About Henry Duncan Grants

Henry Duncan Grants support grassroots charities operating in Scotland.  The programme is named after the Rev. Henry Duncan whose vision and compassion led to the founding of the worldwide savings bank movement.


As part of Corra Foundation’s strategy to be the best grantmaker we can be, Corra undertook a review of Henry Duncan Grants throughout 2019. Thank you to everyone that contributed to the review.


Details of the Henry Duncan Grants programme will be announced at the #CakeWithCorra strategy launch on 5 March, shortly followed by online information.

Please click here for details of 2019 funding grants

Apply For Funding

Our  Henry Duncan Grants programme is currently closed. £1m has been distributed over the past six months with the last grants being made in June We have carried out a review of the programme and are at present collating all information gathered to inform our trustees.  We hope to announce details of the new programme by the end of 2019.

Thank you to everyone who gave their time and feedback on the future structure of the Henry Duncan Grants programme; it is greatly appreciated.

Criteria And Principles

Please click here for the Henry Duncan Grants 2019 criteria and principles.



Who is Henry Duncan?
The Rev. Henry Duncan was a Church of Scotland Minister from Dumfries who had a driving concern for the under-privileged and whose vision and compassion led to the founding of the worldwide savings bank movement in 1810. As the Foundation was originally formed by the Trustee Savings Bank, it was fitting that we named our grant programme after this great man.

How much funding is available through the Henry Duncan Grants?
The Trustees commit around £1 million to the Henry Duncan Grants each year.

Why is there only two funding rounds in 2019?

We plan to carry out a full review of our grant programme in 2019. By completing the Henry Duncan Grants funding for the year by June, we can dedicate time and resources to carry out the review of the programme in the latter part of the year.

Will there be fewer grants in 2019 as there are only two funding rounds?

No, there will still be £1 million available, but it will be committed in the first half of the year.

How can I get help with an application?
We are happy to speak to people about their application. You can call us on 0131 444 4020 or e-mail us.

Q How do you decide who gets grants?
Everyone who applies to us fills out an application, and we assess each of these individually. We make grants based on how well the work organisations would like us to fund fits with our criteria and priorities, and how much confidence we have that this work will be delivered. As we tend to fund parts of projects we’re also interested in how likely it is that other money will be raised to allow the work to go ahead. None of our decisions are based on geography – at each round of grants, the groups with the strongest overall application get the grant. We are also limited by how much money we have, so at times we have to say no to organisations we might like to fund because we’ve reached the limit on our funds.

How soon can you reapply for another grant?
Normally you would need to wait for 12 months to reapply. However, in 2019 we will accept applications from organisations that received funding at any point in 2018 even if 12 months has not yet passed.

Is there a minimum amount you can apply for?
No. We make grants of all sizes – everything from a couple of hundred pounds up to £7,000.

We are a branch of a national charity. Could we apply at the same time as another branch of the same organisation?
Yes, provided you have your own accounts and your own management committee. If you have both of these you can apply independently of your parent organisation.

If I am unsuccessful, how soon can I reapply?
If you previously applied in 2018, or before, you can apply to one of the funding rounds in 2019.  We would expect you to have taken on board any feedback we had provided on the previous application. If you are unsuccessful in 2019, you will need to wait until 2020 to re-apply.

If I am unsuccessful can I get some feedback on why this was?
We automatically provide feedback to everyone who applies to the Foundation.

What do I need to do if I have a grant but can’t spend the money on what we had planned?
All our grants are made for specific reasons – they become restricted funds when a charity receives them. If you have received a grant and aren’t able to do what you originally intended with us, speak to us about this as soon as possible. It may be possible for our Trustees to change the grant reason, or, if what you want to do with the money no longer fits with our priorities, you may have to return the grant. If you are unable to spend the money, for example if your charity closes, you will need to return the grant to us.

What if I need longer than originally planned to spend the money?
We know that sometimes projects are delayed, so we can sometimes give an extension to our grants. If you think you won’t be able to spend the money within the allocated time, get in touch with us as soon as possible to discuss this with us.

Some of the grants you make are conditional. Why is this?
When we make grants for things like salaries, we make the payments once someone has actually been appointed to do the job we are funding.

The organisation I work with is not a registered charity but does some work in Scotland that improves people’s lives. Can we apply?
No – you must be a Scottish registered charity to apply to the Foundation.

We are a Community Interest Company (CIC). Can we apply to you?
No. You need to be a Scottish registered charity.

We are a Social Enterprise. Can we apply to you?
Only if you are a Scottish registered charity and the work you are applying for meets our criteria.

The charity I work with is not registered with OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), but with the Charity Commission in England and Wales. Can we still apply?
No. You need to be registered with OSCR.

If I receive a grant, what sort of follow-up is there?
We obviously need to know that you have spent the money as planned, and we ask everyone to send us a short report a year after they receive their grant. This just lets us keep records of what is happening with the money and the difference it is making.


We are currently reviewing the criteria and processes for Henry Duncan Grants.  A copy of the 2019 Online Application form is here however it is likely the 2020 application form will be updated as a result of the review.