The Masonic Charitable Foundation has expanded its grants policy so that from now on it will fund the core costs of small charities and not just projects.
The foundation, which awarded grants of £5.5m to 770 non-Masonic charities in England and Wales in 2017/18, has traditionally focused mainly on supporting projects, but it will spend about £1m this year on core funding, and the amount is expected to increase.
David Innes, chief executive of the foundation, said: "There are many small charities that struggle with basic running costs.
"Project-based funding is fine, but if they can’t pay the electricity bill or put petrol in the car, delivering services to clients can be difficult, if not impossible."
The foundation will provide unrestricted grants of up to £5,000 a year for one to three years to charities with annual incomes of up to £500,000.
It supports charities working in four areas: early years, later life, medical research and hospice care.
Funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, the foundation is the national charity for Freemasons.
A spokeswoman said: "We look at the functions, the set-up, the impact and the finances of each applicant charity, and in many instances visit the charities themselves to gain a better understanding of how our funding could help.
"A committee then decides on where to award funding based on the merit of each application."
Further information is available here.