Due to an unprecedented number of current applications, no further grant requests for Prevention and Relief of Human Suffering are being accepted.  Grants for this category will be issued on an invitation only basis.  


The Brian Mercer Trust does not have any preference for any particular type of intervention or any region of the world.  When selecting successful applications our main objective is all about doing the most good in the world, for the money invested.

Please read carefully.  Eligibility crieteria for applications have been significantly modified to increase the proportion of bids that are successful. 

Eligibility for grants

The Brian Mercer Trust does not issue grants for:

  • charities based outside the UK and Ireland

  • individuals

  • medical research projects

  • interventions that discriminate on gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, race, colour or ethnicity

  • UK initiatives for specific local areas other than Blackburn, Lancashire

* please note, the Trust is only permitted to issue grants to charities registered in the UK or Ireland.   

In order to increase the proportion of applications that receive funding and to be consistent with the Trust's ethos of "making a difference," applications are currently restricted to organisations with an annual income of no greater than £700,000.

The Trust gives unrestricted funding to a small number of charities.  Such funding is at the discretion of trustees and cannot be applied for. 


To avoid duplicating interventions currently funded, the Trust does not accept applications for projects addressing:

  • emergencies/disasters/refugees

  • eyesight

  • malaria

Other than unrestricted grants referred to above, the maximum grant size is a single payment of £15,000 or £10,000 per annum for up to three years. 

The Trust does not consider re-applications from organisations whose bid did not receive funding for a period of 2 years from the original application. 

​​Application Form

In order to:


  • reduce the number of unsuccessful applications

  • simplify the application process

  • reduce applicants' workload

  • facilitate the Brian Mercer Trust's ability to make informed decisions


applications must be made by completing the form at the bottom of this page. 

Simply download the form and fill out the editable blank fields.

Completed forms should be emailed back to

with the subject entered as the name of your organisation followed by "BMT application" e.g. "Prevention of Poverty BMT application"

Applications should be received at least 4 weeks before the next trustee's meeting.

​Date of forthcoming meetings:


26th January 2022

13th April 2022

13th July 2022

12nd October 2022

Tips on completing the form


The completed form is limited to three pages. We recognise this is likely to prove a challenge. Ensure your responses are succinct and to the point. Prioritise what is most relevant for the application. 

The maximum number of lines for each section must not exceeded.  Do not type beyond the boxes and do go beyond three pages. 

Include links to additional information we might find helpful, e.g. to on-line reports, pictures, video or impact assessments.  Additional files may also be sent as attachments; however these should be supplemental to the application form which must give trustees a comprehensive overview of the envisaged project without having to find information from attached files.

A detailed breakdown of costing is not required, though you may attach a document of costings if you wish.  The Trust will meet administration and overheads so long as these are only for the project applied for. 

When considering applications, trustees will pay particular attention to the following features:


  • Evidence of effectiveness and/or means of evaluating the proposed intervention is particularly important, especially for applications under "Prevention and Relief of Human Suffering."


  • Whether the intervention addresses fundamental causes rather than ameliorating symptoms (also particularly important for “Prevention and Relief of Human Suffering applications).


  • Whether the intervention is sustainable without indefinite funding from the Trust.


How we manage applications


Applications will be acknowledged, usually within a few days of receipt.  

All eligible applications will be reviewed individually by trustees before further detailed scrutiny at quarterly meetings.

Applicants may receive a request for clarification or further information at any stage. 

Applicants will be informed of trustee decisions during the week following the meeting. 



Download your grant
application form here.