2022 Vision Fund – Frequently Asked Questions

What’s new this cycle?

There are two funding schemes this cycle:
• Project Fund
• Resilience Fund

What is the Resilience Fund?

In direct response to the challenges brought on by the protracted pandemic, and as part of our commitment to support the sustainability of the sight loss sector, we will be offering unrestricted and core funding of up to £5,000 to charitable organisations based and working in London.

This funding will be for up to 12 months and can be used towards your organisation’s core costs including salaries, contribution to rent or towards strengthening their systems and processes. Funds can also be used on any other activities, as long as they are clearly aligned to your organisation’s charitable objects. We are particularly interested in supporting organisations to improve their own sustainability, effectiveness, impact and resilience.

Only charities whose primary purpose is in support of those living with or at risk of sight loss can apply for the Resilience Fund.

Project Fund: what can we apply for?

Funding of up to £20,000 is available to support projects which can demonstrate direct alignment to our three strategic aims: opening London up; empowering those at risk and preventing avoidable blindness.

All applications will be assessed through a one-stage application process, by completing an online form, with the budget submitted in your own format.

Can I apply for both Project and Resilience Funds?

Yes, you can apply for both funding streams by completing the two online application forms.

Is there a priority on the types of projects to be funded this cycle?

Yes, we will continue to prioritise projects which specifically address the barriers to employment for blind and partially sighted people.

With the focus on employment, can I apply for funding to address other challenges faced by blind and partially sighted people?

Yes. We recognise that in addition to employment, access and improvements to key services remains critical for many people with visual impairment. Therefore, we will also support proposals which work to address the key barriers under our three strategic aims.
All applications must meet at least one of our strategic aims as outlined on this page, however, applications will be assessed based on the quality of the work rather than the number of priority areas they are working towards.

Can we include core costs as part of our application for project funding?

Yes, you will still be able to include core costs in your application for project funding to ensure full cost recovery. When included in your project funding application, please outline in your budget how you have calculated the core costs you are requesting.

Is there a % limit on the overhead costs that can be applied for?

We will only fund overheads of up to 10% of your total project costs. However, we would want to see a breakdown of the different elements of your overheads, for e.g., 2% of CEO’s oversight, contribution towards rent, etc.

Our project works with people with disabilities. Can we apply?

In line with our purpose, we only fund projects which work to transform the lives of people facing or living with sight loss. This means that we accept applications for both work with visually impaired people, and for sight loss prevention work.

Our project does not support visually impaired people but is based in London. Can we apply?

We only support projects focused on sight loss and prevention work in London. All projects will be expected to demonstrate how they respond directly to the needs of, and barriers faced by blind and partially sighted people in London and those at risk of sight loss.

Our project is outside of London, can we still apply?

The Vision Fund currently only supports sight loss and prevention projects which are delivered in London.

Do you only fund sight loss organisations?

Only sight loss organisations can apply for the Resilience Fund. However, both sight loss and mainstream organisations can apply for the Project Fund. We are equally keen to fund mainstream organisations working to adapt their existing services to include blind and partially sighted people. All applications will need to clearly demonstrate exactly how they plan to reach blind and partially sighted people.

Do you provide grants to individuals?

We only provide grants to registered charities or registered charitable companies. Only the entities below can apply for the Vision Fund:

  • Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
  • Charitable company, limited by guarantee
  • Other UK Registered Charity
  • Community Interest Company (CIC), limited by guarantee
  • Exempt charity (e.g. educational establishment)

If you are a registered company, kindly contact us before making a submission.

We have an active Vision Foundation grant. Can we apply to this round, or do we need to wait?

Organisations with an active Vision Foundation grant can still apply for another grant in this round.

We applied last round but were not successful; can we re-apply with the same project?

Resubmissions of applications are by invitation only, so we would advise that you do not re-apply with a previously unsuccessful project, however, do feel able to contact us to discuss your project.

Can I apply for part funding even if partial funds have not yet been secured?

Yes, we do not expect you to have all funding in place and will still accept part-funding applications. However, we would want to understand how you intend to raise any outstanding funds, and how the project might be affected should the funds not be secured in time (adequate risk analysis).

Which documents do we need to submit as part of our application?

The following documents are required at different stages of the application process:
• Project budget
• Most recent audited accounts
• Safeguarding policy
Please note that you would also be required to provide a referee who can validate your capacity and experience to deliver your proposed work. Kindly ensure that you have sought permission before providing their contact details.

I am having a problem with the online form, who can I contact?

Please contact our Grants and Impact Team via email grants@visionfoundation.org.uk or call 0207 620 2066.

Can I post my application?

All applications should be made via our online grant application platform. We moved away from paper and designed an online application form that is tried and tested to ensure greater accessibility for blind and partially sighted people including our own grants team and assessment committee.

When will I know the outcome?

All applicants will be notified of the decision by 25 March 2022. Please visit our website (see the section on Grant Types) for more information.

If successful, how long will we have to spend the grant?

This would all depend on your project duration as outlined in your application, and further to any amendments to your payment schedule as agreed with us. Further to your grant being approved, you would be expected to start your project and draw down the first instalment of the grant within three months of signing the grant offer letter, again unless otherwise agreed with us.

Do we need to report back on our grant?

Yes, as part of the terms and condition of your grant for both the Project and Resilience funding, you will be required to submit progress reports every six months for the duration of your grant, with a final report at the end of your project.