WCSM Charity - how to apply for a grant

Donation to Blind Chess Association

Grant Application Guidance

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers' Charity (Registered Charity No. 1072172) supports projects to:

  • reduce vision impairment both within the UK and elsewhere
  • support the development of eye heath training and education internationally
  • improve the quality of life of people who have already lost sight.
  • support certain research projects within vision science, through grants to organisations with established peer review processes for assessment and monitoring of specific projects

The Trustees invite and encourage applications which meet the above criteria.

Applicants should note that the Trustees are looking to fund national or international initiatives which will have a substantial impact, or the results of whose work can be shared widely. Unfortunately, the Charity cannot support local causes which only reach a small number of beneficiaries, nor does it fund individual research studies undertaken as part of a doctorate or other academic course. The Trustees will give preference to specific projects rather than contributing to general fundraising.

Please note that causes which have no connection with eye health or sight loss, the City of London or the Spectacle Makers’ Company cannot be considered.

Project Funding and 3 Year Funding

From 2018, the Trustees will consider separately applications for smaller projects, under its Standard Application Process, and a single 3-year commitment worth up to £30,000 in total, under the 3-Year Charity Grant Process. For details of the 3-Year Grant, intended for larger charities, please click here.

Standard Application Process

The Trustees meet quarterly, in February, May, September and November. The Charity's financial year ends on 31 March.

Applications for grants should be made by email, to clerk@spectaclemakers.com. The following deadlines provide an indication of the expected timescales:

February meeting: applications received by 7 January
May meeting applications received by 10 April
September meeting applications received by 31 July
November meeting applications received by 30 September

Appeals which relate to vision research can be received at any time but will usually be reviewed once a year, at the February meeting.

If approved, grants are usually paid within six weeks. Those who have heard nothing after six weeks of the above dates should assume that they have been unsuccessful, but should not feel precluded from re-applying. Successful applicants may be requested to attend formal Luncheons held in Apothecaries' Hall in the City of London to be presented with their grant.

In order for the Charity Trustees to be able to assess the impact of their giving, all successful applicants will be required to provide one or two reports by email in the year following receipt of their grant, summarising the project progress and outcomes and including photographs. Information from these reports, and photographs, will be used to raise awareness of the work of the Charity and to encourage further donations.

Applying for a grant

To be considered by the Trustees, the following information must be supplied:

A. Applicant's details

  • The organisation's full title and registered charity number.
  • The address for correspondence, telephone number(s) and email address.
  • The position within the organisation of the person who is making the application.
  • The organisation's aims.
  • What the organisation does to achieve those aims.
  • Number of staff and/or volunteers.
  • Website address and weblink to the organisation’s most recent audited accounts.
  • Weblink to the organisation’s Safeguarding Policy, or a PDF copy of that policy, if the organisation works with children or vulnerable adults.

B. Project details

  • Details of the proposed or actual project that you wish the trustees to help fund.
  • Evidence of the need for the project.
  • The intended outcomes of the project.
  • The number and nature of intended beneficiaries.
  • The geographical scope of the project and/or its beneficiaries.
  • Any specific details as to why this project is innovative/difficult/may be of particular interest to members of the Spectacle Makers’ Company.

C. Funding

  • The total cost of the project.
  • The amount you are seeking from the Spectacle Makers' Charity.
  • The date by which receipt of funds would be most beneficial, and why
  • The length of the project. In particular, if the project is intended to continue beyond one financial year, whether you are seeking funding for one or more years and how you hope to fund the project throughout the period, allowing for inflation.
  • The three largest grants you have received from charitable trusts and foundations during the last three years. Indicate the source, the date given and the amounts.
  • Any funding already secured or committed to this particular project and the three most substantial donors.


Please give your undertaking to supply the WCSM Charity Trustees with a brief report or research paper on how the grant has been applied and the results achieved, accompanied by high resolution photographs which we can use for our own publicity material. At least one such report will be expected in the first year following receipt of any grant and further reports may be requested.

All correspondence for the Trustees should be sent to Mrs Helen Perkins, The Clerk, as Secretary to the Trustees. Email is preferred.


The Clerk,
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers’ Charity
Apothecaries' Hall
Black Friars Lane

020 7236 2932