Grants to support communites

Grants to support communites

Our Investing in Communities fund was launched in October 2018 and since then the Trust has distributed in excess of £300,000 to a variety of small, non-profit making organisations.   As the number of applications steadily increases this blog highlights some of the factors to take into consideration, so that your submission stands the best chance of success.

Financial information.  When assessing an application, we will look closely at the financial information you send in.  Before submitting your accounts please look through them yourself and make sure you give an explanation for anything that might raise questions.  Large losses or large surpluses may be a concern. You might like to detail why certain funding streams have ceased or where there are grants secured for future years.  If your organisation’s reserves are over twelve months of expenditure, then you need to say why this is.  It may be that reserves have reduced or increased since the last set of full accounts and it will help if you provide this information.  Please note that if you can’t supply two years of financial records showing a reasonable level of activity it’s likely, unless you can make a strong case, that any grant awarded will be capped at £9,000.

Beneficiaries. As the Communities programme funds core costs, it may not be easy to identify who the beneficiaries of an award might be. If that’s the case, then state this.  If you feel that there will be beneficiaries, it’s important to explain who they are, how many of them there will be and why and how they will benefit.  Essentially, we want to know, clearly and concisely how the grant will benefit your organisation and how it will help you deliver your services.

Stabilising or Extending.   It’s important to apply for the right funding stream. Before submitting your application please think about whether a potential award will help sustain what you are currently already delivering (in which case you need to apply for a stabilising grant), or help you grow and expand your service (in which case apply for an extending grant).  Whilst the programme guidance gives examples of the type of things we fund under each stream, these are not exhaustive.  If you have any queries or are worried that CFCT may not fund what you need, then please contact – details are in the Communities programme grant guidance material.

Investing in Communities Grant Criteria.  It’s vital that you address the criteria outlined in the programme guidance material.  The most common issue to date is organisations failing to provide adequate explanation as to how they deliver ‘flexible, responsive and direct support to the most vulnerable people in society’.  Make sure you are explicit about this. Include information about your client group and/or the particular area you cover. Provide information about the impact your organisation makes and try to keep the application simple.  Don’t try to fit the application around the Communities programme criteria and only apply for funding for which you have evidence is required.

Amount of Grant Applied For.  The amount of funding dedicated by CFCT to the Communities programme is limited.  As a result, applications for smaller amounts of money are significantly more likely to be approved than applications for larger amounts.  CFCT will only approve the maximum amount available on rare occasions. Please also ensure that the amount applied for is in proportion to overall organisational income.  CFCT are unlikely to fund organisations applying for amounts in excess of 50% of an their most recent turnover.

Kent based delivery CFCT only fund Kent based delivery and this particular fund is specifically for Kent based organisations.  If any part of your organisation’s service delivery takes place outside of Kent, you will need to be clear about how an award will be ringfenced for Kent service provision.