so that there is always a second, independent overview of the NGO’s work and finances. 

Whilst you may have a perfectly sound idea for a project and have an identified an urgent need, without this back-up that demonstrates good governance, it would be difficult to prove to a funder that a grant would be used for the purposes that it is intended. Grants given to individuals for specific purposes e.g. research, travel, or scholarships are different because they go directly to an individual, but even then, the individual would be responsible for proving that it has been spent in the way that it was intended. All funders require reports on progress or updates on how grants have been used, but the length and detail of content varies from funder to funder and often depends on the amount awarded. 

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