Application Guidance

The Choose Now, Change Lives campaign places Boost as the catalyst for change in the community by supporting community groups and organisations that make a real difference in local areas.

How to use these Help Notes

The aim of these notes is to help you complete your application form online. We’ll explain how to start using our online system as well as providing you with a guide to the information you must give us about your organisation. We’ll also tell you why we’re asking for certain information and how we use the information you give us.

These Help Notes can be read as a “stand-alone” document or you can follow the hyperlinks on the contents page to look at specific sections of the notes as you fill in your application form online. 

Demand for Funding

A large number of organisations are likely to apply for support and sadly there will be some that we won’t be able to support. 

We make our decisions based on the information you provide in your application, the programme criteria and outcomes. We use our professional judgment to make the difficult choices between the many organisations seeking funding.

We’ll always try and shortlist the applications which present the most persuasive case for support and a Boost Choose Now, Change Lives decision-making panel will decide which organisations are funded. We can’t support everything, so when planning your project, you should think about what you’d do if your application is unsuccessful. 

Alternative and Accessible Formats

Sometimes there are particular reasons why people find it difficult to apply for a grant or access our services. If you experience or anticipate any barriers with our application process, require help to make an application, or accessing our services and information, please contact Groundwork to discuss the type of support we can provide. You can contact us at  to speak to someone in the Programmes team.

Expression of Interest Stage

Due to the high number of ideas expected in relation to the number of awards that can be made on this scheme, we have introduced an expression of interest stage which is done through Survey Monkey. This is a short questionnaire to allow us to get a feel for what you can do in your local community to demonstrate impact, diversity and legacy.

It also allows us to see where you are based, what your organisation does and gives you the opportunity to tell us how you would spend £1,000 – £10,000 if you were successful in securing funding through this scheme.

Boost would like to be the sole funder for any projects supported so your project must be discrete and not part of a wider scheme.

Please note, you will only hear back from us if you are invited to make a full application to the scheme. We will not contact you if you are unsuccessful at the expression of interest stage.

Please note, we cannot accept applications from schools, nurseries or top tier local authorities for this scheme.

Receiving correspondence from us

To ensure you successfully receive email communications regarding your application, please save this email – to your contacts or safe list. This will prevent emails being filtered into your junk or clutter folders, where they can easily be overlooked.

Applying Online – full application stage

We will contact you via email if your idea has been selected to take forward to the full application stage. You will be sent a link to our online grant management system called GIFTS.

If this is your first application you will need to create an account. Click on the New Account link to register your email address and password. 

These will be your login details, and you’ll need them every time you use our online application system. If you forget your password or any other part of your login details, please follow the link on GIFTS which will allow you to reset this information.

When you’re working on your application online it’s useful to remember:

  • You can fill in your application in one go, or work on it at different times
  • You can fill in the sections of the form in whichever order you prefer, but you will only be able to submit your application when all of the sections are complete
  • If you have your application form open on your computer, but do not work on it for two hours, you will automatically be logged out of our online system. Any work that you haven’t saved by then will be lost.
  • The online form may work differently if you are using a computer or an Apple Mac. At the same time, it works better on certain browsers than others. If you do have any such issues please email and a member of the team will be happy to help you.
  • With any attachments, please ensure the filename contains letters and numbers only. Using special or unusual characters causes issues when accessing your application.

Getting Started Checklist

Have you got everything you need to complete your application form?

  • Your organisation’s contact details.
  • Your organisation’s governing document e.g. Constitution, Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Details about the work your organisation does in the community, particularly around diversity, impact and legacy
  • Your organisation location and postcode

 Application Form

Section 1 – About your Organisation & Contacts

In this section we’re asking you to tell us some information about your organisation and what you are asking for funding for.

  1. What is the name of your organisation?

    We need to know the name of your group, this should be the name of the organisation that is applying for funding and match with the information on your bank statements and governing documents i.e. constitution, Memorandum and Articles of Association etc.
  1. What is your organisation address?

Please provide the address and postcode of the organisation that is applying for funding.

  1. What type is your organisation?

    For monitoring purposes, please tell us what type your group falls under.  If your group is a registered charity, please give your charity number/company number. Please ensure that you review the whole list before selecting one so as to give us the most accurate information about your organisation type.

Please note that the following types of organisation cannot be funded through the scheme:

  • Children’s or young people’s charities where the majority of beneficiaries would be under the age of 18
  • Top tier local authorities
  • Individuals
  • Organisations where funding would be delivered overseas
  • Charities with any party political or religious affiliation

3a. If you have chosen ‘other’, please provide further details

Please provide further details about your organisation type if it is not in the dropdown list.

3b. If your organisation is a registered Charity, please give your registered Charity number

As part of the assessment process, this information will be checked on the Charity Commission or Scottish Charity Commission website.

3c. If your organisation is a registered Company, please give your registered Company number

As part of the assessment process, this information will be checked on the Companies House website.

  1. How long has your organisation been in existence?

Please select from the drop down menu the length of time that your organisation has been in existence. Please note, if you are a CIC and have been in existence for less than two years, you are not eligible to apply for this scheme.

  1. Main Contact

This should be a key person involved in your project.They should be able to talk about your project and provide further information if required. It is very important to us that you provide the correct email address and daytime phone number so that we can communicate updates and decisions on your application.

Please let us know if the main contact has any particular communication needs.  We intend to use email as our main means of communication for environmental reasons. 

If this will cause problems for you please ensure you let us know your preferred alternative.  Groundwork UK is an environmental charity and we aim to save paper wherever possible, so it is very important that your email addresses are correct and the email account is active and checked regularly.  

If your application is successful, the grant offer will be emailed to the main contact. They will be responsible for sending us an update once the project has ended. If your contacts change throughout the lifetime of the project it is your responsibility to confirm any changes, we will not be able to discuss the application with anyone who is not a named contact on the application form.

Main Contact Home Address

This must be a HOME Address if your organisation is NOT a registered charity or a registered company, if you are NOT a public sector organisation. Please ensure that a full postcode is also provided.

Telephone Number

Please ensure that the number is correct and contains 11 digits.

Proof of Identification

As part of our grant administration checks, if your organisation is NOT a registered charity or a registered company, OR if you are NOT a public sector organisation, we will require the additional information from your two contacts with this application form.

If your organisation is a registered charity or a registered company, and/or if you are a public sector organisation, we DO NOT require this information from you. You may provide home addresses if you wish to do so but it is not a requirement and you may provide your organisation office address for both contacts. 

If your organisation is NOT a registered charity or a registered company, OR if you are NOT a public sector organisation, we will require the following from you.

1) Home Addresses for both the Main and Alternate contacts.

2) The Main contact to provide two forms of ID in the upload fields – one for proof of name and the other for proof of address.

3) The alternate contact MUST be a Bank Account Signatory for the bank account you will use if you are successful in receiving a grant.


You cannot use one form of identification for both name and address. For example, if you provide your driving licence as proof of your name you must provide another form of identification for your address, such as a utility bill.

Proof of Name – please upload a document, such as your Current signed passport; a Current UK or EEA photocard driving licence; or Original birth certificate (UK birth certificate issued within 12 months of the date of birth in full form including those issued by UK authorities overseas such as Embassies High Commissions and HM Forces).

Proof of Address – please upload a document, such as a Utility bill (gas, electric – issued within the last three months, UK water bill; Local authority council tax bill for the current council tax year; Tenancy agreement from a housing association or a council; Current UK driving licence (but only if not used for the name evidence).

You can take a picture of your document with your mobile phone or you can scan your document and then upload to the attachment fields.

Alternative Contact

Please use this section to provide the contact details for your alternative project contact. The telephone number and email address must be different to those of the main contact.

If your organisation is not a registered charity or company, or you are not a public sector organisation, your home address must be provided here.

Section 2 – About your Project

7. Please tell us about your organisation, what you do and what your aims and objectives are?

This is your chance to tell us about your organisation and what you do in your local community. Please describe what your organisation’s aims and objectives are.

Please note, due to the nature of the funding organisation, this scheme cannot support projects where the majority of beneficiaries are under the age of 18 or any vulnerable individual.

8. Please tell us what you would like to spend the award on and how long you will need?

Please tell us how you will spend your award.

Please give us a simple breakdown of what you will spend the grant on if you received £1,000 – £10,000.

The type of thing that then funder would like to support include:

  • Interpretation boards or a bird hide at a nature reserve
  • Sports kit/equipment or facilities for a local sports team
  • Equipment for community cinemas or theatres
  • Kitchen refurbishments at local community centres
  • Equipment for groups that meet at village halls

Please note, Boost would like to be the sole funder for any projects supported so your project must be discrete and not part of a wider scheme.

8a – How would you spend an award of £1,000 – £4,999

8b – How would you spend an award of £5,000 – £10,000

9. Where is your project located?

Please provide the full address and postcode. If there is no postcode for the site, please provide the postcode of the nearest building.  Please include the town, village, city suburb or London Borough here as this information will be included on the display information along with the postcode of your project should you get to the public vote.

10. Please select the statement that best describes your project
From the list that we have provided, please tell us which broad heading your project falls under. We use this information for monitoring purposes to see what kind of projects Boost Choose Now Change Lives are supporting.

11. How will your project have a big impact in your community?

Please tell us here how your project will positively impact the community, how you will promote it and how you will get people to know about the project and how they can benefit it.

12. How will your project promote diversity?

Please tell us here how you will ensure that a diverse range of beneficiaries will have access to and benefit from the project. Please give us examples of who will benefit from the funding.

13. How will your project provide a legacy?

Please tell us here how your project will continue to benefit your local community into the future.

14. How many people will benefit from the completed project?

Please give a realistic number as to the number of local people that will benefit from the project once it is completed and explain what you have based your estimated number of beneficiaries on? (e.g.visitor numbers, sessional/activities numbers, local population statistics, etc). Please also select the age ranges of any of your project beneficiaries here (you can tick as many boxes as applicable).

15.  Will your project provide volunteering opportunities during project delivery and once your project has completed?

What difference will this project make to the people in your neighbourhood?  We want to fund projects that have a positive and lasting impact on local communities. Please let us know of any volunteering opportunities for Boost employees or members of your community. This includes volunteers involved in delivering and managing the project. 

We are aware that not every project we fund will be able to provide volunteer opportunities and in this instance, your response will not be used to make a decision that will affect your application. You will also be asked this at monitoring stage if your grant is successful along with how many people benefitted from your project.

16. Project Delivery Period

Please ensure that your start date is realistic as Boost will expect project delivery to be able to start as soon as you receive funding if successful.

Successful applicants will have 12 months from the date of their grant offer to spend and submit a short report on the awarded funding. 

The report may include photographs, newsletters, press releases or any social media on how the money has been spent and the impact it has had within the local community. We would also like a quote regarding the difference your project has made.

One of the things we will ask you to think about as you develop your application is how you will judge whether your work has made a difference. When you report back to us you can then tell us about your assessment of the work you are undertaking, and about important milestones you have reached.

We are always interested in learning about what works – and about what doesn’t. Please note, we cannot fund any activity that has taken place prior to notification of the grant award being made. 

17-18. Does your project require any permissions?

If you are in any doubt over issues around landowner or landlord permission then please contact the owner of the land or property before applying. You may also need to check with your local planning authority whether planning permission is required.

Please note, you will only need to complete and upload a Project Consent Form if your project is to undertake physical improvements in an indoor or outdoor space.

This is not required for projects that are providing services. A Project Consent Form will be required for installation of items such as sheds or greenhouses and for projects such as kitchen refurbishments.

19. Safeguarding

If your project is working with children or vulnerable adults, you will need to have a safeguarding policy in place. You must have your own tailored policy for safeguarding and protecting Children and Adults at Risk which is proportionate and relevant to your organisation’s activities and has been agreed by your trustees or other governing body. This policy must be reviewed regularly and staff and trustees must be trained on its contents. 

By ticking this box, you are declaring that you have a safeguarding policy and procedures in place that is proportionate to your activities and understand that a copy of this document can be requested for review at any time.

Section 3: About your Finances

20. How much funding are you requesting from the Boost Choose Now Change Lives Scheme? (including irrecoverable VAT)?

Please note that the maximum amount of funding you can request is £10,000 and the minimum is £1,000.  Please note, if your project is for any kind of sports kit or equipment or the purchase of any kind of vehicle and your project is funded, Boost are likely to request that their logo and branding is included. Therefore, please include costs for these if necessary.

A Note about VAT
If your group is registered for VAT, your expenditure figures shouldn’t include VAT that you can claim back (often called recoverable VAT). If you’re not registered for VAT your costs should include VAT. Any VAT that you expect to incur but can’t claim back (irrecoverable VAT) should be in your expenditure breakdown. Click here for more information regarding VAT.

21. How do you intend to spend your grant

Please provide a budget breakdown of how you intend to spend your grant should you be successful with a Boost Choose Now Change Lives grant. There is no restriction on whether your grant is spent on capital (direct) or revenue (indirect) costs. Please note, in this section we only want a list of what the Boost grant would be spent on – not how any match funding may be spent. In this section you should enter a total rounded up to the nearest pound and should not enter a decimal place, a £ sign or use any punctuation marks.

For example:

You SHOULD enter – 1500
You SHOULD NOT enter – £1500 or £1,500 or 999.99 etc

22 & 23. Match funding

If some of the money for your project will come from other sources, tell us the total amount, where it will come from and when it needs to be spent by.  Please note that additional funding is not required for this programme. However, if you have additional funding, there is no limit to what this amount can be.

Please note, if the majority of the funding for your project is coming from other sources and is currently unsecured, we will not be able to fully assess your application. Only once we know how much funding you have secured for your project can we make a decision as to whether it can be considered for funding. 

Section 4 – Privacy Information

Data Protection and our responsibilities to you

In this section of the application form we are asking you to read some important information about who we are and our responsibilities around the data you provide to us. It is important that you understand how the information you submit will be used and stored by us. You need to know what to do if you believe that any of your information is commercially sensitive or confidential. We ask you to tick the box to confirm you have read and understood the Privacy Information, know your rights and how your data will be used.

Section 5 – Declaration

In this section we are asking you to confirm a number of statements. And by ticking the box you’re signing the application form electronically on behalf of your organisation.

  1. Conflict of Interest

    In this section, please give us brief details of any conflict of interest you may have, for example, if you are involved in a business that may provide goods or services to the project if it is funded.

A conflict of interest is any situation in which an applicant, or the applicant’s organisation, has a personal connection with, or a business interest in any organisation or individual that will be paid to deliver the project.

Conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest must be declared before any grant funding is awarded. Failure to disclose conflicts of interest may result in the withdrawal of funding and the repayment of grant.

  1. Governance Document
    Please upload your Governance Document (This could be a Constitution, Code of Conduct, Standing Order, Memorandum and Articles of Association etc.) Please ensure that this includes a dissolution or winding up clause or equivalent.

This should be your Constitution or Memorandum of Articles if you are a community group or charity or your Code of Conduct, Standing Order or Terms of Reference if you are a council or public body.

  1. Where did you hear about us?So we can see how our promotion of the programme is working, please select one option telling us how you found out about the Boost Choose Now Change Lives programme.
  1. Attending promotional events

From time to time, Boost may hold in-store events to promote the scheme. Please let us know here whether you would be happy to attend any such events.

  1. Application Declaration Statement

We’re then asking you to confirm a number of statements. And by ticking the box you’re signing the application form electronically on behalf of your organisation.

Before submitting your application form, please make sure you agree to the following:

  • You are willing for information and photos to be used for publicity purposes (including social media such as Facebook or Twitter) should your organisation be funded.
  • You or the landowner has sufficient public liability insurance or will have before the project starts.
  • You have a bank account in the name of your organisation with at least two unrelated signatories or have identified an accountable body to manage your grant.

From time to time, Groundwork would like to contact you with details of future funding opportunities, promotions, events and information on other areas of Groundwork’s charitable work  via email. We will only contact you for these purposes if you have provided consent. If you are happy for us to contact you about this, please tick the box below.


Good luck with your application!