The Guide to Major Trusts FAQs

DSC Researcher, Ross Hardy, answers your frequently asked questions about The Guide to Major Trusts.

Ahead of the launch of DSC’s The Guide to Major Trusts (18th Edition) in September, DSC researcher Ross Hardy answers some of our most frequently asked questions about the funding guide.  

What is the Guide to Major Trusts?  

The Guide to Major Trusts 2025/26 is one of DSC’s larger funding guides and an essential resource for fundraising. Now in its 18th edition, the guide includes details on just over 1,000 grant makers giving a combined total of over £7.19 billion. It contains contact and financial information for all funders, as well as the funders’ focus areas along with the various grant programmes available and their eligibility and exclusions. Some of the grant makers featured in this guide are perennial major trusts with all new and updated information. There are also, as always with DSC’s funding guides, plenty of funders making their first appearance, either as a grant maker or as a developing funder now giving larger awards.  

With so much information on so many of the largest grant-making organisations in the UK, the guide is an invaluable tool in taking the legwork out of fundraising for your organisation. 

Who is the guide for?  

The guide is a must have for those competing in the fundraising space. From fundraisers and development managers to chief executives and trustees, The Guide to Major Trusts puts the UK’s largest funders at your fingertips. 

Does the guide list charities that provide support outside of the UK?  

While the focus of this funding guide is charities registered in the UK, this does extend to funders working on projects in other parts of the world. We have certainly included many organisations that have an international charitable presence, but those who carry out their work exclusively overseas are not included in this guide.  

What is the difference between this guide and The Directory of Grant Making Trusts?  

Compared to DSC’s Directory of Grant Making Trusts (DGMT), The Guide to Major Trusts focuses on larger grant makers and includes more emphasis on the differing grant programmes available. If you want a broader spread of 2,000 grant-makers with a mix of large and small grants, then DGMT is for you, but if you want just the biggest (‘major’) givers, then the Guide to Major Trusts contains all 1,000 of them! 

Does this guide include support for individuals?  

Many of the funders included in The Guide to Major Trusts have grant programmes dedicated to funding for individuals, the details of which can be found in the guide alongside their other grant programmes. However, funders that solely fund individuals have not been included. If you want funding purely for individuals, why not also check out DSC’s Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need. 

Where do you find the information contained in the guide?  

All the information contained in the guide is publicly available, but the hard part is sifting through thousands of accounts to find the right funders and the right details of what they fund (it takes just under 3,000 hours of work). If you don’t have time for that, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you! DSC’s research team have spent five months to bring you this guide. We’ve read over 1,000 annual reports and accounts from the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the Northern Ireland Charity Commission (NICC), plus lots of further digging for information on funders’ websites and grant making guidance from the funders themselves. 

How do you decide which charities to include?  

 The Guide to Major Trusts focuses on larger grant-makers. This means funders that award £300,000 or more to UK charities in any given year. There are some included that may have grant totals slightly smaller than this, but our research shows that they have given more in the past and have the capacity to do so.  

To make everyone’s search for funding easier, we’ve excluded certain funders, such as those that have a small number of beneficiaries, those which only give to the same beneficiaries every year, and those that only give to individuals or solely for projects overseas. In short, we’ve done the hard work, so you can focus on finding the funder for you!  

We hope this helps to answer some of your questions about The Guide to Major Trusts, you can now pre-order your copy here. If you have any further questions, please send them to our friendly customer service team at [email protected].