About the Trust

An introduction to the Trust

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (the Trust) awards grants that support the Armed Forces community.

We are both a charity and a Non-Departmental Public Body, or NDPB. We deliver high impact programmes, including administration of the £10 million Armed Forces Covenant Fund, each year.

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund has four broad funding themes now and in future years.

1.  Non-core healthcare services for Veterans.

2.  Removing barriers to family life.

3.  Extra support, both in and after Service, for those that need help.

4.  Measures to integrate military and civilian communities and allow the Armed Forces community to participate as citizens.

We also work with HM Government to run other funding programmes that have a positive impact on Armed Forces communities.

Targeted grant making

All our grants are awarded through specific programmes. Each programme has an aim, which describes the change that we would like the funded projects to achieve. You can find out more about this in our programmes section

We develop our funding programmes based on evidence of challenges that people within the Armed Forces community face, and where we think that funding from us would be able to make a significant difference to the problem.

We work with partners in government and in the charity sector to develop our programmes, and often run programme consultations.

Inclusive grant making

We’ve run some significant programmes exploring serious mental ill-health in Veterans, and how we might support families and their carers. We have funded programmes that support good mental health and tackle loneliness, and programmes to provide better support to Armed Forces families.

We undertake vital impact work against all of the programmes we administer, looking at the effectiveness of these programmes and the positive changes they have made.

Supportive grant making

We know that it can be time consuming and challenging to apply for funding. We’ll continue to make our programme guidance as clear as possible, and if an organisation is unsuccessful in their application, we will always provide written feedback.

We welcome comments from members of the public who have concerns over an application that we have received, or a project that we have funded. Please read our guide to raising a concern

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How we make grants

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust makes grants in several ways.

Many of our funding programmes can be oversubscribed and our Trustees cannot fund all good project ideas. It’s really important that you read through our programme guidance carefully before you apply to us for a grant.

We believe that collaboration is extremely important when it comes to successful grant making and making the biggest impact upon an identified challenge. We always encourage organisations to work together to deliver their funded projects, to offer the best possible support for the Armed Forces community. Under the terms of some of our funding programmes, this may be a desirable requirement, whereas for others it is essential that there are formal arrangements for collaboration and complementary work, and/or sharing of resources. 

We describe these models below and will make it clear in our programme guidance if we are seeking applications for partnership grants or for portfolios.

Single grants are where we award funding to one organisation to carry out a project.

They might work with other organisations to share ideas or refer people to other sources of support, but they do not share any of the grant with other organisations.

They can use part of their grant to purchase goods or services that they might need to deliver their project, in line with the budget they have agreed with us.

An example of a single grant programme is the Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Local Grants Programme.

Our terms and conditions of grant are with the organisation that submitted the application form, and they are responsible for delivering the project and for accounting for the grant.

A partnership grant is where delivering the funded project means the organisation will have to work with at least one other organisation to help them deliver it.

This other organisation might be receiving part of the grant. They might also be providing support or access, which only they can provide.

The Families in Stress programme made grants to support serving Armed Forces families. The projects had to be able to work with local bases to deliver the support. If the base stopped supporting a project, it would not be able to deliver the idea in the application form.

Partnership grants need to have an approved partnership agreement in place before any funds can be released between the organisations that are critical to the success of the project, as described in the application form

Our terms and conditions of grant are with the organisation that submitted the application form, and they are responsible for the money.

A consortium grant tends to be made for more complex projects. Several partners are involved, all bringing skills and expertise that are critical to the success of the project.

The grant awarded to a consortium of charities led by the Royal British Legion under the Veterans Gateway programme is an example of this.

Consortium grants have more partners and may have internal governance processes to manage the relationship between these partners. A partnership agreement needs to be in place before any funds can be released.

Our terms and conditions of grant are with the lead organisation that submitted the application form, and they are responsible for the money.

In consortium grants, the lead organisation typically has a significant role in delivery. The lead organisation will report to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust on the delivery of agreed milestones under the grant and will need to gather this information from consortium partners.

A portfolio grant is about delivering significant change. Examples of this include the Aged Veterans Fund and the Tackling Serious Stress programme, both of which aim to make significant changes to the types and range of support offered to vulnerable Veterans.

Portfolios cannot support a single project.

Portfolios need to be made up of several different organisations, delivering different projects, so that new ways of working can be trialled in a way that reduces duplication and offers the best options of support for vulnerable beneficiaries.  

The lead organisation will manage the relationship between these various delivery partners. A partnership agreement needs to be in place between the lead organisation and each delivery partner before any funds can be released.

Our Trustees will consider the range and spread of a national portfolio of projects when considering which portfolios to support under a portfolio programme.

Portfolio grants are strategic in nature, as they are trying new and innovative ideas, or are responding to complex problems.

Our terms and conditions of grant are with the lead organisation that submitted the application form and they are responsible for the money. In portfolio grants, the role of the lead organisation is to co-ordinate and deliver the portfolio. 

The lead organisation may participate in delivery, but this is not their primary role. Their role is to support, co-ordinate and manage the portfolio consisting of several different projects.

A good portfolio is like a jigsaw puzzle. When all the pieces are put together, the whole picture should become clear, and this picture should be greater than the sum of its parts.

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Who benefits from our grants

The people who benefit from our grants are from the Armed Forces community. This includes serving personnel, families, Veterans and families and carers of Veterans. In some of our programmes, the wider community around a base or in an area with an Armed Forces population can also benefit. Read the latest news from the Trust here.

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