Small Charities Challenge Fund

About the Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF)

The Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) is a funding opportunity for small UK-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations.

SCCF project grants of up to £50,000 are available for projects of up to two years, for UK-registered organisations working towards addressing the Global Goals (opens in a new window), to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised. 

Your organisation or your downstream partner will also need to be registered in the country of delivery for your application to be eligible.

We welcome applications from organisations with strong links to the country in which their project operates. 

SCCF project grants are a rolling funding opportunity whereby applications are reviewed on a six-monthly basis and can be submitted at any stage.

The next review dates are:

  • Thursday 30 April 2020, 17:00pm (BST) 
  • Thursday 24 September 2020, 17:00pm (BST) .

The application process is a one-staged process. All applications must be submitted online via the online portal.


A webinar is being held for all prospective applicants on Thursday 2 April 2020 at 11:00am (BST) and we ask all those interested to register in advance (opens in a new window) and read the guidance beforehand. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end.

Applying for an SCCF project grant

To find out if you are eligible to apply for our SCCF project grant and details regarding the application process, please download and view our SCCF project grants guidance document (PDF).


Application guidance can be viewed in our SCCF project grants guidance document.

Here is a summary of the funding process:

  • Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) project grants is an open funding round where applications are reviewed every six months
  • After the closing date, applications are scored and reviewed by an independent technical panel who assess both the technical approach of the proposed project and the fiduciary risk of the organisation
  • A moderation and shortlisting process is then conducted with the UK Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Feedback is provided to all SCCF project grant applicants (successful and unsuccessful). Many organisations who are unsuccessful re-apply for a grant in the next round.
  • Due diligence is conducted on shortlisted organisations. SCCF due diligence is light-touch, involving self-assessment questionnaires and a telephone-based assessment. Site visits may also be carried out. More information on the due diligence process is available in the SCCF project grants guidance document (PDF).
  • Grant awards will be confirmed following the findings of the due diligence process and organisations will be supported to finalise the project design and budget
  • There is a payment-in-advance system for successful grant holders. More information can be found in the financial claims section of our grant holder guidance).
About the SCCF

Thinking about applying for a Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) grant? Here are some facts for you to consider.

  • SCCF was launched on 5 July 2017 and since that time *453 eligible applications have been submitted in total
  • SCCF project grant applications are reviewed every six months
  • 84% of SCCF grant holders to date have not received Department for International Development (DFID) funding before
  • In the first round, 17 grants were awarded SCCF funding and in the second round, 16 organisations have signed Accountable Grant Arrangements (AGAs) to date
  •  17% of applicants in the first and second rounds were awarded grants, and 18% in the third round (if all sign their AGAs)
  • Current successful organisations are UK-based, with 82 outside of London and the South East
  • Projects cover a range of policy areas including disability inclusion, education and livelihoods, and operate in 9 countries
  • The average income of the current SCCF grant holders is £64,000.

*This number is for rounds 1 – 4