The Access Foundation Grant Making Policy & Procedures

This document sets out the broad priorities, principles and approach for awarding and monitoring grants to organisations to support initiatives which align with the objectives of The Access Foundation.

1. The Objectives of The Access Foundation

The objectives of The Access Foundation are specifically oriented around the following:

  • to mitigate the digital divide by making computing facilities, support and learning available to disadvantaged and vulnerable people

The Foundation will consider applications that meet this objective from companies with no prior association with the Access Group

  • to advance the charitable causes of the registered charities which are chosen as The Access Group company charity of the year (or, with independent determination by the trustees, to support charities which were shortlisted by The Access Group for benefit but which were not subsequently chosen)

Staff within the Access Group nominate and vote to appoint their chosen “Charity Of The Year”. The Access Foundation, which is outside of the commercial Access Group, has no influence on and cannot give Charity Of The Year status. Grant applications under this criteria are therefore limited

  • to advance the charitable causes of charities for whom there is a strong emotional connection with a member of staff (e.g. through support they or a close relative have received from the charity)

The Foundation expects that applications under this criteria will only be made with the support of an employee of the Access Group

In all these cases, grants are restricted to charities operating in the same countries as the offices of Access Group companies.

2. Priorities for support

The number of applications which can be supported by The Access Foundation Charity is, by necessity, limited to the amount of funds available for distribution in line with the Charity’s general reserves policy. The Board of Trustees will set-aside an annual budget for grant giving which will be reviewed at least bi-annually to ensure appropriate allocation of resources.

In the case of a surplus of applications which meet all the criteria within a budgeting year, the board of trustees will decide the prioritisation for allocating funds on a case-by-case basis, but will endeavour to offer funds to organisations covering all three of the objectives stated above.

3. Principles

In awarding grants, the Trustees will apply the following principles:

  • Applications from any geographical area within which The Access group operate are eligible.
  • Applications may only be made by charitable organisations, not individuals
  • Applications must be for specific services, activities, initiatives or projects with clearly identified and measurable outcomes. Funding will not be provided for the general overheads or operational costs of a charitable organisation
  • While there is no definitive maximum or minimum value for the grants we will award, the expected ranges are different depending on the grant-giving objective as follows:

- for mitigating the digital divide, the foundation will generally award grants between £25,000 and £100,000. This funding will normally support a project that completes within a 12 month period. By exception the Foundation may consider supporting a longer running multi-year project and in such cases would entertain applications with proportionately larger values.

- for grants awarded to the Access Group ‘Charities of the Year’, the foundation will generally award grants of between £20,000 and £60,000 depending on the size division within the group.

- for grants awarded to Access staff-sponsored charities, the foundation will generally awards grants of around £5,000.

These values are indicators only and are not set in stone so the trustees would encourage any potential applicant to contact the Foundation with proposals if they are outside of these parameters.

  • All applications from previous recipients of grants or from previously unsuccessful applicants will be considered by the Foundation on their own merits. Although the Foundation will have regard to the outcome of the previous application, any new application will in no way receive preferential or adverse consideration.
  • The Foundation may work in partnership with other organisations and establishments to fund grant applications.
  • In addition to responding to external grant requests, the trustees may at their discretion invite or commission proposals, or provide funding in collaboration with others, where doing so would meet the Foundation’s strategy and priorities.

4. Exclusions

Any grant made by the trustees shall be made at the absolute discretion of the Trustees. The Access Foundation will not normally fund:

  • applications for grants from individuals
  • applications for organisations’ general running costs or overheads
  • religious organisations or religious activity which is not for wider public benefit
  • animal charities

The Foundation reserves the right to decline any application and there is no obligation on the Foundation to provide a reason for its decision. Each decision is final and there is no appeal process.

5. Grant application process

All applications for grants should be completed in conjunction with this policy. They must be made using The Access Foundation application form, which can be found on our website at theaccessgroupfoundation.com/apply.

6. Information requirements when making a grant application

Before awarding a grant to any organisation the Foundation require that the application should:

  • Inform the Foundation of the purpose of the application and the way in which the grant will be used including expected measurable outcomes to the applicant;
  • Where the application necessitates an organisation subcontracting work to another organisation, e.g. therapy or training provider; it is essential that the applicant confirms that they have undertaken a full due diligence of all relevant qualifications & processes carried out by the individual or organisation providing them with a service. The Foundation takes no responsibility and accepts no liability whatsoever for assessing the suitability of third party products or services purchased from funds awarded.

7. Assessment process

The board of trustees commit to reviewing every application made in full to the foundation according to the following process:

  • All grant applications will be subject to initial assessment to ensure they meet the basic criteria for funding. Applicants must be prepared to provide further information as the Foundation may reasonably require in order to assist them in their decision-making and due diligence process. Grants will be considered by the Foundation and the Foundation will aim to write to all applicants informing them of the outcome, or the next requested steps, of their application for funding within 12 weeks.
  • Applicants should note that, as with many other charitable trusts, The Access Foundation may well receive far more applications than it has funds to support. Even if an application fits within the criteria and priorities of the Foundation and a detailed assessment has been made, the Foundation may still be unable to provide a grant.
  • The Foundation will not be obliged to provide an explanation to the applicant should the applicant’s application be unsuccessful.

8. Monitoring outcomes from grants awarded

It is the policy of the Foundation to monitor all grants made. The following principles will be followed to ensure this is enacted.

  • Before a grant can be confirmed, conditions may be stipulated appropriate to the application and progress may be assessed against agreed targets and/or milestones.
  • If the grant is payable in instalments, then payment of subsequent grant instalments may be dependent on satisfactory progress having been demonstrated and the Charity reserves the right to withdraw the grant on receipt of unsatisfactory progress update reports.
  • The Trustees also will expect to receive copies of any published articles, papers or other outputs which may result from the grant. Should any of the articles refer to The Access Foundation it is essential that the Trustees of The Access Foundation are informed and provide consent for the detail to be published.
  • The Foundation will contact the grantee in the period following the award of the grant in order to identify progress against the objective of the grant, according to a schedule defined when the grant is offered.

9. Other Requirements

The Access Foundation Grant Making Policy must be read in conjunction with The Access Foundation Privacy Policy. By submitting a Grant Application the applicant confirms that they have read, understood and agreed to Access Foundation Policies.

The Charity may require repayment of all OR any part of the grant if:

  • the project or purpose for which it was awarded does not proceed
  • part of the grant remains unused when the activities that the grant was intended to fund have been completed: or
  • the grant is used for a purpose other than that which has been agreed

10. Variations to this policy

The Board of trustees may vary the terms of this policy from time to time.
Approved by the Board of Trustees.