Blue Spark Foundation

Grant Policy

    Overriding principles

  1. BlueSpark provides funding for projects which aim to improve the education and development of children and young people by means of educational, cultural, sporting or other activities. Subject to that overriding objective, the Trustees have absolute discretion as to the making of grants. We will give particular consideration to projects which we consider will help enhance the self-confidence, team working skills and future employability of children and young people.

  2. Location of applicants

  3. Grant applicants must be resident in England.

  4. Applications must be for a specific project

  5. We only make grants to support specific projects. We do not provide funding to support the running costs or general activities of an organisation.

  6. Excluded activities

  7. We do not make grants for:

    (a) projects for children or young people under the age of 5 or over the age of 22;
    (b) life skill mentoring services;
    (c) counselling services;
    (d) holiday clubs or playgroups; or
    (e) construction, maintenance or repair of buildings.

  8. Who is eligible to apply for a grant

  9. Most projects which BlueSpark supports are likely to be initiated by schools, community groups, clubs, societies or other not for profit organisations. However, individuals may also apply for a grant.

  10. In most cases, we make grants direct to the organisation whose pupils or members are to be the beneficiaries of a project. We do not normally make grants to organisations or individuals in order to enable them to provide their own services (for which they would usually charge) on a free or subsidised basis to a third party. In such circumstances, the third party itself should make the application for a grant. If this is impractical (e.g. because there are a number of third parties who will benefit from a project), we may agree to partner with an organisation or individual to help them make their services available to pre-identified third parties.

  11. Number of children/young people involved in a project

  12. There are no preconditions for the making of a grant regarding the number of children or young people who may benefit from a particular project. A project may be particularly deserving of a grant on the basis of the number of children or young people that it will benefit. Equally, a grant may be appropriate for the benefit of a single child or young person especially if the impact of the project concerned is likely to be particularly significant for that individual.

  13. Financial criteria

  14. BlueSpark provides funds for relatively small-scale projects which might not happen at all or would only happen on a smaller scale without the support of BlueSpark. Many of the grants we make are under £2000 and almost all are under £5000.

  15. Funding provided by BlueSpark for any particular project must constitute a significant proportion of the costs of that project rather than being marginally incremental to its funding.

  16. It is not a prerequisite that an organisation should provide part of the funds for its own project. However, if an organisation is able to raise part of the cost of a project itself, that will be a favourable factor in the assessment of a grant application particularly where the application is for more than £2000.

  17. Grants will only be awarded for the amount requested in the application and will not be scaled back to a lesser amount. Please do not apply for more than the amount you require as this will reduce the chances of your application being successful.

  18. BlueSpark will only support projects which are properly costed.

  19. Purpose of grant

  20. Grant applications must state exactly what the grant will be used for e.g. physical assets (such as tablets, sports equipment, or lighting for stage productions), services or facilities (such as sports coaching or music or drama tuition) or the provision of experiences (such as theatre visits). These examples are intended to be illustrative and not restrictive as to the funding which BlueSpark may provide to support projects.

  21. Approval of grants

  22. No grant will be made for any project unless an online Application Form has been fully completed and submitted to the Trustees for consideration.

  23. The Trustees will not consider any application which does not comply with these guidelines. The Trustees may also take account of any other factors that they consider relevant in relation to any particular grant application.

  24. If the Trustees are minded to approve a particular grant application, they may wish to meet with the person making the grant application to discuss the particular project.

  25. There is no presumption against BlueSpark making more than one grant to the same organization. However, grants will not be made to a single organisation on such a regular basis that they are effectively an income stream for that organization.

  26. Additional factors for possible consideration

  27. In considering a project for a grant, the Trustees may give that project additional credit if it has the potential to offer continuing benefits beyond it’s immediate benefits e.g. by enabling an activity stream to be established for a particular event or production (such as a sports event or drama production) but with the possibility that that activity stream may continue under its own steam once the initial activity has taken place.

  28. If the project is intended to produce a physical asset which may be of use beyond the immediate objective of the project, the Trustees may give additional weight to that factor in considering the grant application.

  29. Revision of guidelines

  30. These guidelines may be revised by the Trustees from time to time.