You’ll probably be surprised by just how niche some of the charities offering funding are. If your surname is Forsyth and you happen to be a vegetarian grocer, you could be eligible for small grants from three different places! Let us explain. . .
The Clan Forsyth Society aims to connect and foster kinship between people with the surname Forsyth from across the world. It operates a small benevolent fund for members in needy circumstances. So, if you play your cards right you could receive a ‘Brucie Bonus’ to help cover some of the costs of postgraduate study!
The Vegetarian Charity is another small organisation that considers applications for grants from needy vegetarians and vegans. You’ll need to provide two references confirming your dietary commitments.
And finally, the Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust offers postgraduate grants to university students who are children or spouses of a grocer, travelling sales representative or pharmacist (or a member of one of those professions themselves).
Now, these charities might not be applicable to you but they’re a good indicator of the unlikely places in which you could find support.
Although the organisations above are targeted at very specific groups of people, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t charities with broader eligibility criteria for their grants:
- The Leathersellers’ Company offers scholarships of £5,000 per year to talented students from all sorts of backgrounds, not just those in the leather industry (please note that while their 2021-22 competition was only open to undergrads, this funding is normally available for Masters and PhD students too)
- The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust awards grants to students over the age of 24 who are studying a postgraduate degree in any subject
- The Humanitarian Trust helps students who don’t have enough income to complete their studies, providing one-off grants of a maximum of £1,000
If you look hard enough, there are plenty of organisations out there willing to support postgraduates from lots of background.
These organisations are often small-scale operations without an established online presence, but you can search them out by using print-based directories like the Grants Register, often available in local or university libraries.
You could also use Turn2us, a national charity with a database of charitable grants from across the UK. Their grant search makes it simple to see what support you could be eligible for based on your personal circumstances.
For more information, check out our guide to postgraduate funding from charities, which has tips on applying to smaller organisations, as well as the larger charities and trusts that provide support to Masters students.
Whichever route you take, good luck!