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Turn2us Charities User Guide - Introduction to the Turn2us Grants Search

Turn2us Guide to the Turn2us Grants Search and charities' account, aimed at charitable funds

Introduction to the Turn2us Grants Search

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for charitable funds who are listed or want to be listed on the Turn2us Grants Search. It explains more about what the tool is, how it works and how to use the charity account features.

Looking for grants?

If you are looking for grants to help you or someone else, please see our Grants Search.

What is the Turn2us Grants Search?

The Turn2us Grants Search database contains details of over 1,500 charitable funds that give grants as well as other support to individuals who may:

  • Be in financial need and have welfare needs

  • Be on a low income and require help with the costs associated with education and training courses.

The charity's profile provides information about the charity, who it helps, what it helps with and how to apply. It is also tagged to match the eligibility criteria, including age, gender, location, occupation, health conditions, religion and/or nationality. This helps to narrow down the search to match the person's background and circumstances to funds that may be able to help them. It also means the charity should only get enquiries from people that match its qualifying rules.

Where a charity has chosen to include our online enquiry feature, users can also make enquiries directly to the charity through Turn2us.

Charity 'My Turn2us' accounts

Every charity listed on the Grants Search has its own ‘My Turn2us’ account through which it can update its profile and, where appropriate, manage online enquiries from individuals and intermediaries.

Registering your charity on the Grants Search

At the moment, we list the following types of organisations:

  • Non-for-profit organisations, usually registered charities or trusts, that provide funds for people in financial hardship
  • Utility providers, such as water, gas and electricity, that provide support specifically to their customers or general support. There must be no commercial obligation on the recipient in order to receive help.

If your organisation fits one of the categories above and you would like to add it to our Grants Search, please complete our Charities/Providers Grants Search registration form.

Once we receive the completed registration form, we will contact you regarding the setting up of your Turn2us account. This may take up to five working days.

If you administer more than one charity

Please let us know if you are responsible for more than one charity/organisation and want to be listed as the contact (provider user) for all the charities you manage.

Each charity/organisation will have its own profile on the Grants Search. 

In terms of managing the account, the provider user will only have one login and will be able to control all the charity/organisation accounts through this.

What is the cost?

Having a listing on our Grants Search is free of charge to charities and trusts.

If you have any questions

If you have any questions about our Grants Search and/or charity accounts, please email us at:

Using the Grants Search

What is a grant?

Grant-giving charities (also known as 'charitable funds') give financial help in the form of a grant to people in need.

Grants can be given as money, products or services that don't have to be paid back. 

Some charities also offer advice, information and support alongside financial grants.

The profile on the Turn2us Grants Search should tell you what they do, or you can check their website (if they have one) or contact them to find out more.

In most cases, charitable funds have been set up to help people in need who have something in common. To qualify for a grant, you will need to meet the eligibility rules for that grant. 

Who qualifies for a grant?

All charitable funds have:

  • Aims and objectives in their constitutions that must clearly define who they support
  • Specific qualifying rules (or eligibility criteria) that an individual has to meet in order to get help from them.

Each charitable fund's qualifying rules will be specific to them.

Financial Need or Low income

You will have to be in financial need or on a low income. How this is defined may different from charity to charity.

Other eligibility criteria (qualifying rules)

Then the qualifying rules might depend on other criteria, such as:

  • Having particular disabilities or illnesses: for example, Macmillan Cancer Support helps people affected by cancer

  • Working or previously worked in specific jobs or industries: for example, the Bank Workers Charity helps people who have worked in banks

  • Belonging to a particular faith group: for example, there are several Jewish and Christian charities listed on the Grants Search

  • Having certain nationalities: for example, the Netherlands Benevolent Society (Koning Willem Fonds) helps Dutch nationals in need who are living in the UK

  • Living in a particular area of the UK, such as a village, town, city, local council area, county, parish (past or present) or country.

  • Being of a particular age group, e.g. ‘older people’ or ‘children and ‘young people aged under 18’

  • Being male or female, some funds were set up to specifically help men or women in need.

Many funds also help the dependents of people their fund supports – e.g. their partners, ex-partners or dependent children.

Who can use the Grants Search?

The Turn2us Grants Search contains information on charitable funds that may help:

  • UK or Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland
  • Citizens of other countries living in the UK
  • UK citizens living abroad
  • Students who are UK citizens or normally resident in the UK
  • Students from other countries wanting to study in the UK.

Isle of Man and Channel Islands

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not part of the UK and have their own governments, benefits system and charity registration schemes.

Although our Grants Search does not list charities that specifically help people in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, many national charities, such as occupational and health related funds, may help people who live in these territories. Contact any funds you find that seem to match your background, needs and circumstances for more information.

Our Find an Adviser tool includes information on advisory organisations for the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. These may be able to provide you with more information about local organisations.

How do I use the Grants Search?

The first part of the Grants Search asks you to put in key information:

  • Location - Funds in your local area will appear followed by national funds
  • Gender – Some funds only help men or women
  • Age – Some funds help a certain age group

The results will show funds that match where you live, your age and your gender. 

There are some funds that only give grants based on specific eligibility criteria, such as what work you do or did in the past or if you are suffering from a particular illness. The best way to get these type of funds to show in your results, choose from the occupation, health, religion or nationality categories at the top of the results page.  See also 'Who qualifies for a grant?'

Charities have very strict grant-giving rules, so make sure you definitely meet their eligibility criteria before you apply. If you don't meet their criteria then they won't be able to help you.

IMPORTANT TIP: It's worth searching for yourself, your partner or the child/adult you're caring for - you may get different results.

What information will I need to apply for a grant?

The charity should tell you what you need.  For searching purposes and when applying, it would be best to gather together the following:

  • Personal details like date of birth and address
  • Work history and proof of occupation
  • Reason you are applying for help
  • Details of your income: from benefits including Carer's Allowance, Tax Credits, earnings from employment, State Retirement Pension, occupational pensions and any other sources
  • Details of your savings, investments and other capital. You may need to provide bank statements
  • Details of rent or mortgage payments
  • How much your annual Council Tax bill is and whether you get any help with it


How do I apply for a grant?

Each charitable fund will have their own enquiry and application process that people will need to follow.

However, in most cases there are usually two stages:

Stage 1: Making an enquiry to the charitable fund.

There are three main ways that funds accept enquiries:

  1. Online through Turn2us - this is only possible when you see an 'enquire online' button on a fund listed on the Grants Search
  2. By applying to them directly using their contact information 
  3. Via an intermediary or support worker working with people in financial need.

Stage 2: Submitting a formal application for help.

If you need help filling in the forms, check any guidance the charity has given you. You could also check on the charity's website to see if there is any information on how to fill in the forms. There should also be information about the documents you need to include or refer to, such as bank statements.

More FAQs about grants

Are you from a charity on the Grants Search?

If you need to update information about your charity, please contact us.

Email the Grants Search team