APPLYING FOR A GRANT – DRAFT VERSION

Herefordshire Community Foundation makes grants to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community. We don’t focus on any particular cause or type of work.

The monies come from some two dozen funds that we manage for donor organisations and individuals. These funds have guidelines which spell out areas of interest. Most non-profit causes in the Herefordshire area qualify. Some of our funds also support projects in neighbouring counties, and across England and Wales.

But the majority of our funding is within Herefordshire.

As you can imagine, we get many applications than we have funds to grant, and indeed, many which just don’t qualify at all. So, to avoid wasting your valuable time, you should understand first the process, and what we do, and do not, support.

Additional information on community funding opportunities in Herefordshire can be found on this Herefordshire Council page.

FIRST IMPORTANTLY, ARE YOU?

A GROUP OR ORGANISATION

To be funded by us, your project must have a legally charitable purpose. You do not have to be a registered charity.

We carry out due diligence checks and take up references. Ideally, your group should be constituted in some way. It helps too, if there is an active website. That gives us a good assessment start point.

AN INDIVIDUAL

Only a few of our funds offer grants to individual applicants. And can be quite restrictive as to where you live in Herefordshire (e.g. there are funds specifically for Ledbury and Kington), and the purpose of the monies.

Initially, we suggest you send us a simple enquiry. Then we can give you an indication if it’s worth applying in detail.

THE CHARITIES ACT 2011 DEFINES A CHARITABLE PURPOSE AS ONE FOR PUBLIC BENEFIT...

The advancement of…

  • Education or religion.
  • Health or the saving of lives.
  • Citizenship and community development.
  • The arts, culture, heritage or science.
  • Amateur sport.
  • Animal welfare.
  • Human rights and conflict resolution and reconciliation.
  • The promotion of religious or racial harmony.
  • Equality and diversity.
  • Environmental protection and/or improvement.

Plus…

  • The prevention or relief of poverty.
  • The relief of those in need, be it youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage.
  • Improving the efficiency of the UK armed forces, police, fire and rescue services or ambulance services.

WE’RE VERY KEEN ON PROJECTS THAT…

  • Make the lives of people in the community better.
  • Tackle mental health issues.
  • Support the vulnerable.
  • Support young people.
  • Encourage a community spirit.
  • Promote neighbourhood cohesion.
  • Encourage education – be it formally, musically, or creatively.

HCF SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDE GRANTS FOR…

  • Profit-making organisations and businesses.
  • Medical equipment.
  • Animal charities.
  • The promotion of faith, or the refurbishment/building of places of worship.
  • Projects which could be funded by statutory bodies – schools, hospitals, police, etc.
  • Any project which directly replaces statutory obligations.
  • Promoting a political party.
  • Funding for past activities.
  • Sponsored or third-party events.
  • Groups with over £50,000 annual income.

DECIDING WHAT GRANTS TO GIVE?

Our trustees need to know that the grants we make are effective, and that we are giving grants wisely and to the right groups. As well as a due diligence check and references, we check on the progress of projects we fund.

But before we make a decision on a grant, we ask ourselves the sort of questions listed below. You might like to think about them. Not all questions will be relevant for all projects.

Organisation of the group.

  • Is there evidence of the group’s capability to run the project?
  • Does the group have links with other similar groups and collaborate or share ideas/resources?
  • Will the project continue after the grant is spent, and will it leave a permanent legacy?
  • Could the work of the group be inspirational to others?
  • Does the group develop new skills for its volunteers?
  • Is the project open to the whole community?
  • How can people hear about it and become involved?

Purpose of the project.

  • Is the purpose of the project well defined?
  • Is it clear that there is a need for the project?
  • Are there any others like it?
  • How will people benefit from the project?
  • How many people will benefit and who are they?
  • Would funding this project bring any educational benefits or helping people into work?
  • Will the project make people more independent in the future and less in need of help?
  • What changes could be expected in the next six months or a year as a result of this project?

Financial details.

  • How much will the project cost in total?
  • Money still to raise?
  • Amount requested from HCF?
  • How is this project value for money?
  • What will it cost per beneficiary?
  • Do beneficiaries contribute at all?
  • What will be the general value to the community?
  • Does the organisation have financial reserves? If the reserves are for more than the equivalent of a year’s operating cost, it might be difficult to justify making a grant.
  • Is there a local financial contribution to the project or funding from elsewhere?
  • Are there any ‘in kind’ contributions from partner organisations?
  • Are further sources of income being looked for so that the project can continue into the future?
  • Has the group had a grant from us before?

YOUR APPLICATION IN SIX SIMPLE STEPS…

  1. 1
    We aim to send you a ‘received’ response email within seven working days. It will tell you how we judge basic suitability. We may ask you more questions and almost certainly, for supporting documentation. We are looking to plug any knowledge gaps so we can present the best possible case for you. The extra questions will be unique to your bid and give a stronger chance of success. Assessment also allows you to build a relationship with us through personal contact.
  2. 2
    Your application is then passed to a member of the grants team for assessment. During assessment we will prepare a summary to be put before an initial panel from the specific fund we identify as fitting your request. Once the fund panel gives approval, the application is put to the main Herefordshire Community Foundation board of trustees’ meeting. We hopefully, will have anticipated what questions the trustees may ask about your project.
  3. 3
    We aim to get you a decision within four to six weeks of your application arriving at HCF, although sometimes it can take a bit longer. This is dependent on when your application actually arrives and when fund panels and trustees have set dates to meet. As such, we always advise you to plan ahead and get applications in a good three months before you need the funds.
  4. 4
    Once the trustees have met we will get a written response to you within two weeks. You can also call us after the meeting date to get an update over the phone. We always give honest feedback suggestions, and advice where we can.
  5. 5
    If successful we will contact you for confirmation of your bank details in order to BACS the payment. You will also need to sign a grant agreement. Once we have that, we will email you with a definitive date for the money. We will send you publicity material and logos you can use to promote your grant.With regard to publicity, we ask you to send us pictures demonstrating the how the grant was used, which we might like to use on our website (and elsewhere) to promote our work. This is to show potential donors and other grant applicants positive examples. In sending us materials, we assume any persons shown have granted their permission to you.
  6. 6
    Once you have completed spending the grant, you will need to return a simple monitoring form to us. You will be given a date for this to be submitted to us. You should try to include copies of receipts for purchases, etc. if appropriate to support how you spent the money.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

Alongside your application, we will ask you at stage two, to send (or email as attachments) documents, which will support your request for funds. We describe them below, and explain why we ask for them and what we are looking for. We assure you of our confidentiality in viewing these documents, which will be copied and returned to you.

  • Constitution.
    This states what your group does, how you manage the group, including member election, how you manage your finances and what you would do if your group was to close. It often clarifies that you really are a not-for-profit organisation. It is an important document for us as it tells us how you work and what you are about. It lets us know you have processes in place and that you would be able as a committee to handle a grant.
    Other names for a constitution are… Memorandum & Articles of Association, Trust Deed, Club Rules.
  • Supporting documents if working with children or vulnerable adults, that confirmation of all DRB checks is in place. And your Child and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding policy (if applicable).
  • Management committee list.
  • A list of those involved in the running of the organisation.
  • Annual accounts and/or balance sheet.
    If your group is over a year old you should have some form of accounts or balance sheet. This is usually prepared by the group’s treasurer and presented at the group’s AGM.
    This tells us about income and expenditure over a twelve-month period. It should contain a brought forward figure from the previous year and a carry forward figure into the new year (how much you have left). This allows us to calculate how much you have in the way of free available money. Or in other terms how strong your financial need is.
  • Original bank statements.
    Preferably three months or five bank pages, whichever. If you have problems acquiring originals or are reluctant to post them, contact us to discuss alternative options. We also need this information for payment of your grant, if you are successful.
  • Management committee minutes.
    If your group has not applied to us before, or if your group is under a year old, we will ask for a copy of some recent minutes. This is so we can see the committee are actually meeting, functioning, communicating.

We hope you now understand how we give grants, and whether your group might qualify. If so, then please…

Question? Please contact our Director, Jayne Porchester, 01432 272550, mail@herefordshirecf.org.