Applying for Grants

Applying for Trust Grants

The theme for the next round of grant awards will be finalised in 2017, following the recent review of the first six years of the Trust. Advertisements will then be placed in the Catholic and other relevant media in the autumn.

Please note that the Trust does not award grants outside of its annual invitation to bid.

Guidance on how to apply will be posted on this site in the summer/early autumn 2017.

The Guidance Note on a previous round of grants is set out below to give potential future applicants an idea of the type of projects funded by the Trust and the matters to be included in an application:


 (Specimen Guidance) Application Guidelines 2014-2015

Please note that this is an example of the type of guidance we issue each year to assist applicants in making relevant submissions. Please ignore any reference to “this year” and “current theme”.


The Trust welcomes applications for grant funding for projects on the following theme:

The intellectual endeavour of reviewing and contributing to Catholic Social Thought (CST) within our own British context by identifying and analysing (through research, scholarship and/or policy formation) the specifically Catholic character of the mission and work of Catholic charities today and their links to CST.

Applications must be sent as an e-mail attachment to


  1.        About the Charles Plater Trust. 2
  2.        About This Year’s Theme. 2
  3.        Eligibility Details. 3
  4.        Format for Grant Applications. 4
  5.        Content of Grant Applications. 4
  6.        About Plater Trust grant awards. 5
  7.        The process for applications to the Trust. 6
  8.        How will the grant be paid?. 6


1.     About the Charles Plater Trust

The Trust’s Mission Statement:

The Plater Trust enables people to learn how the way we live and work can become more fully human in the light of the Gospel and the application of Catholic Social Teaching.

More information about the Trust can be found on its website

The Plater Trust grants funding to recipients that best support the mission and values of Fr. Plater and of the former Plater College. The Trust makes grants against a specific theme each year. Broadly, the three themes are:

  1. Leadership development for the laity, particularly in the area of social justice and social action, to equip individual Catholics to apply Catholic social teaching and play an active part in the Church’s mission.
  2. Imaginative projects providing education for people from the most marginalised sectors of society.
  3. The intellectual endeavour of refreshing Catholic social thought within our own British context, for example, through scholarship and writing or policy information

2.     About This Year’s Theme

2.1 This year’s theme has been modified by the trustees from Theme 3 above as The intellectual endeavour of reviewing and contributing to Catholic Social Thought (CST) within our own British context by identifying and analysing (through research, scholarship and/or policy formation) the specifically Catholic character of the mission and work of Catholic charities today and their links to CST.

2.2  Since the Plater Trust awarded its first grants in 2008, it has funded 22 diverse projects, each contributing to the Trust’s overall aim of advancing social justice through education. With the growing awareness of, and interest in, Catholic Social Teaching, the trustees now wish to take stock of the contribution of its funded projects to social justice.

2.3 Within the Catholic Church, over the last ten years, the issue of Catholic identity has been receiving renewed attention. Church authorities have been encouraging faith based agencies to become more confident in their expression of their Catholic identity (such as by Pope Benedict in Deus Caritas Est 2005 and the Motu Proprio 2012). Most recently, Pope Francis has stated “that missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity (Evangelii Gaudium 2013). What does it therefore mean to be a Catholic charity in the British context today? And how do the different expressions of Catholic identity we find in contemporary social action practice relate to the broader CST tradition?

2.4 So in tandem with this growing imperative within the Catholic community to find new ways of dialoguing with others about our distinctive faith and mission, the trustees of Plater Trust are therefore, in 2015, actively inviting research, scholarship and/or policy formulation that would ultimately support Catholic charities to express their own unique characteristics in ways that differentiate Catholic charities from other NGOs and public social care agencies in the UK

2.5 In addition to welcoming applications for grants for one year funding , in line with the Trust’s past practice, the Trust will, this year, also consider bids from appropriate publicly funded Higher Education institutions, for the funding of one PhD scholarship. This will be named the Plater Trust scholarship. Applications will need to set out how the proposed scholarship will research the specific Catholic character and identity of charities and voluntary organisations involved in social action and would need to relate this to the recent papal documents on this matter. The Trust recognises that this will inevitably require funding over three years and is prepared to support this provided details of timing and “mileposts” are identified in the bid.”

(N.B. funding for this PhD scholarship will be set at a maximum of £15,000 per annum for three years.)

2.6 Organisations should consider how their applications sustain both this year’s theme and the Trust’s long-term mission.

3.     Eligibility Details

  • Applications will only be considered for established organisations (normally registered charities). Applications will NOT be considered for individuals.
  • The applicant organisation(s) must be based within England and/or Wales.
  • The Trust will consider applications from organisations seeking to use a Plater Trust grant as match funding as part of a larger project, but only if it contributes to an effective delivery of the Trust’s objects.
  • Applications from a consortium or partnership of organisations will be given consideration if the project is relevant to the delivery of the project’s aims and objectives, has a clearly listed chief contact, and fulfils all other eligibility criteria.

4.     Format for Grant Applications

The Trust does not require applicants to use a special application form but expects the following guidelines to be met.

Applications should:

  • Be no longer than eight A4 pages equivalent, excluding any cover page;
  • Be typed in 11 point font size or larger;
  • Contain numbered paragraphs and numbered pages;
  • Include an executive summary in bullet-point format;
  • Address the criteria listed in Section 5 below;
  • Be in Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx), or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file formats. Please do not attach digital media files such as film, still images or audio.



5.     Content of Grant Applications

The application document should:

  1. Contain the applicant organisation’s name and all relevant contact information, as well as the organisation’s purpose (aims and objectives);
  2. Provide the applicant’s legal status (registered charity, academic institution, etc.), using the full corporate name used to sign contracts and receive funds should the application be successful;
  3. Specify the chief contact for the project along with that person’s telephone number(s) and postal and e-mail addresses;
  4. Outline the applicant’s experience and demonstrated competence in conducting research and managing projects of the scale outlined in the application, including evidence of specific outcomes and outputs;
  5. Where relevant, confirm that the organisation has a Child Protection Policy and that Criminal Records Bureau checks which comply with Safeguarding Legislation and Safer Recruitment Requirements are carried out on all staff working with children;
  6. Set out what the project will specifically deliver – so that the success of the project (and its use of Plater Trust funds) can be measured at its conclusion (normally at the end of twelve months). The application should describe the project for which the grant is sought, answering the following questions:
  • What is the aim of the project?
  • What are its objectives?
  • How does it match the selection theme and the Plater mission statement, making explicit reference to the nature and extent of the impact produced by the project?
  • Why is it needed?
  • What practical results will it produce?
  • What are the planned outcomes?
  • How many people will benefit from these?
  • If already started, what stage has the project reached to date?
  • How will the organisation ensure that the project will be cost effective?
  1. Explain how the project will be monitored and evaluated, both during the project’s operation and upon its conclusion;
  2. Explain how the project will demonstrate value for the money requested
  3. Include a detailed budget, set out as a spreadsheet or table, which should state clearly the size of the grant being sought as well as the total costs of the project. Key milestones should also be included with an indication of how the grant will be spent as the project progresses. Please note that the first grant payment may not be available until March 2015. It is advisable to timetable and programme your project accordingly.
  4. Identify key personnel and their roles and responsibilities in delivering the project. If more than one organisation is submitting the bid, the chief contact should be clearly labelled.
  5. Demonstrate how results will be shared and applied;
  6. State what other funds have already been raised or committed for the project;
  7. Name any other sources of funding applied for to support the project;
  8. Supply the names and e-mail addresses of two independent referees;
  9. Be clear and avoid the use of technical terms, acronyms and jargon and, where abbreviations are used, write them out in full in the first instance.

Finally, please state where you first saw the invitation to bid for Plater Trust funding.


6.     About Plater Trust grant awards

  • Funding will be for up to 100 per cent of project costs. The total amount available for grant aid is around £150,000. In the past, the Trustees have awarded three or four grants each year. The grant amount sought from the Trust should typically be for around £30,000 – £50,000. However, for exceptional projects the Trust may, at its discretion, consider higher levels of funding for an individual application.
  • The maximum length of time for a project to be undertaken is twelve months. Projects longer than this period will not normally be considered, with the exception of applications to establish a Plater Trust scholarship (see paragraph 2.5 above).
  • Applications which attract matching funding from other sources will be particularly welcomed and considered favourably. This permits the Trust to spread its limited resources most effectively.
  • Applicants must be willing for their bid details to be made public if successful. They should expect that the Trustees, Grant Making Body or their nominated representatives will publicise the progress of the project and its outcomes.
  • Applicants should, if successful, give appropriate mention to the Trust on documents or other materials produced as a result of granted funds preferably by use of the Trust’s logo. The Trust should be notified in advance that such materials are being produced.

7.     The process for applications to the Trust

The process for applications to the Trust will be as follows:

  1. All applications will be acknowledged by email shortly after receipt;
  2. Any submissions that do not address the current theme will not be considered;
  3. Applications will be considered by the Charles Plater Trust’s Grant Making Body before being referred to the Trustees;
  4. The Trustees reserve the right to amend the terms and conditions of the grant making process at their discretion and without prior notice. Their decisions will be final;
  5. All applicants will be informed by e-mail once the process is complete; this is expected by early January 2015.
  6. The formal announcement of the awards will be made at the Plater Trust’s annual celebration which is held in February/March each year. Successful applicants will be required to delay any publicity about their grant award until this event.


8.     How will the grant be paid?

After confirming the award of the grant to successful organisations, the trust will send an agreement form to be signed by the responsible person for that organisation and a request for banking details. On satisfactory completion of the agreement and supply of banking details, the Trust will pay the grant in the following stages:

  • The organisation will receive 50 % of the total grant at the outset, as start-up assistance for the project.
  • A further 40% of the grant will be paid upon receipt of a progress report and the results of monitoring the progress of the project six months after commencement. If, at this interim stage, little or no progress has been made, the grant may be rescinded and the initial grant clawed back.
  • The final 10 % of the grant awarded will be paid by the Trust upon receipt of an adequate final report. This must be received by the Trust no later than three months after the project’s completion.

Organisations should note and take account of this timetable for grant payment for their cash flow and budgeting purposes.

Where the application for grant funding is made by a consortium or partnership, one of the applicant organisations must be identified as the responsible financial body (lead body) and the key responsibilities must be clearly allocated in the joint application. Responsibility for submitting narrative and financial reports will rest with the responsible financial body. Dispersal of funds received from the Trust to consortium members or partners for work undertaken on the project will be a requirement of the responsible financial body, not the Trust.

As noted earlier, the Trust will consider applications from organisations seeking to use its grant as match funding as part of a larger project but only if it contributes to an effective delivery of the Trust’s objects, reflects its values and relates directly to the current annual theme.

Recipients will be expected to maintain separate cost centres and accounts for any funds received from the Trust so that expenses can be allocated clearly.

The Trustees reserve the right to call for written accounts of all projects funded by the Trust at any time upon reasonable notice.