UK Democracy Fund: Application process

Before you start work on an application, read the UK Democracy Fund’s funding framework, to ensure your campaign is a good fit with the Fund’s current priorities. We also recommend you read some of the resources and insights from previous campaigns, which will allow your proposal to benefit from existing learning.

Applications for a grant under £10,000 can be made at any time. (Please be aware that small grant applications that are received to coincide with the larger grant rounds will take longer to process.)

Applications over £10,000 are considered by our directors at quarterly meetings (approximately one month after the final application deadline). Please be aware of the deadlines for submitting your outline proposal and full application. These deadlines are the same for the UK Democracy Fund and JRRT.

If you miss a deadline, you will have to wait until the next quarter before your application can be considered. Please note that to increase the chance of success applicants should have had conversations with the UK Democracy Fund team well in advance of the outline proposal deadline, as described below.


1. Reach out with your idea

Contact with a brief description (one to three paragraphs) of your idea and how it aligns to the Fund’s goals as well as a rough idea of budget being asked for. At this stage it doesn’t need to be hugely detailed. This will enable us to advise you quickly if your proposal aligns with the UK Democracy Fund’s aims and our priorities. If it does, we can arrange a meeting to discuss further.


2. Outline proposal

Building on what you have already submitted via email, you can then share a short outline of your proposal, maximum two sides of A4 in Word or Open Doc format, to for initial assessment. This gives us an opportunity to offer feedback based on the Fund’s goals and what we have learned from previous campaigns we have supported.

Your outline should include:

  • The name and legal status of your organisation (including your company or charity number if you have one)
  • The total amount you are applying for and the duration of the project
  • A draft budget
  • A summary of your proposed application – tell us what you want to do, why you want to do it, and what you aim to change as a result of your campaign
  • If your application relates to the Million More goal, it will be important at this stage to provide insight into the numbers of registrations and votes you aim to achieve through your campaign (using this document as a reference). We can talk some of this through if you need support.

We will acknowledge receipt of your outline proposal. We will aim to respond within three working days. You will be advised if your proposal is eligible to move to a full application or not.

This assessment is made by staff so it is important to note the following: if you are given the go-ahead, it is not a guarantee of a grant as decisions for UK Democracy Fund grants are made by JRRT’s board of directors. If you are advised not to apply, please be assured that your proposal has been properly considered.


3. Full application online submission

If you get the go ahead, please use the questions set out in the help you structure and write your full application.

All final applications must be made online, using the link provided to you by the Grants & Learning Manager, but you can request further feedback from the team before you submit, if you share with enough notice. You will need the following information to hand:

  • Organisation name
  • Legal name, if different
  • Full postal address
  • Legal status of organisation
  • Company or charity registration number, if applicable
  • Contact name
  • Contact email address
  • Your position in organisation
  • Website address
  • Social media accounts
  • Grant amount requested
  • Title of your campaign
  • Details of which of the UK Democracy Fund’s goals/objectives you are applying under (see these here)
  • The outcomes you hope to achieve
  • A brief summary of your campaign, your plan, tactics and timeline
  • A statement outlining how you will ensure that your campaign is non-partisan
  • If applying under Million More to run a voter participation campaign, detail the number of registrations and/or votes you aim to achieve and how you got to that number, and how you will track and count your registrations and/or votes.
  • When you want the grant to start and finish
  • Length of grant – and how and early or late General Election would affect your campaign, timeline and budget needs
  • Details of your board or steering group
  • Whether your organisation pays the real Living Wage

You will need to upload the following:

  • Your completed written application document
  • Recent accounts – we may need to ask for additional financial information; we’ll be in touch to request this if required
  • Annual report (if available)
  • CV (if applying as an individual)


4. Meetings with Applicants

For larger grants, directors may wish to meet you to discuss your application.

Meetings take place via Zoom.

Please note, not all applicants are invited to a meeting. Whether or not you are invited to a meeting should not be seen an indication of the eventual outcome of your grant application.