Frequently asked questions

What kind of applications does the Charles Plater Trust favour?

What kind of applications does the Charles Plater Trust favour?

We judge every application on its respective strengths and encourage applications from diverse and wide-ranging charities. However,  we have some operating assumptions about how to best create change with our partners. These are:

1 Applicants with annual incomes below £1 million
We mainly support (but not exclusively) voluntary sector organisations with annual incomes below £1 million, as typically it is still these charities that struggle most to secure income. 

2 Applicants with  clear outcomes
We are focused on achieving the desired outcomes of The Charles Plater Trust, to ensure that we are being as effective as possible with our limited financial support. 

3 We are a ‘shopper’ funder
We are a ‘shopper’ funder, which means that we take a real interest in potential grant recipients to see if they are in a position to deliver on our desired outcomes. 

4 Three types of change
We want to encourage three different types of change through our funding support.  

Change for individuals
Achieving significant change for individuals who are the most marginalised in the UK today.

Change for organisations
Enhancing the capacity of organisations to respond more effectively to social needs.

Change for wider society
Generating social or systemic change through policy or practice change. 

We do not expect any one application to be able to generate change in all three categories, but we do expect applicants to be clear about what type of change they are aiming for with their planned programmes and activities and how they will know if they have been successful in reaching their change goals.

Do you just fund Catholic charities?

No! We don’t just fund Roman Catholic organisations.

Some of our most successful past grants have been given to organisations that are not Roman Catholic or Christian, but whose objectives are clearly aligned with Catholic Social Teaching principles.

How much data do you expect successful applicants to collect?

We favour grant applications based on quality data.
We also know that attributing direct causal relationships between funds provided to organisations and the changes they report, is an almost impossible challenge. Generally, we prefer it when intended outcomes are assessed by measuring change against a given baseline prior to any intervention, and then again after the intervention, so that the beneficiaries journey of change is clearly tracked. But we also know that this is not always possible. 

In every case, we are interested in organisations evidencing the change that they have created as a direct result of Plater Trust funding using whatever measurement tools seem most appropriate. We want to encourage applicants to go further than simply supplying anecdotal or unsubstantiated evidence of change. We are always open to conversations with applicants about how applicants can strengthen their own outcome data collection plans.

As a new condition of funding from September 2021, we will also be asking all successful applicants to provide us with a short blog for our website to share the ‘stories of change’ that their project achieved.

Can I do a joint application with other organisations?

Yes! We actually favour grant applications that are collaborative in nature. 

We believe that this fosters better learning between organisations, more effective change and more efficient use of existing resources.

Why do you encourage high levels of user involvement?

We believe that having beneficiaries at the forefront is crucial to achieving change. Ideally, we prefer applicants to show us how intended beneficiaries have had a say in the way programmes and activities are designed and evaluated. Our application process, therefore, asks applicants to be clear about how they have involved users, how applicants have secured user feedback and how they use this to ensure that their planned activities genuinely reflect beneficiaries needs. 

But we also know that user involvement is far from straightforward in practice and that there may be times when the vulnerability of service users makes such involvement inappropriate. So we encourage potential applicants to be honest about the scope and ability of their organisation to do this.

We also refer all applicants to the useful tool for understanding the different levels of user involvement - The ladder of participation - developed by Arnstein in the US in 1969, which still holds relevance today. It has been widely used and adapted to describe the different levels of user involvement in different contexts.

Still have questions?

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us.

Apply now

We operate an annual grant-making round. Information about this years grant application can be found below:

Small grants programme opens on Tuesday 21st September 21.

Deadline for applications to be received: Friday, 15th October 21 by 5pm.

Applicants will know CPT decision by Monday 20th December 2021.