Responsive Grant Making

The Responsive Grant-Making programme is our main programme where we are pleased to consider applications for support.  The most up to date details on our Responsive Grants are as below: if you have received Paristamen information from elsewhere, please double check with the details below before applying.

Whilst our criteria are relatively broad, grants will only be considered where all the following points are met.  Please note that these criteria have recently been tightened – the following rules apply for applications received from 1 Sept 2023 onwards (however, our former slightly broader criteria will be accepted for applications received before then, to assist those who had applications in process before these changes were confirmed).

Our responsive grants are usually unrestricted one-off grants of around £500 – £1,000 each. Occasionally the trustees may award other amounts (and for a particularly strong applications we may occasionally make a double award). But in considering an application to us, it is worth thinking how an unrestricted grant of around £750 could allow your charity to do more than at present.

An unrestricted grant will go into your charity’s general funds, and can thus be used to support your core costs – you are simply applying to us to support your charity – you do not need a specific project.

See the how to apply page for details of how to apply for a Responsive grant. We also have pages outlining the content needed for an application and the requirements for submitting your accounts.

The Trustees’ criteria in relation to new responsive grant applications are as follows:

  • We only make grants to organisations, not to individuals.  (We do not support individual student placements/projects/courses/overseas visits or prizes to individuals of any kind even if the application is made through a charity.)
  • Organisations must be registered charities in Scotland – that is you must be registered with OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator). Most applications for responsive grants are from charities based in Scotland, but we will consider charities working UK-wide or where the main focus of the work is overseas development so long as you have sufficient support or activity in Scotland to have achieved registration with OSCR. Please make sure your charitable status is clear on your lettehead when you write to us.  If you are applying for a project which is part of a larger charity we need the full details for the overall charity.
  • Our focus for Responsive grants is support of small to medium-sized charities where we believe a small grant is more likely to make a difference, so we will now only consider applications from charities whose total income is in the range £25,000 to £500,000 (based on the latest available accounts for the whole charity).  So we can no longer consider applications for Responsive grants from completely new charities with no accounts as yet, or from very small charities whose total income is below £25K.  Likewise, if your charity’s income has reached £500K or more, we feel a Paristamen Responsive grant is no longer appropriate.
  • Churches and other faith-based organisations are welcome to apply so long as your organisation meets these criteria.
  • We are unable to support applications where we have concerns over the organisation’s accounts and in particular where they are consistently late in submission to OSCR.
  • We do not support building appeals or other capital appeals under our Responsive grants programme – this is simply because our focus is on unrestricted grants – which we feel are much more likely to make a difference to your operational work. So any appeals for specific items of equipment, furniture etc will be rejected.  (However, we do not rule out applications for unrestricted grants simply because part of the charity’s general funds are used towards premises or equipment costs.)
  • We do not currently support organisations or projects where the main object is:
    • advancement of education
    • advancement of arts, heritage, culture or science
    • sport
    • animal welfare
    • work linked to the armed forces (including young people’s cadet groups linked to the forces).

(This does not mean we exclude applications involving such work – for example a mental health charity using sport as a means of therapy is welcome to apply if you meet the thresholds, but your charitable objects must be concerned with mental health rather than advancement of the sport.  Likewise we appreciate that many health, welfare and religious charities advance their aims partly through education – that’s fine.  We are also prepared to consider charities supporting former members of the armed forces. But if you decide to apply to us for work which involves any of these areas, please ensure that the actual aims of your charity are clear – it’s best to refer to the formal objects in your governing document.)

As our Responsive Grants are almost always unrestricted, we are more interested in the organisation than the project.

In the final stages of choosing which charities to support, we place considerable attention on the organisation’s charity accounts in terms of conformity to charity law and indication of a well-managed organisation.

Please also see the how to apply page.

Examples of recent Responsive grants:

Please see the page Responsive/Planned Grants made.