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What We Do Not Fund

  • Individuals
  • Projects that are not substantially influenced by their target beneficiaries
  • National organisations or groups based outside the Merseyside region even where some of the service users come from the area
  • Statutory bodies or work previously done by them
  • Education (schools, colleges, universities, supplementary schools)
  • Faith-based projects exclusively for members of that faith, or for the promotion of religion
  • Capital building costs
  • Festivals, carnivals and fêtes
  • Medicine or medical equipment
  • Holidays and expeditions
  • Gifts, parties etc.
  • Organising conferences
  • Sport
  • Vehicles
  • Animal charities
  • The creative industries
  • Heritage or local history projects
  • Employability and enterprise schemes
  • Academic or medical research
  • Credit Unions - except for the training of management committee members or the development of a new business plan
  • Veterans
  • Uniformed groups (e.g. scouts, cadets, majorettes)
  • Sponsorship, advertising or fund-raising events
  • Counsellors not registered with the BACP, UKCP or IACP

What We Fund


Please read through all sections as your project may be included under more than one heading.

We make grants towards running costs, volunteers' out-of-pocket expenses, one-off projects, equipment and salaries. Preference is given to organisations seeking funding for projects which fall within the Foundation’s target areas for giving which are:

And, in Merseyside only:            


Trustees will continue to review the Foundation’s grant making policy at regular intervals.

Local community groups
Local community groups/projects in disadvantaged areas run by and for local people, including support and self-help groups, tenants'/residents' associations, local initiatives to improve the environment and community action. Where there are unmet needs in the community we would support fresh approaches and new ideas for tackling them. We also encourage networking with groups doing similar work either locally or in other regions. You can find out more about the approach to community development that JMF likes to support by reading the 'Community Development Document' in the download area of this site.

Black and Minority Ethnic Organisations
Projects run by and for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, including travellers and migrant workers, especially those which work towards redressing the disadvantage faced by such groups. We also support non-BAME community groups who are developing and implementing culturally sensitive policies, and cross-community trust-building initiatives.

Projects offering emergency support to incoming refugees (including legal advice) and helping their integration into community life by actively working with settled communities. Support might include basic education, literacy, training, health and general social welfare. Schemes that target excluded people within the refugee community and initiatives that enable them to meet their own needs are also supported.

Women including girls
Projects which work towards redressing the disadvantages faced by women in society, including women's health and support groups, victims of abuse and/or violence, literacy and second chance learning.

Children and young people
Local groups running projects in disadvantaged children, which provide facilities or opportunities for children and young people aged between 5 and 25. Projects should include an underpinning, long-term personal and inter-personal development programme that raises aspirations and increases awareness of problems, such as discrimination and violence. Outside the Liverpool local authority area, small grants may also be available for mainly volunteer-run school holiday activities. In all cases we would particularly encourage projects which are, or which are working towards being, user-led.

Family support
Projects giving support to families. This could include parenting skills, mutual support/self help, families in crisis and childcare. After school clubs, playgroups etc, would only be funded where there is a family support focus.

Second chance learning
Projects run by non-statutory organisations which enable adults who have little or no education to return to learning. Grants may be given to organisations towards the cost of courses (including tutors), childcare, advice and information services etc.

Homeless people
Projects to provide services for homeless people or to furnish accommodation including: provision of emergency food, shelter and clothing; support, advice and advocacy; and training and second chance learning.

Advice and information to alleviate poverty
Projects providing welfare rights, or other advice and information services, to alleviate poverty or mitigate debt. Groups would be encouraged to hold or to be working towards a nationally-recognised quality standard in advice-giving.

Grassroot social health initiatives
Projects run by local non-statutory organisations which aim to improve people's physical and/or mental health. Priority will be given to projects in disadvantaged areas where health problems arise from social and environmental factors and which work with vulnerable groups. Issues might include stress, HIV/AIDS, self-harm, substance misuse etc.

Training for voluntary organisations
Training for voluntary and community organisations to enhance the skills particularly of management committee members, but also of staff in mainly volunteer run organisations, to enable them to operate more effectively and improve the quality of the service they offer. Funding is also available for the recruitment and training of volunteers.

Joint working and trust building initiatives
Projects which aim to break down barriers, to encourage co-operation and joint working between different community and voluntary groups and across local boundaries.  
Grants may be given for work involving local trust-building initiatives where there may be tensions or misunderstandings within or between communities.

Equality and Diversity
Services and activities which aim to counter prejudice and discrimination of any kind against disadvantaged groups, e.g. on grounds of disability, race, religion, sex, sexuality or gender identity.  Projects would be expected to be substantially led by people from the discriminated groups concerned.

Projects which benefit carers by the provision of support services, advice, information or non-medical respite care.

NOTE: Unsolicited applications that fall outside our policy criteria are not considered

Examples of grants awarded in Merseyside in 2017-2018
•    £7,800 over 2 years for CAB drop-in sessions.  
•    £15,000 over 3 years for the delivery of welfare rights advice and support.
•    £5,000 for training and support for Gypsy Travellers to undertake research into needs of their communities in Halton.
•    £2,500 for running costs, interpreters and office equipment.
•    £2,400 for the Somali Parent and School Partnership Initiative.
•    £12,000 for the salaries of a Youth Project & Centre Manager and a Session Leader.
•    £3,504 for a BSL training course.
•    £10,000 over 2 years for the salary of the Bereavement Assessment Co-ordinator.
•    £8,000 for the salary of a Community Development Worker.
•    £17,522 over 2 years for a Saturday club to support refugee and asylum-seeking women.

Examples of grants awarded in Northern Ireland in 2017-2018
•    £5,000 for running costs, sessional fees, volunteer expenses.
•    £2,650 to a Polish community centre for running costs.
•    £5,000 for counsellor and psychotherapist fees.
•    £4,486 over 2 years for volunteer recruitment, training and support.
•    £5,000 for volunteer recruitment and training.


Q1. Why cant I download an application form?

Q2. How much can I apply for?

Q3. What should I do if I don't understand the guidelines?

Q4. Do you help with completing an application?

Q5. Are there deadlines for applications?

Q6. What should I include in my application?

Q7. How long will it take to assess my application?

Q8. Can I email my application?

Q9. My application was turned down. How soon can I apply again?.

Q10. Can you fund a project that is already running or does it have to be new work?.

Q11. You are funding our organisation already. Can we apply for another grant?

Q12. Can I apply for more than one year's funding?

Q13. We are not a registered charity; does this mean that we cannot apply for a grant?

Q14. Don't you know who I am?


Why cant I download an application form?

A1. We don't want you wasting your time putting together an application that is unlikely to succeed, so we like to check that your proposal is something our trustees might consider before sending an application pack.  You can e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a brief outline of your project or call JMF’s office in Merseyside on 0151 707 6077 or in Northern Ireland 028 2888 6161 (please leave a message) to request an application form.

 How much can I apply for?

A2. We would recommend applying for as much as your organisation needs from JMF. We don’t have a limit for the amount requested; however it may be useful to have a look at our What We Fund section or the grants list in our annual accounts to see examples of grants made in the last financial year.

 What should I do if I don't understand the guidelines?

A3. You are welcome to telephone JMF’s office in Merseyside on 0151 707 6077 or in Northern Ireland 028 2888 6161 and we will be happy to answer your questions.

 Do you help with completing an application?

A4. Although, we are happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding applying for a grant from us, we do not offer help with completing applications.

 Are there deadlines for applications?

There are no set deadlines for applications, JMF operates a rolling system. Same policy applies for Northern Ireland. 

What should I include in my application? 

A6. We would like you to submit the following information, if available:

•    Details of Organisation Applying for a Grant form (signed by a board member)
•    written application of a maximum of 4 pages in a legible font size (e.g. Arial point 11), plus project budget (based on Q17 of the Guidance Notes p.2)
•    latest annual accounts
•    latest annual report
•    list of current members of management committee
•    equal opportunities policy
•    job description (when applying for wages)
•    signed grant conditions form

 How long will it take to assess my application?

A7. As a general rule you should allow 3-4 months in Merseyside and 5-6 months in NI for a decision to be made. JMF operates a two stage process and you will hear from us within one month from the deadline date when, if appropriate, you will be visited by a member of our staff.  You are welcome to phone or e-mail us anytime and ask for an update.

 Can I email my application?

A8. You can e-mail us your completed application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., but we will still need a signed version of the application form (a signed copy is fine). Please don't send your application as a zip file or other compressed format as our antivirus programme will stop the file before it can reach us.

  My application was turned down. How soon can I apply again?.

A9. We would recommend not reapplying within 6 months, but it's worth speaking to us first to find out if there were any specific reasons for being turned down.

 Can you fund a project that is already running or does it have to be new work?.

A10. No, we support both new and existing projects.

 You are funding our organisation already. Can we apply for another grant?

A11. No. Groups can only have one running grant with JMF. However, you may be able to apply again few months before the end of your existing grant, as the decision process can take up to 4 months.

Can I apply for more than one year's funding?

A12. Yes, we accept requests for up to 3 years of funding when salaries or running costs are required. However, we will ask you to not to apply to JMF for another grant for 12 months after the 3 years of funding have come to an end. For example if you had grants paid in Sep 2014, Sep 2015 and Sep 2016, you wil not be able to apply again until Sep 2018.

We are not a registered charity; does this mean that we cannot apply for a grant?

A13. No, we do not require groups to be registered charities. However, Trustees prefer for the organisations to be a registered charity where possible, for reasons of accountability, transparency and legal restrictions. If your group is not a registered charity, you may apply for funding as long as the work you do is charitable in law. All organisations must produce annual accounts (if over one year old), have a written set of rules and a bank account in the name of the group which requires at least two signatories. Please make sure that your project falls within the criteria.


Don't you know who I am?

A14. Very possibly, but we still won't fund you, if you're a national organisation or have a very large income as we prefer to fund small, local groups.

How to Apply


  • Is your work charitable?
  • Do you produce annual accounts(if over one year old)?
  • Do you have a written set of rules?
  • Do you have a bank account in the name of the group which requires at least two unrelated signatories?
  • Does your project fall within the criteria? (click here)



Application forms are only available from our offices.

Application should be made by letter of no more than four A4 sides accompanied by a completed organisational details form (obtainable from us by letter, phone, email or the link on our website). Please refer to the guidance notes provided with the form and enclose a copy of the information requested. If your project is in Merseyside, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request the form from our Merseyside office. If your project is in Northern Ireland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request the form from our Northern Ireland office. Alternatively call us on 0151 707 6077 or 028 2888 6161 (Northern Ireland).

Applications may be handwritten, but please use black ink as these are photocopied. Many groups who apply to us for funding are visited by us, but we may simply phone for more information. Decisions about which projects to fund are made by the Trustees who meet 5-6 times a year. 

As a general rule applicants should allow 3-5 months for a decision to be made. Once the application is submitted, applicants are welcome to contact the office to find out at which meetings their application may be considered.

All applications are acknowledged. Unfortunately we cannot help every group which applies for a grant even though the project may fall within the criteria. If you require further information or assistance please contact our Merseyside office.

No grants are made to individuals, nor are grants made for capital building projects or for work that clearly falls under statutory responsibility. The size of grant varies, but we prefer to give smaller grants to a larger number of projects. Applications may be refused where we feel that the organisation concerned is already well funded or has large reserves.