Am I Eligible

It is important that you read our eligibility guidelines below before you think about applying to make sure that you meet the criteria for a grant.

If you have any questions about the criteria of any of the funds, please email the grants team or call us on 01900 825760 and we will be happy to help.

We make grants to a wide range of organisations. We are particularly keen to help grassroots community groups and small-to-medium-sized voluntary organisations. We do not normally make grants to large UK-wide charities, but we might do so where there are strong relationships in our area and the proposal has the potential to achieve a substantial impact.

You do not have to be a registered charity to apply, but the work you ask us to support must be legally charitable.

The table below shows the requirements that must be met before considering an application:

Volunteer-led organisations, registered charities and CIOs must: Social enterprises, Community Interest Companies (CIC) and other companies must:
• Have a management committee with a minimum of three unrelated members Have a management committee with a minimum of three directors, or four directors if two are related. The majority of directors should be unpaid. Directors should have equal voting rights.
• Have a bank or building society account in the name of the organisation/group, with a minimum of two unrelated bank signatories. • Have a bank or building society account in the name of the organisation/company, with a minimum of two unrelated bank signatories.
• Have charitable aims, evidenced by the governing document. • Have clear charitable purposes and a defined social benefit, evidenced by Articles of Association and community benefit statement. Please also supply your CIC 34 report (if this has been made available).
• Provide evidence of good governance practices and sound financial management including being registered with the Charity Commission, Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) or other governing body, depending on the size of the organisation, annual accounts. • Provide evidence of good governance practices and sound financial management, including having a recognised status (e.g. a company limited by guarantee), and be registered with the necessary relevant body (e.g. Companies House, CIC regulator, annual accounts.
• Register with the Charity Commission if your charitable organisation is based in England or Wales and has over £5,000 income per year. • Ensure an Asset Lock body is named and has objectives both charitable and similar to the CIC, ensuring benefit to the community.

NB: We will ask you to provide evidence of the above as part of your funding application
For most funds, you can apply whatever your income level. Some funds may have more specific requirements about the size and type of organisation eligible.

Please note if you have previously had a grant from us we will not consider any new application unless you have submitted any outstanding end of grant monitoring reports.

What we will fund:

  • Projects where the majority of people who will benefit are disadvantaged
  • Groups working with children where the majority are disadvantaged or have special needs
  • Groups with 12 months or less running costs in unrestricted reserves
  • Groups operating within the county of Cumbria (Except Beckburn Windfarm and Cumberland Building Society Community Fund – please refer to the fund pages for the full area of benefit)
  • Groups with a registered address and/or local voluntary management committee or Board of Trustees in Cumbria (Except Beckburn Windfarm and Cumberland Building Society Community Fund – please refer to fund pages for the full area of benefit)
  • Core costs and overheads for your organisation
  • Salaries and equipment purchases
  • Capital projects that meet our fund criteria

What we won’t fund:

  • Animal welfare
  • Contact boxing, except where donor-advised
  • Businesses and personal profit
  • Deficit funding
  • General large appeals
  • Medical research and equipment, except where donor-advised
  • Activities that are normally the responsibility of central or local government
  • Awards from the same fund in a 12 month period
  • Projects which duplicate an existing service in an area
  • Fundraisers and fundraising events
  • Advancement of religion including buildings solely for religious purposes, except where donor-advised
  • Party political activities
  • Retrospective funding unless through a disaster appeal
  • Purchase of vehicle, except where donor-advised
  • Groups or individuals who have not returned their monitoring form
  • Beautification projects, except where donor-advised
  • National organisations that do not have a local presence within Cumbria


Safeguarding relates to the actions taken to promote the welfare and wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults, and to protect them from harm, abuse and neglect.

The trustees of an organisation have the primary responsibility for safeguarding beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, and must take all the necessary steps to ensure that their organisation is operating in a safe and secure environment. This includes staff and volunteers receiving appropriate training and support to prevent safeguarding issues arising, or to spot signs of abuse; robust procedures for reporting abuse in a timely and objective manner, and clear accountability structures, including a named contact for any safeguarding issues.

Cumbria Community Foundation takes the safeguarding of children and adults at risk seriously and we expect organisations applying for our funding to have a safeguarding policy which is up-to-date and relevant to their beneficiaries. When we review a safeguarding policy, we are looking for assurance of an organisation’s commitment to protecting their beneficiaries, staff and volunteers from any abuse. The list of criteria points we use to assess your policy is included in our Safeguarding Assessment Criteria.

If you apply for a grant you will be asked for a copy of your organisation’s safeguarding policy at the time of application. Read our Safeguarding FAQ’s for more information.

The Charity Commission says that as a charity, we must only fund organisations that have adequate safeguarding arrangements in place. So, safeguarding applies to every organisation we fund, not just registered charities and not only those working with children or vulnerable adults.

Organisations like community centres or village halls that rent space to other groups, or organisers of public events, do not always directly work with the public. But they still have trustees, volunteers and perhaps staff. They will still be in contact with children and vulnerable adults on their premises or at events. And, because they are trusted in communities, they may become aware of potential safeguarding issues. So, they must have adequate safeguarding arrangements. That includes making sure that any groups working with children or vulnerable adults on their premises or at their events have appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures.

If you are an organisation that supports children and young people, please contact James Baggley, HR & Operations Manager at Cumbria Youth Alliance who can provide advice and guidance to develop an appropriate safeguarding policy. Please email or call 07955 355663

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