Frequently Asked Questions

For new or recently started Community Groups


Where can I find information about how to set up?

Please note: CCF does not offer advice or make recommendation on appropriate governance structures for individual charities or community interest companies. Specific advice relies on a detailed knowledge of an individual group’s circumstances. The information and links to third party resources provided in this section are for general guidance only. We recommend you seek independent professional advice in relation to your own specific circumstances.

 

Sources of information:

  • Setting up a charity or a social enterprise can seem daunting but it is imperative to plan carefully. Mistakes at the beginning can sometimes be difficult to change later.
  • The Small Charities Coalition offers free set up resource tool to help guide visitors through the process. https://charitysetup.org.uk/#getting-started.
  • The foundation resource for all things ‘charity’ is the Charity Commission. The information provided is more detailed and an essential reference resource for most queries on charities. https://www.gov.uk/set-up-a-charity
  • If you are considering setting up a Social Enterprise, this is a good suite of information and resources. https://www.gov.uk/set-up-a-social-enterprise
Where can I find information about governance options for my group?

Please note: CCF does not offer advice or make recommendation on appropriate governance structures for individual charities or community interest companies. Specific advice relies on a detailed knowledge of an individual group’s circumstances. The information and links to third party resources provided in this section are for general guidance only. We recommend you seek independent professional advice in relation to your own specific circumstances.

 

It is imperative that your chosen charity or social enterprise structure reflect your current and future needs. Your structure will be defined in your governing document, usually called an Articles/Memorandum of Association. Your governing document is a set of rules for how you run your charity. Supplying us with your governing document is a mandatory requirement in the grant application process.

 

The charity commission offers guidance and model documents.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-write-your-charitys-governing-document

Do I have to be a charity or social enterprise to apply for a grant?

No, you can be a community group or association, as long as you have a constitution, local management committee, a bank account, and are operating in Cornwall.

 

You will need to be able to provide the following evidence with your application:

  • A recognised governing document e.g. Constitution, Articles which outlines the organisation’s objectives – and it must have a Dissolution Clause.
  • A minimum of three unrelated members on your Management Committee.
  • If you are working with children and/or people at risk, a Safeguarding Policy must be in place. We would expect to see your Safeguarding Officer’s named and contact details within this policy.
  • Up to date annual accounts for your organisation.
  • A bank account in the organisation’s name which requires two unrelated signatories for all withdrawals.
  • All relevant Insurance Policies; an Equal Opportunities Policy.
  • A written reference from an independent referee could be requested by CCF at any stage of the application process.

Funding available and eligibility


What funding is available?

Each of the 60+ grant programmes we manage has its own specific criteria, funding dates and panels.

This year we have simplified our grant application process, launching the One Programme.
This new process is easier for you to tell us about your projects and proposals. No more searching through all our available grants to find one that fits your requirements – we’ll do that for you. Your first step now is to complete a simple expression of interest form, which the grants team will then match to the best available fund. This new approach applies both to groups who have applied to us before and those who are new to us. We look forward to receiving details of your exciting proposals for our grant support.
How much money is available?

The size of grants available varies for each fund and is dependent on specific criteria laid out by the donor, the type of project and what can reasonably be achieved with the money. Funding criteria can specify grants of typically between £1000 to £5,000.

What are the key areas of activities you will fund?

We will fund:

  • Organisations whose work primarily benefits people living within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
  • Organisations that are ‘not for profit’, such as charities, community groups and social enterprises, that can demonstrate a clear community benefit in their constitution or governing document. The governing document should state clearly how any profits are to be reinvested for community benefit. There is no requirement for applicant organisations to be registered charities.
  • Regional or national organisations working in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly may be considered if they can demonstrate that they are the best organisation to tackle a particular issue or address a specific need and there is no local organisation able to do this. We are unlikely to fund regional or national organisations that are simply requesting a contribution towards a percentage of their core costs, relative to the proportion of their beneficiaries who live in Cornwall.

 

Please also note:

  • Where partnership applications are received, we will consider project proposals where some of the partner organisations are based outside Cornwall and the IOS, but we would expect local organisations to take a lead in that partnership.
  • We will give priority to frontline organisations that are working directly with local people ‘on the ground’.
  • Where organisations are ‘in crisis’, we will endeavour to offer our support but this may not necessarily be financial support.
Who can apply?

Not for profit community groups or social enterprises operating in Cornwall (you don’t need to be a registered charity, but your activities must be considered charitable). You must have the following:

  • A recognised governing document e.g. Constitution, Articles which outlines the organisation’s objectives and it must have a Dissolution Clause.
  • A minimum of three unrelated members on your Management Committee. Or if you are a Registered Charity, you must have three unrelated Trustees registered with the Charity Commission.
  • If you are working with children and/or people at risk, you must have a Safeguarding Policy in place. We would expect to see your Safeguarding Officer’s named and contact details within this policy.
  • You must be able to provide up to date annual accounts for your organisation. You must have a bank account in the organisation’s name which requires two unrelated signatories for all withdrawals.
  • In date relevant Insurance Policies.
  • Equal Opportunities Policy.
  • A written reference from an independent referee could be requested by CCF at any stage of the application process.
Are there activities you cannot consider?

Sorry, we do not fund:

  • Projects not benefiting people living in Cornwall.
  • Retrospective grants.
  • Regional offices of national bodies if they are not independent. I.e. you must have your own local accounts and management committee and benefit local people.
  • Groups that have had a previous grant which has not been managed satisfactorily or has not provided the relevant reporting.
  • Groups with significant financial free reserves.
  • Statutory/public sector organisations such as health authorities, schools, hospitals, parish and town councils.
  • Contribution to endowment fund, payment of deficit funding or repayment of loans.
  • Grant making organisations or bodies who fundraise or distribute grants on behalf of other organisations.
  • Groups whose beneficiaries are not people
    Projects that help only one individual.
  • Projects intended to influence people’s religious choices or to promote a particular belief system.
Do you consider Community Interest Companies (CICs)?

We welcome applications from CICs. We recognise that they differ from Registered Charities and other voluntary organisations, particularly as they do not have a voluntary governance structure, equivalent to Trustees. As such, our decisions will be based on our regular grant criteria, as well as the following:

  • Have a social purpose outlined in the Articles.
  • Have at least three unconnected Directors, the majority of whom are not paid.
  • Have an asset lock clause that ensures funds and assets are transferred to a body with charitable objects in Cornwall on closure of the CIC.
  • All documents registered with Companies House must be up to date and be the same documents submitted to CCF (including the asset lock).
  • Have a system to ensure decisions on Directors’ remuneration are not taken by those Directors receiving remuneration.
  • Have a realistic business plan submitted alongside the application

Applications will be welcomed for start-up costs or for delivering a new or innovative project that will benefit the community as part of the organisation’s development and must include two independent written references. We will only normally offer a grant towards running costs within an ongoing project for the first three years of operation.

Can churches and faith based organisations apply?

Whilst we do not award grants for the promotion of any religion, churches and faith based organisations may still be funded provided that the grant benefits the wider community and is not intended to influence people’s religious choices or to promote a particular belief system. Faith based organisations, should clearly demonstrate their community engagement in their application.

Can individuals apply for funding?

We do administer a small quantity of grant programmes which support individuals living in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Please see our list of grant programmes for the specific criteria.

If the grant programme requires an application to be submitted by a sponsor organisation, for the benefit of the individual, we would consider sponsors acting in official capacity. Some examples of these could be:

  • Health Visitors.
  • Social Workers.
  • Doctors/Nurses.
  • Teachers.
  • Representatives of voluntary organisations.

Making an application


What are the deadlines?

Some programmes have specific closing dates whilst others operate on a rolling basis.

Once you have completed an expression of interest form a member of the grants team will e-mail informing you if there is a fund available, the link to the online form and the specific dates relating to the said fund.

What application form do I use?

The relevant application form will be e-mailed to you once an expression of interest form has been received by the grants team and you meet one of our current grant progammes.

What supporting documents do I need to send with the application?

We require you to upload online a copy of your:

  • Constitution/Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Latest annual accounts or income and expenditure sheet.
  • Relevant safeguarding policies.
  • Copy bank statement.
  • Business Plan and two references for a CIC.

If these documents are too big to upload, they can be sent to onlineforms@cornwallfoundation.com.

Do I need to send supporting documents again if I have recently applied?

If you have received a grant from the Community Foundation within the last 2 years you do not need to re-submit all your supporting documents – unless you want to show us any updates or changes. We do, however, need to see your most recent accounts. If you have produced new annual accounts since the last application, please send these in.

Can I complete more than one expression of interest form for multiple projects?

If you have multiple projects being delivered at the same time please include them in one expression of interest form. We can only process one expression of interest form at a time.

If you have another project later in the year you can complete another expression of interest form closer to your project dates.

We can only process one active application per grant programme with a maximum of three active applications at any one time from the programmes that CCF manage (please note grants for individuals or CCF’s Crisis Fund are exceptions).

My groups is new and does not yet have a bank account - can I still apply?

Yes. Please advise us that you are in the process of setting up a bank account. If your application is successful we will need a letter from the bank confirming the account details.

I cannot access the online application - can I still apply?

If you are not able to access our online form for whatever reason, then please contact us for further information on how we can support you with your application.

What safeguarding requirements do we need to have in place to apply for a grant?

You will need to have an up to date Child Protection Policy and/or Vulnerable Adults Policy (depending on the service users your project works with) and a named Designated Safeguarding Officer.

 

You will need to make sure that all eligible staff management committee and volunteers have a Disclosure and Barring Service Check and ensure that all staff, volunteers and management committee members attend child protection training.

 

Note: some organisations have queried whether such training is required for committee members and trustees, who have no direct contact with children and young people or vulnerable people. Our stance on this is very clear. It is the management committee that is legally responsible for ensuring that such policies are in place and appropriately framed and it is therefore essential that they undertake training that equips them to fulfill this obligation. As it is now unlikely that committee members will qualify for disclosure checks, the need for such training becomes more acute.

After you have submitted your application


I have submitted my application - what happens next?

You will receive an automated confirmation email following online submission of your application. We will then process your application, acknowledge receipt by email, and inform you if any further information or documents are needed.

All applications received at the Foundation are subject to a detailed assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to make sure that the Grants Panel, who will make the decision, fully understands the application. As part of the assessment of the application, the organisation or group may be contacted by email or telephone, or the assessor may wish to visit the applicant. Please bear in mind we do use external assessors.

We will first check that your application meets the eligibility policies for the grants programme (our First Stage assessment checks). If you are not eligible we will let you know. If you have a fit with the grants programme criteria, we will then assess your application.

Depending on the complexity of the project and size of grant requested, we may contact you for clarification by telephone, carry out a more in-depth telephone assessment, or visit your project during the assessment process.

Will I be notified if I am unsuccessful with my application?

If your application is unsuccessful at a grants panel, you will be notified by email within 10 working days of the grants panel meeting date.

Will I get feedback as to why my application has been unsuccessful and can I reapply?

You will receive an email informing you on this occasion that you have not been successful.

If the sole reason for the application being unsuccessful (as outlined in the feedback provided) was due to insufficient donor funds being available for the project activity, it may be worth considering whether the work involved in reapplying to CCF, would be better directed towards other sources of funding, which have a stronger fit with your project – as it could be the case, that CCF continue to lack donor funds for your specific project activity, geography or beneficiary group.

Please note: Some programmes are only available for a short period of time and may no longer be open to reapply to.

I need to extend or change some of my project that's been awarded grant - what do I do?

We are able to consider variations and/or extension requests. These must be made in writing to us by email or letter. We need to know the reason for the extension/variation request, when the funding will be spent by and you should submit a new budget together with the planned outcomes (for a variation).

By email: grants@cornwallfoundation.com

Why am I being contacted by a Grant Assessor?

Our assessors may contact you if they have any queries about your application or organisation. Please answer their questions promptly by the assessor’s deadline or your application may not be able to proceed to panel.

When will we receive the grant?

Awarded recipients will receive their payment from The Cornwall Community Foundation on receipt of the signed Declaration (sent with the outcome e-mail) and when all grant conditions are met. Payment will be paid by a BACs transfer with the bank details provided.

Monitoring, evaluation and publicity


What sort of reporting will I need to do?

As part of the terms and conditions of your grant, all groups must complete our online monitoring form. This link is sent to you with your outcome e-mail. We do ask that the monitoring form is completed in full and returned to us no later than a year from the panel date, or when your project is complete – whichever is sooner. Please do submit it with any additional information you may wish to include.

Publicity for your project

Cornwall Community Foundation must be recognised as the donor and the grant recorded as restricted funds in your accounts. Please use the Community Foundation logo on any appropriate literature or website relating to the project. Please contact us for logo use.

Once a grant is awarded, your group name, the amount we have awarded and the overall purpose of the grant may be published on the Cornwall Community Foundation website, Twitter and Facebook. If appropriate, the Community Foundation may also use your project for other publicity purposes.

We love receiving case studies, photos and video materials from your project that we can share with the donors who have supported your work and potential donors who may be willing to support other projects.

Please do try and capture as much information to make the project come alive to the donor as possible, permissions allowing.

Photos and videos

Photos and videos are imperative to us as they not only showcase the important work of the groups and organisations, we support but they are also the best way of attracting donors, whom without we would not exist.  

  • Photos of people are preferred over photos of objects (creativity is encouraged) 
  • Please make sure all participants in the photo have given consent as they may be featured for promotional purposes. 
  • The higher the quality, the better (please aim for 300dpi or greater for images, 720p or greater for video)