Charities look to Euro funding after UK downturn

More charities are applying to the European Union for grants because of a downturn in UK funding, according to Phil Lakin, European grants manager at the National Trust.

But the process could be a minefield for smaller charities, which could find the administrative burden overwhelming, Lakin told a session yesterday. He advised small groups to form regional consortia to increase their chances of being successful.

Lakin said significant sums of money were often available through the 300 different grant programmes. Some of them match money provided by domestic grant schemes; others offer 100 per cent funding or loans, particularly for social enterprises.

However, charities often underestimate the time needed for partnership and bid development, he warned. "The EU offers great opportunities for funding, but if you've had your BLF grant turned down it won't entirely replace that," said Lakin.

Application tips

  • Be aware of the potential admin burden the application process will have on other staff
  • Visit the European Commission website for details of available grants
  • Ask yourself does this fund match the strategic priorities of my organisation?

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