The Law Society Charity supports organisations whose work is related to the law and the legal profession, and whose activities would be likely to benefit from funds made available on behalf of solicitors.
Projects will be considered for support if they help meet the charity's aims and objectives criteria.
Board meetings and application dates
The Law Society Charity Trustee Board meetings for 2014 are given below, together with the last date for applications to be received for each meeting:
- Tuesday 12 April 2016 (the last day for applications Friday 11 March)
- Tuesday 12 July 2016 (the last day for applications Friday 10 June)
- Tuesday 20 September 2016 (the last day for applications Friday 19 August)
- Tuesday 13 December 2016 (the last day for applications Friday 11 November)
Who does the Charity help?
We only support projects that promote:
- Human rights
- Access to justice
- Legal education
Please note that we are not able to give grants to –
- Charities falling outside these headings, such as medical charities
- Individual students seeking help with their studies
- Locally-based bodies such as law centres, Citizens’ Advice Bureaux
We cannot help individual students pursue their studies. Applications which do not on their face seem to fall within the Charity's objectives will not be considered.
Applications which do not on their face seem to fall within the Charity’s objectives will not be considered.
Please also note that the Charity is unable to offer legal advice or take up individual cases.
How much does the Charity give out?
Grants are normally in the range £5,000 - £15,000. If you ask for more than this any grant will be scaled down to below £15,000. We may regard your asking for a very large amount as an indication that the project and your hopes for funding it, are unrealistic, and reject it on that basis.
Grants are usually on a one-off basis, but can occasionally be spread over two or three years.
What criteria do you use?
- we have limited funds available
- we receive far more applications than we could possibly meet
- even if a project falls within the objectives of the Charity (see above) a grant is not guaranteed and we have to prioritise.
In doing this, we will take into account the following (this is not an exhaustive list):
- the degree of need you have demonstrated, and how crucial a grant from the Charity is for your organisation (taking into account, for example, the size of your organisation, whether you have an established fundraising operation, and the amount of income generated)
- how many people are likely to be helped through the project
- whether other charities or public bodies are active in the same field as the organisation or help through similar projects
- whether funding will also be required from other sources and the likelihood of this being obtained
- whether the project would particularly promote the needs of excluded, under-represented or disadvantaged groups and minorities
- whether the organisation has a good track record in running the kind of project concerned and is able to do so (and manage its other operations) cost-effectively
- whether the project is of too localised or limited a nature – we aim to help projects covering as wide an area and as many people as possible
- whether the overriding requirement of 'public benefit' has been met, taking account of the guidance issued by the Charity Commission
How do I apply?
Please use our standard application form (Word) and send this to us by email if possible, with an electronic signature. The referee's certificate can also be emailed to us, with an electronic signature.
Please complete all the sections of the form, but please limit the information to that you feel necessary for us to understand the nature of the project for which you are seeking funding, the amount you are requesting and how this has been worked out, and whether the project fits within the objectives of the Charity.
Please do not send lengthy annexes, strategy plans, business plans etc. If we need further information we will ask for it.
However, please make sure you do supply with the application (also electronically where possible):
- the Memorandum and Articles of Association or other constitutional document(s) of the organisation
- the Trust Deed (if this is a separate document)
- the latest available Annual Report and audited Accounts of the organisation.
Can we make a presentation to the Trustees?
The Trustees of the Charity consider applications at their regular meetings (for dates see below) on the basis of the applications submitted.
We cannot give applicants the opportunity to address the Trustees. Lobbying of individual Trustees is discouraged.
Potential Conflict of interest
Trustees will declare an interest where appropriate and will abstain from voting to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
Do you give feedback on unsuccessful applications?
Decisions by the Trustees are final and there is no appeal. We do not routinely provide feedback on applications, although we may be prepared to do so, on request.
Any feedback may be limited in value, since applications are effectively competing with each other, and if your application is rejected it may be because the Trustees as a matter of judgment felt a stronger claim was made by another applicant.
When will we hear what has happened with our application?
We will normally let you know the outcome of the application in writing within two weeks of the meeting. Please do not email or telephone to ask the outcome before this period has expired.
Can we re-apply if we are turned down?
There is no bar to re-applying, but it is extremely unlikely that a re-submitted application will receive a different response, unless there has been a significant change in the circumstances of the project or you are supplying further information that we have asked for.