The Anchor Programme: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Anchor Programme

A man and a woman looking hard at a laptop, in an office.

Anchor Programme FAQs

This fund is available to second-tier organisations (also known as infrastructure organisations) and sets out to provide high-quality support to wider networks of frontline voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations in the capital.

Applicants must demonstrate that they are a second-tier organisation that delivers support to frontline organisations and offer activities such as:

  • Policy and Advocacy: Ensuring different perspectives reach key decision-makers
  • Capacity Building: Providing operational, strategic or governance advice, through resources or relationships, and hosting events and training opportunities
  • Networking and Relationships: Holding events, building connections, mentoring programs across sectors/​peers
  • Communications and Influencing: Researching and reporting the views and options across a group with a shared perspective
  • Organisational Hosting: Providing the key operational functions e.g. financial or legal considerations
  • Research and Thought Leadership: Providing information and bigger picture context

Your organisation must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Registered charity
  • Registered Community Interest Company
  • Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation
  • Charitable company
  • Exempt or excepted charity
  • Registered charitable industrial and provident society or charitable Cooperative (BenCom)

We will not fund:

  • Mainstream infrastructure organisations (eg Councils for Voluntary Services (CVSs) unless your organisation can demonstrate that it is led by and for (75% trustees/​50% staff have lived experience of the issues your organisation is tackling) AND that it is operating from a systems-change lens
  • Infrastructure organisations that only support volunteers
  • Political parties
  • Party political campaigning / lobbying
  • Non-charitable activities
  • Work which does not benefit those who live in Greater London
  • Individuals (except through our nominated agencies)
  • Grant-making bodies to make grants on our behalf (except through our nominated agencies)
  • Schools, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), universities, or other educational establishments
  • Work taking place in schools, except for the delivery of non-statutory mental health services
  • Medical or academic research
  • Churches or other religious bodies where the monies will be used for religious purposes
  • Hospitals or primary healthcare providers
  • Community amateur sports clubs
  • Projects which have already taken place or building work which has already been completed
  • Statutory bodies, such as local authorities
  • Profit-making organisations, except social enterprises
  • Charities established/​registered outside the UK
  • Festivals or events which last no longer than a few days
  • Activities or projects which incorporate an overnight stay
  • Residential care services
  • Residential facilities (except where they provide short-term emergency accommodation)

Yes, existing City Bridge Foundation grant holders and those who are currently at assessment stage can apply for the Anchor Programme.

If you are shortlisted after the Expression of Interest stage and invited to apply for stage two, the City Bridge Foundation team will look at your organisation’s existing grant and any assessments in progress, to avoid duplicating funding.

When assessing your application, we will take our usual approach to due diligence. This includes reviewing your application form and publicly available documents, such as your latest published financial accounts. We will also take a view on your funding history.

Yes, to be eligible for funding, organisations should have an existing minimum annual income of £100,000.

We will not award funding exceeding 50% of the applicant’s turnover/​income in any one year. As the minimum annual grant available is £50,000, organisations must have £100,000 in annual income.

If you are invited to submit a proposal for stage two, we will ask to see a copy of your most recent annual report and latest management accounts.

Please note that we are not considering applications from organisations with an annual turnover of less than £100,000.

All details of our application process can be found on the main Anchor Programme landing page, along with our funding guidance.

Expression of Interests must be submitted by 11pm on Monday, 13 May 2024, on our online funding portal.

Once applications have been reviewed and shortlisted, we will send outcome emails, to both successful and unsuccessful applicants, soon after the deadline.

If you are successful in stage one, we will invite you to submit a stage two application from Monday 17 June 2024.

Due to the high number of Expressions of Interest expected we will not be able to provide individual feedback, but we will try our best to explain why applications were not taken to stage two on our Expressions of Interest: Reasons for rejection page.

We have listed the most common reasons for not advancing Expressions of Interest in 2023 through to the second application stage on our website. 

The reasons for rejection will be updated for Round 2 of the Anchor Programme, as the programme progresses during 2024.

This is the final round of the Anchor Programme and there will not be another.

No, this is the final round of the Anchor Programme and there will not be another opportunity. 

The aim of the Anchor Programme is to support organisations that demonstrate a commitment to equitable practice and address the marginalisation and discrimination experienced by those with intersecting identities. 

We will ask you to provide evidence that you are already embedding equitable practice or that you are in the process of doing so, for example, by sharing information about your organisation’s EDI (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) strategy, such as minutes of meetings, strategic documents, recruitment strategies etc.

As an indication, this might be at least 75% of the Board of Trustees or Management Committee and at least 50% of senior staff self-identifying as from a specific community or protected characteristic.

Systemic change is about tackling the inbuilt inequalities which privilege some groups in society and disadvantage others. Bringing about systemic change is about addressing the causes, rather than the symptoms, of a societal issue.

We understand that systems change is a wide and complicated topic, ahead of submitting your Expression of Interest you may wish to read the following supporting research and resources for additional guidance:

Yes, provided the work is for a discrete London focus. Organisations based outside London also need to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and experience to work in London and that they are meeting a need that London-based organisations are not.

We are unable to offer individual calls or advice on proposals as it is not possible to speak with all potential applicants. Our aim is to be open, fair, and transparent and it would be unfair to meet some organisations and not others.

We encourage you to visit the main Anchor Programme landing page for additional information and guidance.

Organisations awarded grants under the Anchor Programme will be reviewed every three years. This will be an opportunity to assess progress made and to discuss future plans.

If for example your organisation has a grant of 10 years then there will be a review after three years, after six years and after nine years.

If you are shortlisted and invited to apply at stage two of the Anchor Programme, we will ask you to submit a draft budget that shows the total funding you are requesting (between 7 and 10 years) using a budget template which we will supply.

We recognise that your organisation may need to respond flexibly to changing priorities and there will be an opportunity to discuss this budget with your Funding Manager. You can request a minimum of £50,000 per year, and a maximum of £150,000 per year.

Applicants are encouraged to include costs for evaluation and learning time as part of your budget. We also encourage applicants to include any access need costs, such as expenditure on translation and interpreting services. 

Please account for inflation but ensure that it does not exceed £150,000 per year.