Grant-Making Policy

First approved by the Board of Trustees: 4th October 2018

Last updated: 7th September 2023

The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles, criteria and processes that govern how the COSARAF Foundation makes grants.


 The Objects of COSARAF Foundation

The terms of the Foundation’s Charitable Objects, as set out in its Deed of Trust, are broad enabling the Trustees to apply funds at their discretion.  The Objects are:

1) To advance the education of the public;

2) The advancement of the Muslim religion in accordance with the tenets and doctrines of Islam through the holding of prayer meetings, lectures, public celebration of religious festivals, producing and/or distributing literature on Islam to enlighten others about the Islamic faith;

3) The relief of financial need and suffering among victims of natural or other kinds of disaster in the form of money or other means deemed suitable for persons, bodies, organisations and/or countries affected including the provision of medical aid;

4) The relief and assistance of people in any part of the world who are the victims of war or natural disaster, trouble or catastrophe in particular by the supply of medical aid to such persons;

5) To relieve financial hardship, sickness and poor health amongst elderly people;

6) The relief of financial hardship, either generally or individually, by making grants of money for providing or paying for goods, services of facilities the relief of the sick and the poor;

7) To assist in the treatment and care of persons suffering from mental or physical illness of any description or in need of rehabilitation as a result of such illness, by the provision of facilities for work and recreation;

8) Such other charitable objects or purposes as the trustees may from time to time determine 


Priorities for support

The trustees have determined that the Foundation’s work by which to deliver public benefit in relation to its Objects should, at the current time, be focused on the following three key priorities:

  • Building sustainable communities
    • Providing core support to communities for their good health, nutrition, livelihoods and long-term financial security and sustainability.
    • Supporting projects that promote equality and integration within society.
  • Enabling young people to realise their potential
    • Supporting those that cannot afford an education and encouraging entrepreneurship amongst young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
    • Supporting young people to develop their skills and take advantage of opportunities that would not be available to them otherwise due to their backgrounds
    • Supporting orphans and those growing up without parental support.
  • Empowering women and girls
    • Supporting women and girls through skills development
    • Supporting women and girls facing abuse, discrimination and disadvantage
    • Supporting widows and the bereaved in hardship

The trustees recognise that these objectives will often require the provision of health, education, basic needs and other related provision to those without access to such.

The priorities in this policy will be reviewed regularly (at least every three years) by the trustees and may be changed in accordance with the trustees’ views of the most effective application of available funds at any point in time.


The Foundation delivers its key objectives through the following grant-making vehicles:

  • Major Grants. In considering the Foundation’s operational model, the trustees acknowledge the value of working with trusted third parties to deliver projects in line with its priorities to maximise the impact of its support and where other organisations have greater expertise.
  • Hardship Grants. The Foundation will administer a small grants and donations programme to support individuals in need.
  • Small Grants.  The Small grants programme will allow the Foundation to support a diverse programme of smaller projects, with more immediate impact and also allow the Foundation to open funds for focussed projects –  inviting partners to apply for projects that meet our priorities or needs.

Geographic extent

The trustees wish to support causes in both the UK and overseas.  In respect of overseas projects, the trustees have agreed that the Foundation’s work should be particularly (but not exclusively) focussed in Africa (especially East Africa) and South Asia.


The trustees will not normally approve the use of the Foundation’s funds for purposes for which the government has a statutory responsibility to provide.

Due Diligence

All grants will be subject to the Foundation’s Due Diligence Policy having been undertaken.

Recognising their duty to safeguard charitable assets, trustees confirm that any third party organisation receiving support from the Foundation must be:

  • a UK registered charity; or,
  • an organisation that carries out activities that are charitable under UK law.

In respect of organisations outside of the UK, the Foundation will ensure that such organisations are either registered with the appropriate local regulator or public authorities and/or have in place appropriate governance and financial handling policies and procedures to ensure the appropriate safeguarding and use of the Foundation’s charitable funds.

Zakat Donations

Any grant or donation which it is intended to support via Zakat funds must comply with the Foundation’s Zakat Distribution Policy.  If it is unclear whether a grant or donation is in line with the Zakat Distribution Policy, the Foundation will seek further advice.  The final decision on whether a donation/grant is to be made using Zakat funds rests with the trustees.



A) Major Grants


When the Foundation considers supporting a third party through its major grant programme, the following criteria should be met:

  • Distinctive and innovative projects where the Foundation is driving long-term change to deliver one or more of the Foundation’s strategic objectives.
  • Developing sustainable change or business models
  • Leveraging wider support
  • Clear recognition for the Foundation’s role in order to support its wider strategic priorities and vision

In addition, the following principles apply:

  • The Foundation will willingly work in partnership with other organisations to fund initiatives beyond the financial scope of a single organisation.
  • All applications from previous recipients of grants or from previously unsuccessful applicants will be considered by the trustees on their own merits. Although the trustees will have regard to the outcome of the previous grant, any new application will in no way receive preferential or adverse consideration.

Grant application process

Proposals for support from the Foundation must be received through the Foundation’s website at or via the Foundation’s staff team who can be contacted via  The following are prerequisites to submit a proposal:

  • The proposal will address one or more of the Foundation’s key impact areas
  • The proposal meets the criteria for funding set out above
  • The support from the Foundation will leverage additional investment
  • Applying on behalf of an organisation not an individual
  • Seeking funding on behalf of a registered charity
  • The organisation is able to provide at least one year’s accounts, preferably independently examined or audited

The Foundation applies a three-stage assessment process:

  • 1st stage: Preliminary consideration by the Foundation’s staff team. Any proposal that the staff team consider eligible and worthy of support will be put to the Hardship Committee of trustees for their comments and approval to proceed.
  • 2nd stage: If approved by the Hardship Committee, the staff team will work with the potential partner to develop a full proposal and detailed budget that would be presented to the full board of trustees for their approval.
  • 3rd stage: Grant confirmation. The final agreement will be signed by two trustees and the CEO of the registered charity.

Applicants should note that, as with many other charitable trusts, the Foundation always receives far more applications that it has funds to support.  Even if a project fits within the criteria and priorities of the Foundation and a detailed assessment has been made, the Foundation may still be unable to provide a grant.

The trustees will not be obliged to provide an explanation to the applicant should their application be unsuccessful but will endeavour to provide constructive feedback.

Monitoring and Publication

It is the policy of the trustees to monitor all grants made. To this end, before a grant can be confirmed, conditions will be stipulated appropriate to the work to be carried out and progress will be assessed against agreed targets and/or milestones.

If the grant is payable in instalments, then payment of subsequent grant instalments will be dependent on satisfactory progress having been demonstrated and the trustees reserve the right to withdraw the grant on receipt of unsatisfactory progress reports.  Failure to submit reports at the time specified by the trustees may also jeopardise the continuation of the Foundation’s support.  The Foundation also provides in its grant agreement for the repayment of funds provided in the event that such funds have not been used for the purposes agreed.

In addition to reports detailing progress, grant recipients will be expected to provide:

  • A statement of how their grant monies have been spent for the year
  • Details (where appropriate) of any other funds applied to the same project.

Monitoring visits by representatives of the Foundation may be expected during the period of a grant.

The trustees also expect to receive copies of any published articles, papers or other outputs which may result from the project, including all media coverage.

Following the conclusion of the project, the grant recipient will (where appropriate) be expected to submit a final report, normally within three     months of the end of the grant, detailing fully the results and outputs from the project. The grant recipient should inform the Foundation of any extenuating circumstances whereby the submission of the final report is delayed, to allow a mutually acceptable date for submission to be agreed.


B) Hardship Grants


The Foundation will administer a grants and donations programme by which to support individuals in need.  To be eligible for a small grant or donation, the following criteria must be met

  • The donation must be in line with the Foundation’s Objects.
  • Ideally, the grant or donation should further one of the Foundation’s three strategic objectives.
  • Applications will only be accepted where they are made on an individual’s behalf by a third-party social organisation (e.g. charity, public body, social landlord, etc) with a supporting statement from that organisation.
  • The applicant is able to demonstrate they are taking advantage of all support offered by local services, including the referring social organisation.
  • Other sources of funding have been exhausted.

Hardship grants are available for residents in the UK only and are available to individuals who can demonstrate that they are suffering clear financial hardship or do not have the financial means for essential expenditure.  Trustees prioritise:

  • families over individuals
  • additional weight is given to those with caring responsibilities
  • the most financially excluded people
  • items that will make the most difference

Other than in exceptional cases Hardship Grants will only be made available for:

  • Household items (white goods and occasionally other items i.e. sofas, wardrobes etc.)
  • Basic Living Expenses (utilities or food)
  • Work or Education related expenses (interview clothes, occasionally school uniforms, laptops)
  • Rent arrears and Council tax arrears where there is a clear and obvious risk of homelessness (For rent arrears involving a social landlord please outline what support has already been offered to your tenant)
  • Contribution to immigration-related costs where the current immigration status directly causes financial hardship to the applicant

Grant awards will not be made in respect of the following:

  • Higher education tuition fees or maintenance (other than through the Scholars’ Fund noted below)
  • Private school fees for primary or secondary education
  • Non-essential items (such as TV licences or TVs)
  • Pet care
  • Water bill arrears
  • School trips
  • Car repairs
  • Holidays

The maximum Hardship Grant is £2,000, but only in exceptional circumstances will individual grants exceed £500.

Applications process

Applications for individual grants or donations must be made using the Foundation’s application form.  This may be only be completed either by a referral partner on behalf ofthe individual in need.

Foundation staff are responsible for checking that any grant or donation is in line with the Foundation’s charitable Objects and will deliver public benefit.  The Foundation staff are also responsible for providing appropriate evidence to ensure that recipients are eligible for and appropriate to receive a grant or donation.

Monitoring and reporting

Foundation staff will require proof that the grant has been used for the purposes agreed.  No further monitoring will be required, unless agreed otherwise in advance.

C) Small Grants


The Foundation will administer a small grants programme by which to support organisations in order to further the Foundation’s Objects.

The Foundation’s small grants programme enables trustees to provide one-off support for UK-registered charities or organisations that carry out activities that are charitable under UK law.  Any such grant or donation:

  • must be in line with the Foundation’s Objects
  • should, preferably, further one of the Foundation’s three strategic objectives.

Applications process

The trustees will not invite open applications for small grants to the Foundation but will, rather, identify organisations having strong track records in those areas of key relevance to the Foundation.

Monitoring and reporting

Foundation staff will require proof that the grant has been used for the purposes agreed.  No further monitoring will be required, unless agreed otherwise in advance.