How it works

Cumbria Community Foundation manages more than 100 different grant making funds.

We will assess your application according to the criteria of the relevant fund or in the case of the Cumbria Fund, to our current grant making priorities as identified in the Cumbria Revealed report:

  • Improving the lives of Disadvantaged Children and Families
  • Improving the life skills, education, employability and enterprise of disadvantaged people
  • Supporting Vulnerable Older People
  • Improving the health and well-being of the people of Cumbria
  • Strengthening and supporting fragile communities
  • Enabling people to access arts, sports, culture, heritage and the environment

When we assess your application we are looking for evidence that it is a good quality proposal that has a strong social purpose and that you are the right organisation to carry it out. We use the application form, supporting information and what you tell us, to decide this.

If funds are limited then priority may be given to projects that will have the greatest positive impact on our communities or that are addressing current issues, e.g. additional hardship arising from the cost of living crisis.

When your application is received it will be acknowledged within 5 working days. If the application form is not fully completed or you have not sent us the additional information we ask for, we may send it back to you or keep it on hold until the additional information is received.

Complete applications are reviewed by a Grants & Programmes Officer who may contact you by telephone or visit you.

If the application is eligible for funding, it is normally presented to one of our grants committees, made up of a group of local people with a good general knowledge of local communities and the issues facing those from disadvantaged backgrounds. In some instances, we may consult with our fundholders who wish to be involved in the decision-making process.

If your project is particularly urgent we may be able to operate a ‘fast track’ process. Please contact us for more information.

Once we have made a decision we will inform you within 5 working days.

We cannot make grants to all the applications we receive. Your proposal may be worthwhile but we just might not have the right fund or enough money to award a grant. If your application is turned down, we will tell you why it was not successful. Our Complaints, Reconsideration and Appeals Procedure for Grant Making has information on how to make an appeal.

It is important to note that we require all grant applicants to have adequate safeguarding policies and procedures in place. If you work directly with children or adults at risk, we also require you to have in place an appropriately trained designated safeguarding lead, evidence of regular safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers, and for there to be appropriate checks on trustees, staff and volunteers in eligible. For more information see

If successful, grants are paid directly into the grant recipient’s bank account. We may occasionally make grant payments by cheque.