Criteria for Grant Giving


Please note that the grant criteria are intended as general guidance for applicants as to whether or not their particular project/activity would be eligible for funding.   Meeting the grant criteria does not automatically lead to the award of a grant.

Your first step should be to check that your organisation is eligible for a BFSS grant. You can do this on our page ‘Eligible Organisations and Projects’.

Before you make an application please also make sure that you will be able to meet our reporting requirements. These can be found on the ‘Grant Recipient Reporting Requirements’.

Further advice on submitting a good application are provided at ‘Guidance on submitting successful applications’. Here you will also find a list of some of the reasons why recent applications have been rejected.

Grant Giving Criteria:


Grants will be made for education or training for children and young people up to the age of 25. Priority will be given to projects which widen educational access and opportunity and reduce the barriers to achievement, in keeping with the Society’s vision to maximise educational opportunity for all. Priority will also be given to projects in areas of deprivation or educational disadvantage.

Applications are expected to address needs for which resources from the state-sponsored education system (including the Pupil Premium in the case of UK projects) are not available or adequate.

Trustees will expect to see evidence as to how the service will become sustainable once the Society’s grant comes to an end.

Innovation through pilot projects may also be supported, provided that effective arrangements for evaluation are put in place from the outset. Research projects may also be considered for funding where it is clear that they will have a direct impact on educational service development, for example through the active involvement of participating schools or other institutions ideally as partners in the research.

Funding is project based which means that we only fund projects for a defined period of up to 3 years. We also only fund new projects, and expect BFSS funding to form a significant proportion of the total project grant. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that we are able to fulfil our requirement to evaluate the impact of our grants.

Grants are not normally made:

  • to support special events such as conferences or seminars or for expeditions and overseas travel.
  • for endowments or scholarships.
  • for projects for which the main requirement is funding for transport.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate commitment to the Society’s values of equality of opportunity, integrity, tolerance and respect for others. In the case of applications by or on behalf of institutions, evidence will be sought that policies on student admission and teacher employment are non-discriminatory.

  • If the project involves working with children, the Trustees will wish to be assured that proper procedures are in place to protect the children concerned.
  • Where an application involves a co-funder, Trustees will wish to be satisfied that the co-funding organisation shares BFSS values.
  • Organisations whose sole purpose is to promote a particular religion or faith will not be supported. This is not intended to rule out applications from faith-based organisations and institutions, but evidence will be sought that there is no faith restriction in the relevant organisation’s/institution’s admission and employment policies.
  • Applications are expected to address needs for which resources from the state-sponsored education system (including the Pupil Premium in the case of UK projects) are not available or adequate.
  • The Trustees will want to see evidence that the activity or service proposed will give value for money, will increase the effectiveness of education or training and will achieve positive and long lasting change.
  • Applications will be particularly welcome from organisations and institutions that can demonstrate matched funding (not necessarily on a £ for £ basis) or a contribution in kind. The matched funding or contribution in kind might be provided by the community itself or by a co-funder.
Risks and Liabilities

In giving grants, the Society will require the recipient organisation or institution to accept all risks and liabilities associated with the activity being supported. This will be a condition of grant.

Monitoring and Evaluation

In considering applications, Trustees will wish to see information about how any grant will be monitored and its impact evaluated, having regard also to any sustainability issues. For the difference between monitoring and evaluation, please see helpful guidance at Monitoring & Evaluation.


Grant recipients will be asked to acknowledge and publicise BFSS’s support for the particular project and to provide a link to the BFSS website on the charity’s own website.

Teacher Education Materials

Organisations working to improve the quality of teacher education in Africa are advised to visit where there is an extensive range of high quality, multilingual audio and text resources to support improvements in teachers’ classroom practice.  These are freely available.    They have been developed by the TESSA consortium (the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa programme), of which the Open University is a founding member.