Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Applying online

  • I want to log back in to continue working on my application, where has it gone?

    When you choose to ‘save and resume later’, a link will appear on the page and be emailed to you, which will enable you to return to the application form. You must do this within 30 days or the application form will be lost. We are not able to access incomplete or lost application forms, and so we advise saving the answers to your questions, and any attachments, locally as well.

  • The attachments have not been saved

    Attachments will not be saved between sessions, and so should be attached in your final session, before you submit your application.

  • Can I attach more documents (e.g. a business plan) to my application?

    We only require the information requested, and additional supplementary information may be requested at a later stage if needed. However, if you wish to submit anything additional and see it as necessary in order to understand your work, then you can email this to us directly.

  • I am struggling to attach my files

    This may be due to either the format of the file, or the size. If you have any difficulties submitting large files, then contact us directly as we can arrange for you to email these if necessary.

Funding and eligibility

  • If my income is less than £150,000 or greater than £1,500,000, can I still apply?

    Unless flexibility is stated within the guidelines for the priority area, an application is unlikely to be successful when your turnover is outside the given range.

  • We are not a registered charity, can we apply for a grant?

    Open programme grants can only be made to charities registered in the UK with either the Charity Commission (England and Wales), OSCR (Scotland) or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

  • My charity has recently been established – can we apply?

    We tend to fund organisations which can demonstrate a track record, with at least a year’s audited/ examined accounts, therefore we usually only fund well established organisations. Exceptions may be made for organisations already known to ABCT for example as the former project of a different organisation which is a registered charity. You will need to provide sufficient information on your own financial position, demonstrate your financial history in your former structure, and provide information on your track record and achievements.

  • What do you mean by charities with large national links?

    We mean charities that may be registered separately from the national or international charity that bears the same name, but which exist in many locations, such as Citizens Advice. While we recognise that there is excellent work being carried out, we cannot normally fund such charities as we do not have the capacity to fund applications from every local organisation that may apply. The only time when we may make an exception is where a local organisation is stepping outside of the normal remit in order to fill a gap locally.

  • My project is part of a larger charity, can I apply?

    We recognise that structures can look very different, and sometimes a local project forms a part of a larger charity. While you may be able to apply, you still have to meet the eligibility criteria and so the parent charity must be eligible (e.g. within the turnover guidelines). The project should form a significant strand of the organisation’s work, and so it should be substantial, well run and have a turnover of more than £150,000.

  • My organisation’s work includes a large percentage of refugees / offenders, but is not targeted specifically at this group, can we apply?

    Applications are most likely to be successful where activities for and with migrants, refugees or people seeking asylum form a significant strand of the organisation work and activities are directly targeted towards these individuals rather than just including them within a broader client group.

    The same applies to our justice system and penal reform priority.

  • Only part of our work fits within your priority areas, are we eligible?

    Applicants are most likely to be successful when their sole focus is the priority area, although we accept applications where it forms a significant strand of work and the organisation can show they are best placed to deliver the work.

  • We have very low, or very high free reserves, will we be successful?

    During assessment, we will look at financial health and assessing appropriate reserves levels will play a part in this. There is an opportunity in the financial section of the application form to add extra detail and so if you think your level of reserves may raise questions then do add context here. We may also get in contact during the assessment process to discuss this in more depth.

  • More information on how we define specialist legal advice

    We define specialist legal advice as relating to the resolution of a legal problem where the advice is tailored to the individual’s circumstances. This would normally include end-to-end casework (where you take action on behalf of the client to move the case on) through to representation. It would not normally include one-off interventions, unless your organisation is a particular expert in an area of law.

    The provision of advice regulated by OISC (at Levels 2 or 3), the SRA, BSB or CILEX (through an employed solicitor, barrister or Chartered Legal Executive with a current practising certificate), or their Scottish/Northern Ireland equivalent, or delivered via a legal aid contract will automatically be treated as being specialist advice.

  • I deliver specialist legal advice as part of my broader work, am I eligible?

    ABCT is looking to fund organisations where most of their work falls within our priority areas. Therefore, your application is most likely to be successful if your work routinely involves delivering specialist legal advice (usually casework) through to representation level, or if you are the expert in a specialist area of law. If this is a smaller proportion of your total work then your application is less likely to be successful, even if you apply for a project. Please include information in your application about the percentage of your work that can accurately be described as specialist legal advice.

Making an application