Frequently Asked Questions


Do we have to apply online?
We prefer all applications to be submitted online, this saves time and paper and makes it easier for you if you were to apply to us again. However, if you would like a paper copy of our application form, please call the office on 01900 825760 to speak to a Grants & Donor Services Officer who can advise you.

Do we need to be a charity to apply?
No, you don’t need to be a registered charity. We accept applications from constituted voluntary and community groups.

Can schools apply?
No, we do not fund statuary bodies but PTAs or friends of schools can apply for projects that benefit the community.

Can I apply to a specific fund?
Yes some funds such as Cumberland Building Society Charitable Foundation and Comic Relief have their own application form and you should apply to these separately, but also if there is a specific call for applications to a particular fund you can apply specifically to them. Otherwise you should apply through our general grants channel.

Can I apply to more than one fund?
You can make different applications in response to calls for applications or for separate projects. However, one of the advantages of applying to us is that we do the work of trying to match your request to a suitable fund, so making one general application may be better. If you do apply more than once in response to different calls, make sure you read the individual guidance carefully and make sure you match the requirements. If you do make more than one application at a time, we might ask you to state which your highest priority is.

Can we approach the donor directly?
If you have an existing relationship with a donor who has established a fund at the Community Foundation, then obviously we would not want to interfere with that. If the donor has suggested you apply to their fund please speak to one of our team before making an application so we can advise you. All requests will be subject to our normal grant policy and application criteria.

What is the deadline for applications?
You can apply for a grant at any time but be aware there are deadlines for when applications (both part A and part B) for each panel should be submitted to us. Please look at our deadline dates to make sure your application is in for the correct date to go to panel.

I have been turned down for grants in the past – can I re-apply?
Yes: we don’t ask applicants to wait before submitting a new project proposal. You can make an application as soon as you are ready, but you should address any advice or feedback we have given you about your previous application.

Can I apply for continuation funding?
You can apply to continue work that you are already doing, but bear in mind that your request will be considered on its merits alongside all other applications.

Why do you need to have a copy of our constitution, accounts, protection policy and bank statement?
We check your governing document to make sure your application is for work that is charitable and fits with your organisation’s aims and objectives. We also look to make sure you are properly governed and what will happen to any assets if your organisation closes down. If you work with children or vulnerable adults, we need to know that you have checks in place to ensure their safety. We look at accounts to understand your financial position, and will talk to you if we want more information. We need the bank statement so that we can be certain that any grant goes to the correct account.

Do we have to send you accounts every time we apply?
If you have sent your latest accounts or financial records with a previous application we can use those. However, we expect you to have new accounts up to 10 months after your financial year end. For example, if your financial year end is 31 March 2014 then we will accept those accounts until January 2015 unless you have a more up-to-date set.

What are you looking for in the feedback we provide?
We need to know whether our grants are benefitting individuals and communities. So as well as giving us some facts and figures about your project, we will ask you to describe any positive changes it has helped to bring about. We share your feedback with our donors. They especially like to hear individual beneficiaries’ stories in their own words. Photographs and video can really bring those stories to life. Remember that providing great feedback inspires local philanthropists to keep supporting projects like yours through the Community Foundation

Once a grant is awarded can we change what we spend it on?
You have to discuss this with us first. That is because you agree to our terms and conditions when you accept the grant, which includes spending the grant on the items you applied for. We try to be helpful wherever possible.

How long do we have to spend the grant?
This depends on how long the funded activity will last. For the majority of our grants we would expect funding to be used between six months and one year, but you will tell us when you want to spend the money by when completing your application.