i. This policy applies to Medical Missionary News (MMN), a charity registered in England and Wales (number 229296).
ii. The charitable objects of MMN are to make Jesus known (or advance the Christian faith) through supporting Christian mission as they seek to bring relief from disease, sickness and suffering in various parts of the world through the provision of healthcare services, education and training, and prayer (Objects).
iii. MMN is governed by the trustees (Trustees) who have a duty, acting at all times in the best interests of the Charity, to apply the Charity’s assets to advance the Objects and have ultimate responsibility for all grant-making decisions.
iv. The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles and procedures that guide the Trustees when they are making grants to further the Objects. It also provides information about MMN’s grant-making process to anyone who is applying, or would like to apply to MMN, for a grant.
2. Funding Priorities
i. The Trustees are keen to support activities that advance the Objects in an effective way. However, they recognise that a limited amount of funds is available to distribute each year.
ii. The Trustees’ current priorities are to fund projects that clearly meet the criteria laid out in the following guidelines:
Medical - Does the project include physical, psychological or emotional care, improvement in public health or aid prevention of disease/illness?
Mission - Is the project linked to the local church/Christians? If not, what is the reason for this? Does it have any evangelistic or discipleship elements?
Professional - Are there sufficient safeguards to ensure money is spent properly? Are high medical and administration skills evident? Are sufficiently robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place?
Sustainable - Is there a plan for the project to be sustained locally? Are items sourced locally where possible? What are the potential risks?
Value for money - Is this a good use of MMN funds? Does the budget seem reasonable?
Accountability – How can the Trustees be confident the funds will be applied appropriately? How well do we know the applicant (e.g. through partners, personal connections)? What governance arrangements do they have in place? What other projects have they been involved with?
iii. The Trustees will occasionally award grants that fall outside the priorities stated in this policy, provided that they are satisfied that the grant will further the Objects and is an appropriate use of MMN’s funds.
3. Who can apply for a grant
i. The Trustees welcome proposals from any organisation (either from the UK or overseas) which has a project that meet their funding priorities.
ii. The Trustees will consider proposals from individuals that are known to MMN.
iii. The Trustees will not usually award grants to an applicant that is not known or who has failed MMN’s due diligence checks.
4. What we fund
i. The Trustees make grants of varying amounts.
ii. Grants can be used either to cover costs that are directly connected to carrying out the activities detailed in the project proposal and can include expenditure on the following:
staff costs as long as it is for a limited time, usually to get the project up and running;
capital expenditure, provided the applicant is able to demonstrate that the expenditure is essential to the project and that any assets acquired using grant money will be used for similar purposes after the end of the proposed activities;
contributions to the cost of overheads, provided that the applicant is able to demonstrate that such overhead costs are essential for, and directly linked to, the project and that they are a reasonable percentage of the project total, usually in the 10-15% range
iii. The Trustees will occasionally award grants to fund up to 100% of the cost of a proposal but will usually award a percentage of it. This is because Trustees believe that it is good practice from an accountability and sustainability perspective to have multiple funders.
iv. If a grant covers part of the cost of a proposal, the Trustees may require the applicant to provide details of the other funder(s) and the funding that they have secured or applied for (including any loans or other commercial funding).
5. How to apply for a grant
i. All grant proposals must be made in writing, preferably using the application form (appendix 1). Proposals must explain in detail how the grant will be used and put forward a strong case for support. In particular, a proposal must:
- demonstrate how the activities funded by the grant will benefit the intended beneficiaries and advance one or more of the funding priorities;
set out how use of the grant will be managed; give details of the key individual(s) who will be responsible for the management of the grant and delivering the proposed activities;
provide a budget and project plan for the proposed activities;
give details of how the project is moving towards being sustainable locally; and
give details of any other funding that has been awarded or that is being sought for the activities to be funded by the grant.
ii. If the application is made by or on behalf of an organisation, the following must also be provided with the proposal:
a current copy of the organisation’s governing document;
if the organisation is a UK charity:
o its registered charity number(s) as issued by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Office for the Scottish Charity Regulator and/or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland; and/or
o if it is a charity under the law of England and Wales that is not required to register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (because it is either an exempt or excepted charity, or has income below the registration threshold), evidence of its charitable status (such as an HMRC reference number);
if the organisation is a charity established outside the UK, evidence:
o of its charitable status. This might, for example, include evidence of registration with a non-UK charity regulator and/or written confirmation from an appropriately the organisation’s most recent set of accounts.
o from a qualified professional that the organisation is established as a charity in the relevant jurisdiction; and
o that all of the activities in the proposal will qualify as being charitable for the public benefit if they are undertaken by an organisation that is registered as a charity in England and Wales.
the organisation’s most recent set of accounts.
iii. If the applicant is a non-charitable organisation the proposal must also:
provide evidence that the organisation has a bank account [with at least two unrelated signatories]; and
demonstrate that all of the activities in the proposal will qualify as being charitable for the public benefit if they are undertaken by an organisation that is registered as a charity in England and Wales.
6. How we make decisions about grants
i. The Trustees have ultimate responsibility for all grant-making decisions and for ensuring that all funds awarded are used to advance the Objects.
ii. The Trustees must declare the nature and extent of any interest, direct or indirect, which could, or could be seen to, prevent them from making a grant decision only in the best interests of MMN. Situations in which a conflict of interest may arise include where:
a Trustee (or a person connected to them) stands to benefit from a grant from MMN (see paragraph 7 Grants to Trustees or connected persons); or
a Trustee has a duty of loyalty to a third party that conflicts with their duty to MMN.
Any such conflict of interest must be declared and managed by the Trustees in accordance with MMN’s conflicts of interest policy.
iii. All grants are approved by the Trustees at one of their regular meetings - usually the ones in Spring and Autumn.
iv. If the Director is made aware of any urgent need that cannot wait until one of the scheduled meetings, then they can seek approval either by bringing it to another meeting or circulating it electronically depending on the urgency. This provision requires a majority of trustees to approve and does not apply to new applicants.
v. In all cases the Trustees may (in their absolute discretion) refuse to award a grant, particularly if they consider that a grant would not be an effective way to further the Objects, or would conflict with the Charity’s policies or interests.
vi. The Trustees, through the Director, will inform applicants of their decision in writing.
vii. If an applicant is awarded a grant, the Trustees will:
set out the key terms of the grant and any conditions that are attached to it in a grant agreement; and
ask the applicant to sign the grant agreement to indicate that they accept the terms and conditions.
vii. The Trustees’ decision whether to award a grant is final.
7. Grants to trustees or connected parties
i. If a Trustee, or a person connected to them, applies for a grant the conflicted Trustee must:
absent themselves from any discussion of the grant application by the nonconflicted Trustees apart from answering any questions to clarify any aspect of the application; and
have no vote and not be counted as part of the quorum in any decision of the nonconflicted Trustees on the grant
ii. In this policy references to persons who are “connected” with a Trustee mean:
a child, stepchild, grandchild, parent, brother or sister of a Trustee;
the spouse, unmarried partner or civil partner of a Trustee or of any person falling within paragraph (a) above;
any person who is in a business partnership with a Trustee or any person who is in a business partnership with any person falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above; and
any company, business, trust or organisation in which a Trustee (or any other person connected to them) has an interest as a beneficiary or through ownership, control or influence.
8. Due diligence
i. When the Trustees are considering a grant-funding proposal, they will undertake due diligence checks on the applicant. The checks that are undertaken will vary according to the Trustees’ assessment of any risks associated with the proposal or the applicant.
ii. Due diligence may include requesting details of, and taking such steps as the Trustees consider to be reasonable to scrutinise, any of the following:
the applicant’s governing documents;
the applicant’s status as a charity, including (where it is required to do so) evidence that the applicant has been registered with a charity regulator;
the applicant’s latest accounts and financial position;
the identity of the applicant’s directors, trustees, executive committee or other key personnel, in particular, to seek to establish whether they are authorised to act in that capacity;
the applicant’s governance and operational structures and practices;
the applicant’s internal financial controls;
relevant operational policies and procedures that the applicant has in place, for example, in relation to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, and on equality and diversity;
the applicant’s aims and values; and
any external risk factors that might affect the proposal.
iii. In cases where the applicant will receive support from another funder, or works with a partner, the Trustees may undertake due diligence on that funder or partner.
iv. The Trustees will keep a written record of any due diligence that they undertake.
9. Reporting and monitoring requirements
i. The Trustees will take steps to monitor the use of the grant and verify that the grant is used for the purposes that have been agreed. The arrangements for monitoring will vary according to the nature of the grant, but the Trustees will always seek to ensure that the arrangements are appropriate and proportionate.
ii. Arrangements for monitoring use of the grant may include asking the recipient to provide any of the following:
copies of formal records such as receipts, invoices, bank statements and management accounts to show that funds have been used for the purpose for which they have been awarded and in accordance with the terms of the grant;
regular written or verbal updates showing progress to date, summarising key achievements or problems encountered, indicating whether targets have been met and giving reasons for any delay in implementing work funded by the grant;
a final written report on completion of the work funded by the grant, showing how funds have been spent, evaluating where the work has been successful and identifying lessons that can be learnt; and
information about any proposed changes to the proposed activities.
iii. The Trustees reserve the right to make any grant payments in stages, and to review whether to release or withhold payments, based on their monitoring of the spending of funds already disbursed.
iv. If appropriate, the Trustees may also visit grant-funded activities and interview individuals involved in running those activities.
v. Basic monitoring requirements will be set out in the grant agreement. However, the Trustees may take any additional steps to monitor the use of grant funds that they consider appropriate.
i. The Trustees may require repayment of all OR any part of the grant if:
the project or purpose for which it was awarded does not proceed;
part of the grant remains unused when the activities that the grant was intended to fund have been completed; or
the grant is used for a purpose other than that which has been agreed.
11. Reviewing and amending this policy
i. This policy will be reviewed by the Trustees at least annually.