Apply for a Grant

To make sure that we’re donating our grant money wisely and fairly, we’ve developed a process for managing grant applications.

If you’d like to apply for a grant, this is how the process works for standard applications from organisations. For guidance on applications from individuals, please go to our grants to individuals pages. Occasionally we offer special grants programmes with their own application forms and processes which will be clearly signposted on this website. Please contact our grants team on 01234 369500 if you’d like any help with your application.

Step one: check

First, read our guidance notes to make sure your project is eligible.

Step two: call

If you think your project is eligible for a grant, call the grants team on 01234 369500. Some applications won’t be successful, so it is worth discussing your project with us before you spend valuable time filling in forms. This is particularly important if your organisation is based outside Bedford Borough and you want to run a project in the Borough.

Step three: organisation or individual

If you are applying for support with the costs of returning to education, please go to the grants to individuals pages. If you are applying for support for an organisation are you applying for a special grants programme? If so, go to the relevant page for guidance and an application form. If you are applying for a grant through our general programme, go to step four.

Step four: one or two stage application

Read the guidance below to decide whether your application is for a small grant. Small grant applicants can go straight to our full application (stage 2) form without completing a preliminary proposal (stage 1) first. A small application is either:

  • A request for up to £2,000 for equipment, core costs or project funding


  • A request for up to £5,000 for a capital project such as refurbishments or other building work for a village hall.

The small grants process is aimed at small groups with little experience of fundraising and groups applying for simple capital projects. If you application meets the small grants criteria, now go to step 7. If your application does not meet the small grants criteria, go to step 5.

Step five: preliminary proposal form (stage 1)

The fastest and simplest way to apply is to complete and submit our online application form. This form asks you to create a password. Once you’ve submitted the form it goes straight to our grants database.

Alternatively you can apply by using one of the following two methods:

  • Download and fill in a Word version of the Preliminary Proposal Form. You can email or post it back to us.
  • Request a hardcopy of the form and notes. Call or email on 01234 369500 or

Make sure you application reaches us by the deadline. We will normally contact you by phone to ask a few questions about your form before our trustees meet to discuss it.

This is the first stage of the application process. It will enable our grants team and trustees to give you some initial guidance.

Step six: feedback

We’ll read and discuss your preliminary proposal at a meeting. We will write to you and tell you whether the trustees would like you to proceed to the next stage or if your application has been unsuccessful this time. If we invite you to proceed to the next stage you will need to fill in the full application form.

Step seven: full application form (stage 2)

PLEASE DON’T fill in a full application form unless we’ve asked you to. If more than six months have elapsed since we received your preliminary proposal, we may ask you to complete a new preliminary proposal.

Online applications

If you used our online application process to send us your preliminary proposal, you can also use the online system to complete and submit your final application.

Offline applications

If you sent your preliminary proposal as a word document or PDF, you can either

  • Download the word version of the Full Application Form. You can email or post it back to us
  • Request a hardcopy of the form and notes. Call on 01234 369500.

Make sure you application reaches us by the deadline. We will acknowledge receipt. We will normally contact you by phone or visit you to discuss your application in more detail before our trustees meet to make a decision.

Step eight: decision

We will discuss your proposal at the next meeting of our grants committee. If your application is successful, we’ll write to you and let you know. We usually do this within seven working days of the meeting.