Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What do you support?

We primarily support programmes which have a focus on climate change, sustainable development or on improving the quality of life in poorer communities. Generally, we do not accept unsolicited approaches, unless they are exceptional proposals which closely fit our specific areas of interest. For further details please see our categories page.

How do you make grants?

The trustees take a proactive approach to the work they wish to support, employing a range of specialist staff and advisers to research their areas of interest and bring forward suitable proposals. It should therefore be understood that the majority of unsolicited proposals we receive will be unsuccessful.

Who can apply? Do we need to be a registered charity?

We support registered charities and not-for-profit organisations. The purpose for which you are applying to us must be legally charitable and your constitution must allow you to carry out the work that you propose.

What don't you support?

The Trust does not normally fund: individuals for projects, educational fees or to join expeditions; support for a general appeal or circular; work that is routine or well-proven elsewhere or with a low impact; or work that is the responsibility of central or local government, health trusts or health authorities, or which are substantially funded by them. We never support retrospective funding, that is work that has already been completed.

Can I apply to more than one Trust at a time?

Do not apply to more than one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Each application will be considered by each trust which may have an interest in this field.

If I decide to apply, what should the proposal contain?

You should outline why the project is needed; the aims and objectives of the project; how, when and where the project will be delivered; who will benefit from the project and in what way; and how the project will continue once your funding has come to an end. You should also include an income and expenditure budget and details of any funding that has either been secured or applied for. Please also provide a description of the organisation.

Where do we send the completed application?

If you would like to apply to the Trust you should send a brief description of the proposed project to:

Alan Bookbinder
Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts
The Peak
5 Wilton Road
London SW1V 1AP

Alternatively, you can email your application to

How and when will we know if we have been successful?

All applications will receive our standard acknowledgement letter. If your proposal is a candidate for support from one of the trusts, you will hear from us within 6-8 weeks of the acknowledgement. Applicants who do not hear from us within 8 weeks of the acknowledgement must assume they have been unsuccessful.

What are the terms and conditions and what will you ask from us if we receive a grant?

These will be outlined by letter if you are offered a grant. Sometimes additional conditions will be added to take account of a particular aspect of a grant.

Will you need our accounts?

Yes, we ask all organisations applying for grants to provide a full set of accounts.

What do you ask in terms of monitoring and evaluation?

The Trust has a monitoring and evaluation policy that includes grant recipients completing a progress report at the end of each year of funding.

Will you come and visit us?

We don't have the resources to visit all organisations that apply to us, or that receive a grant from us. We do visit some projects to find out how the work is going, what is being achieved and any lessons resulting from it. We will contact you if we would like to visit your work.

What do I need to do if I don't have an annual income and expenditure budget?

If you are applying to us for funding for a project which is your only work in the financial year (and you have no other core costs) then we just need the budget for that project. If it is one of a number of projects you will be doing in a financial year, but you have no other core costs then we will need to see a summary of all the budgets.

If I am a new organisation and don't yet have a full set of accounts, what do I need to submit?

If your organisation is new and has no financial history (i.e. this is your first project or first year of activity) you do not need to send any additional financial information. If your organisation does not have accounts but has a financial history (even if you are less than a year old or have only completed one project) then you should send the final budget figures either for the first year of your work, or the most recent projects.

My project may generate income, do you have advice on writing a business plan?

If you are applying for a social investment loan, we will need to comply with specific criteria and we would ask you to contact us to discuss this in more detail. You will be required to provide a business plan and we will ask for your project to be independently assessed.