Guidelines and available grants

Community groups must meet the criteria below when applying for a grant:

We support local charities, community and voluntary groups and social enterprises in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We award small grants to grassroots, front line, volunteer led organisations who are making a positive impact in their area. Our aim is to overcome challenges of disadvantage, exclusion and poverty for all ages. We welcome applications from both new and established groups.

We offer grants on behalf of different donors and the funding criteria is specific to each grant programme. Please read the guidelines carefully before applying.

Who can apply?

You are a not for profit, voluntary or community group or social enterprise (you don’t need to be a registered charity but your activities must be considered charitable)

  • You must have a recognised governing document e.g. Constitution, Articles which outlines the organisations objectives and it must have a Dissolution Clause
  • If you are working with children and/or people at risk, you must have a Safeguarding Policy in place outlining a named contact for first point of call in case someone needs to raise a concern regarding wellbeing
  • You must be able to provide annual accounts for your organisation
  • You must have a bank account in the organisation’s name which requires two signatories for all withdrawals. In addition, all signatories must be unrelated and live at different addresses
  • You must have a management committee with at least three members

Sorry, but this fund cannot help:

  • Projects not benefiting people living in Cornwall
  • Profit making organisations
  • 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
  • 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 whose beneficiaries are not people
  • Projects that help only one individual
  • Groups that have had a previous grant which has not been managed satisfactorily or has not provided the relevant reporting

Which Fund should I apply to?

Cornwall Community Foundation manages a variety of charitable funds. Please read the criteria for the fund before starting your application form. Please note that an organisation can apply to more than one grant programme at any one time but can only have one active application per grant programme. Please see the list of grant programmes by clicking here.

Making an application

All application forms (except for grants for individuals ) can be completed online by either completing an over £1,000 or under £1,000 application form.  You will be asked to submit supporting documents; however you will not need to re-submit your governing document, safeguarding policy, accounts, bank statement and list of Committee Members if we have already received a copy, unless the documents have been updated.  To request a paper copy of the application form, please contact the Foundation.

We request one written reference if you are applying for under £1,000 and two written references if you are applying for over £1,000; these are requested at application stage and are the responsibility of the applicant to ensure these have been received.

Referees must be independent of your organisation, know its work well and know about the project for which you are requesting funds. Please do not provide a reference from a relative, friend, partner or another member of your group. The reference must include the following details:

  • How the referee knows the organisation and for how long
  • Background information about the organisation detailing how they feel it is run
  • An outline of the proposed project for which funding is being requested and the impact the project will have on the local people
  • Whether they feel the applicant along with the volunteers involved can meet their outcomes?

We must receive all the requested supporting documents with your application and before the deadline of the panel you are applying. This also includes any supporting documents being sent in the post. Please note that this fund is sometimes over-subscribed. Should this be the case, we reserve the right to close the fund for new applications in advance of the published closing deadline date. This avoids applicants undertaking unnecessary work on applications. Please therefore submit your completed application form and supporting information as soon as you possibly can. We reserve the right not to process any incomplete applications.

What happens next?

Acknowledgement of receipt

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. 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.

Grant decisions

All applicants will be informed of their outcomes from the panel, with feedback where applicable. Awarded recipients will receive their payment from The Cornwall Community Foundation on receipt of the signed Declaration if Interest (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.

Committee approval

Unfortunately we are unable to fund every application that we receive but where possible we may be able to fund certain aspects of an application or draw money from a number of funds to fully meet a request. Please note that there is no right of appeal on award decisions made. The decision of the Grants Panel is final.

Change of Grant use

Grants awarded must be spent for the approved purpose within the timeframe you specify on your application form, failing this it may be necessary for funds to be returned.  If circumstances change and you wish to amend your original project you must write to CCF detailing the proposed change, with cost implications, for the panel to consider.  No work should be undertaken without the prior approval of CCF otherwise it may also be necessary for funds to be returned.

Monitoring and evaluation

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. The monitoring must be 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. As well as completing the monitoring form we also request copies of receipt as evidence of spend, Jpeg photos and quotes from beneficiaries.

By signing the Declaration form you agree to promote the Cornwall Community Foundation by displaying our logo and website link on all your promotional materials along with any partner logos. Our logo is available upon request.

You can see the list of available grants by clicking here

Guidelines for all applicants