Before making an application/who can apply
Am I eligible for a grant?
Please read our Eligibility Criteria (page 4) for full details on who is eligible for a grant. However, you should have a management committee, a constitution (set of rules) and a bank account as a minimum for funding.
What is the application criteria?
We are able to support a wide range of activities awarding grants to support project costs, core costs or capital costs (see Eligibility Criteria). However, each of our donor funds has its own criteria.
When is the application deadline?
Our deadlines are published on our website.
Can I apply as an individual?
Unfortunately we do not offer funding to individuals, you must be part of a not for profit group.
How much can I apply for?
Funding amounts vary on the programme you are applying for:
Small Grants: A monthly programme for applications between £300 - £3000
Community Grants: A quarterly programme for grants up to £10,000.
Transformation Grants: For grants over £10,000 for projects taking place within a 12-month period addressing new and priority needs.
Large Strategic Grants: A programme for larger grants which will be delivered over more than one financial year up to a maximum of three.
More details about all our funding programmes can be found on our website.
Can I apply for multiyear funding?
Our large strategic grant programme allows you to apply for multiyear funding. Please read page 2 of our grants policy for further details about this programme.
How soon can I apply again?
We do not have a time limit on when a successful applicant can apply again but if you have received funding in the past, we would require your end of grant monitoring to be up to date. If you have received your first grant, we would need to see grant monitoring information on the outcomes of the grant before you can apply again. You are also unable to have two applications in the same grant round at one time.
What sort of projects have been funded?
We fund a range of different projects which represent the diverse community we live in. More details about the latest grants we have awarded can be found on our website.
Can I apply retrospectively?
We do not award retrospective grants – be sure to allow plenty of time to go through the grants process.
How long will it take until I get a decision on my application?
Turnaround time varies depending on the grant programme. For small grants we aim for a turnaround of 2-3 weeks from the date of deadline. Community grants have a turnaround of 7-8 weeks from the date of deadline. For both transformation and large strategic grants these programmes require more in-depth assessment and would be roughly a 6-month turnaround time .
I’m not based in your area but the project will be delivering services in your area, can I apply?
If you are not based in our area we may be able to provide funding but we will need to be sure that you have relevant local partnerships and a good understanding of the area in which you will be working. We will usually prioritise applicants with a local management committee and a local presence so if you are based outside the area you will need to present a strong case for support and be able to demonstrate how the project is locally led.
Do you support management/running costs?
We do not fund core costs not related to specific project delivery, except in exceptional circumstances.
We are a CIC, can we apply?
We will only consider funding the start-up costs for Community Interest Companies you must include evidence that Directors are not be paid above a level that would make the provision of grant funding inappropriate, and must have a management committee who provide oversight and strategic guidance, comprised of at least four unpaid, unrelated members, not living at a shared address, to apply. There must be clear, evidenced community benefit.
Do we have to be a registered charity to apply?
We are open to applications from community groups, registered charities, community interest companies, social enterprises and companies Ltd by guarantee, without share capital. All groups need to be constituted and have the correct policies in place.
We are a new group, can we apply?
Generally we ask that groups should have been in existence for a minimum period of 6 months before applying. This does not mean that you need to have been constituted for that minimum period provided you have been active in the community for this period. This may mean undertaking initial consultations and steering group meetings during set up. You must be able to supply all the supporting documentation required.
We are part of a national organisation, can we apply?
We cannot fund a national organisation. However, if you are a separate group that comes under the umbrella of a national organisation, we can consider your application provided that you have your own governing document, your own local management committee and are responsible for your own accounts.
Can faith groups apply?
Yes, provided that the project for which funding is requested does not promote religious beliefs and would not exclude anyone on the grounds of religion. This will be considered by our grants team when assessing your application.
Do you consider consortium or partnership applications?
We actively encourage partnership working. You will need to identify one partner as the lead applicant. Any grant awarded will legally be the responsibility of the management committee of that organisation. You will also need to demonstrate in your application why a partnership is needed and which organizations will be responsible for which parts of the project. You may be required to provide policies for all partners.
Can schools or local authority nurseries apply?
We are unable to support statutory organizations. However, we are able to support friends of schools/nurseries or PTA’s – in this instance we look to fund activities that are not statutory responsibilities, and which usually take place outside of school hours. There may be exceptions to this depending on the type of activity offered. We also encourage school groups to provide activities for the wider community wherever possible, and not just for children at one school.
Can I see the application questions before applying?
Yes we have the application questions available on a PDF document please see document here.
Making an application/application process
Where is the application form to apply?
Are application process is online, a link to our application forms can be found on our website.
Can I save my application and go back to it?
Yes, all started applications can be saved and returned to at a later date. You just need to click the save button on the application form and a link will be emailed to you, so that you can access it at a later date.
I don’t have all the supporting documents that are asked for?
You may not have all the required documents together at the application stage or by the advertised deadline. This does not necessarily mean we cannot fund you. Please contact us for advice if that is the case.
Why do I need to supply names and addresses for management committee members?
This is about accountability; we need to know who is responsible for the funds we provide. The individual management committee members are responsible for the grant and we need to be sure that we are able to undertake basic due diligence checks, for example ensuring that there are enough independent members where two or more members reside at the same address or are related in some way. This information is stored in our secure database and not used for any other reason except in connection with the grant where necessary. We may contact members of the management committee if we have concerns about the management of our grant and are unable to get satisfactory information from the named main contact.
Do I need to supply quotes?
As a general rule we will require two like for like quotes for any capital items or work to be carried out.
I haven’t received an email acknowledging my application.
Check your junk/spam mailbox. Many of our emails are generated directly through our automated systems or from our database. If you haven’t received it, give us a call and we can check it out.
Why do I need to speak to an assessor?
Upon submitting an application, you will receive a call from a member of the Philanthropy Team who is assessing your application. We need to ensure that we fully understand how your project works so that we can communicate this to the panel making decisions on the allocation of funding. We need to be able to evaluate the strengths of your project in relation to other applications received and make recommendations to the panel.
I need help completing my application form.
Give the Philanthropy Team a ring and we’ll be happy to help - 01908 690 276
What do you look for when you assess an application?
We have a standard assessment framework which is applicable to all grant schemes, the full grant criteria can be found on page 7.
What are the most common reasons for not funding a project?
- The application did not meet the criteria/was not eligible
- The application was incomplete
- Supporting documents were not supplied
- Poor performance in the monitoring process for previous grants
- Received after the advertised closing date
- Budget does not add up/ is nor clearly explained
- The benefits & outcomes of the project are not clearly explained
- The delivery plan in not thought through/clearly explained.
I applied to the Community Foundation recently; do I need to resubmit my supporting documents?
If you have received a grant from the Community Foundation within the last 12 months you do not need to re-submit your supporting documents. We do, however, need to see your most recent accounts so if you have produced new annual accounts since the last application please send them in. Please also ensure that you send in your most recent bank statement.
How are decisions made?
Once an application is received, a member of staff will undertake due diligence on the application organisation. This will involve reviewing the governing document, the accounts, the management committee details, and any relevant policies. The application will then be assessed by one of our grants team. Once the application has been assessed, summary information on each application is prepared for consideration by a special panel. The panel considering the application may be made up of representatives of the local community as well as Trustees. Our grants panels bring an additional layer of expertise in terms of local needs and priorities and/or expert opinion.
Who sits on your panels?
Our panel is made up of representatives of the local community, selected for their expertise in the voluntary sector and major donors, as well as Trustees and staff members.
I was expecting a decision but I haven’t heard from you?
Check your junk mailbox. If you cannot trace any communication, please give us a call.
I have received an offer of funding, when will the grant be paid?
When you receive an offer of funding, the offer will be accompanied by a grant agreement form containing the standard terms and conditions of funding. This form will need to be signed by two members of your management committee and returned to us. The offer may also contain additional conditions relating to your grant offer and these may need to be satisfied before we van release any payment to you. Once we have your completed grant acceptance form, together with confirmation of your bank details and all conditions of funding have been met, your payment should be with you within approximately seven days.
Is there a time limit to return my agreement?
The signed agreement return date deadline will be clear on the agreement, for most of our programmes, the signed agreement needs to be returned to us within 6 months of the offer.
How is the grant paid?
Once we have received your signed contract, and you have fulfilled any grant conditions we will release payment by BACS.
What if I don’t agree with the panel decision?
We understand that sometimes the outcome of the decision may not be the one you had hoped for, should you wish we can provide feedback to assist with future applications. Please do get in touch with us.
Can I see the scoring criteria?
Yes, you can view our scoring criteria HERE.
During the funding period
Our project has changed, can I change the expenditure?
We will always be open to changes to funded projects provided this is keeping with the broad aims of the original application. You must seek prior permission however before any changes to expenditure are made.
Our project is not complete, can we extend the funding period.
If there are any changes to your project or if there are any delays in submission of end of grant monitoring, you must let us know.
You have asked to visit the project, why?
We are always interested to see how our funded groups are getting on. We may want to visit your project as part of our monitoring procedures in which case we will be checking to ensure the project is running as we expected and as outlined in the grant application. In addition, we may like to take donors to visit funded projects so that they can see first-hand how their donation is making a difference in the local community. It is also a useful way for us to engage with potential donors and allows us to showcase the fantastic work that small grassroots organisations do in supporting local people and communities.
Why do you want monitoring information?
We request monitoring information for two main reasons, to ensure that all funds have been spent and that they have been spent as outlined in the application. We require copies of all receipts and evidence of expenditure. We also want to know if the project was successful and to be able to communicate that to donors and funders. We want to know about the difference that has been made to the beneficiaries of the project but we also want to know where things haven’t gone so well so that we can learn about what works. We rely on honest feedback to assist us in designing suitable programmes that can really make a difference in our communities.
What if I fail to return my End of Grant report or receipts?
Outstanding monitoring for any group will be flagged on our database. We would be unable to accept any further applications from your group until this is rectified.
Should you have any further queries regarding our grant programme or processes please do get in touch with the Philanthropy Team – 01908 690 276