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Discovery Grants

The Santander Foundation awards grants of up to £5,000 to help disadvantaged people make the most of their future.

Discoveary Grants support projects that improve people’s knowledge, skills or which provide innovative solutions to overcome social challenges. We can only support projects which fulfil these goals and our three priority areas - Explorer, Transformer and Changemaker.

Our three priorities

  • EXPLORER Improving people's knowledge
    Such as Money Management workshops helping disadvantaged people learn how to budget.
  • TRANSFORMER Improving skills and experience
    For example, training to help socially isolated people develop skills to get back into work or volunteering opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
  • CHANGEMAKER Innovative solutions to social challenges
    What about a new social networking program for visually impaired young people to access the internet?

What we can fund

Projects that are wholly charitable. They must specifically help disadvantaged people in the UK by improving knowledge, skills or providing innovative solutions. We aim to help as many organisations as possible so we don’t offer grants for longer than one year.

Funding is available:

  • or small local projects and lasts for up to 12 months
  • for complete projects, we don't make contributions or part funding
  • to cover part-time salaries, equipment or materials but they must be specific to your project


Am I eligible to apply?

Grants are for UK registered charities, Community Interest Companies and credit unions with at least one year’s accounts. Applications can be made by customers, organisations and Santander staff at any time. This isn’t a voting system, so only one application is needed and there are no deadlines.

If your project has already benefited from a grant, you won’t be eligible to apply for another for at least a full year. For example, if you receive a grant anytime in 2017 then you’ll need to wait until January 2019 before applying again.

How do I apply?

Simply fill out the application form found in any local Santander branch and post it in the Discovery Grants post box at any branch.

How can I help my application succeed?

Explain clearly how your project improves people’s knowledge, skills and experience or overcomes social challenges in an innovative way.

If your application is successful, we’ll let you know within 6 weeks. We receive a high number of applications so aren’t able to contact unsuccessful applicants or offer individual feedback. If you haven’t heard from us within 6 weeks, unfortunately, that means you haven’t been successful.

What we can’t fund

Unfortunately there are some things that we can’t fund:

  • Individuals – including trips, overseas volunteering, GAP year activity, medical treatment, or grants for studying or research
  • Multiyear funding
  • Fundraising activities
  • Unregistered charities, not-for-profit groups, Community Amateur Sports Clubs, exempt or excepted charities
  • Other funders and grant makers
  • Organisations which restrict their beneficiaries to a single religious or single ethnic group
  • Events, conferences or sponsorship
  • Shortfall funding
  • Political party activity
  • Beneficiaries outside the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man
  • Start ups - organisations must have at least one full year of accounts registered on the relevant commission site

Please take a look at the FAQ section for more information and if you have any additional questions please e-mail

Please note, we only accept applications for Discovery Grants made via the application form. We are not able to respond to letters sent requesting donations or funding.