Essential Information

What is the Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside?

Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside are one of the UK’s most innovative community foundations and we are Lancashire and Merseyside's local grant-maker. We work with donors with varying levels of wealth and resources who are all passionate and care about the positive development of Lancashire and Merseyside, wishing to tackle the key social issues facing our closest communities. We offer the opportunity to give to local causes in our region by connecting donors to the community by distributing grants to local grassroots community groups and voluntary projects operating in Lancashire and Merseyside. Essentially, we manage the grant making process for other people, ensuring their funding reaches the projects and people our donors want to help.

Are national organisations able to apply?

Yes, though the organisation needs to have a permanent local presence or branch in Merseyside/Lancashire that delivers projects and services for people in the area. There should be a local management team and be able to provide evidece of income and expenditure for activity in Merseyside/Lancashire rather than national accounts.

Do you consider CICs?

We only consider CIC’s limited by Guarantee and we require at least three Directors to be in place and they must be unrelated

My group doesn’t have a bank account yet - can we 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. We are also able to send a grant payment to another organisation who can accept the funds on your behalf (such as your local Council for Voluntary Service and we would need a letter from them agreeing to hold the grant for you).

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

The majority of our grant programmes have their own online application forms. If you are not able to access this for whatever reason then please contact us for further information on how we can support you with your application.

Are there activities that you cannot consider?

As standard practice, we can not consider organisations with less than three unrelated trustees / directors / management committee members. Each fund differs so please check the fund criteria but generally we do not fund the following:

  • Public sector organisations or those controlled wholly or in part, e.g. local authority, primary care trust
  • Commercial ventures
  • Purchase/maintenance of vehicles
  • Activities that will have already taken place before we offer you a grant
  • Politically connected or exclusively religious activities
  • Projects for personal profit
  • Organisations that are set up for the benefit of animals or plants – environmental groups that work with animals or environment such as city farms are acceptable
  • Groups comprising just one family
  • Statutory organisations or work that is their responsibility
  • Debts and other liabilities
  • Reclaimable VAT
  • Travel outside UK
  • CIC's limited by shares

Can I apply to more than one Community Foundation fund at the same time?

Yes, you can though it must be for either a different project or different costs if the same project. You can only submit one application to a particular fund at any one time and can only have one live grant per fund.

Can individuals apply for funding?

Yes, there are limited funding streams available for individuals to apply in specific boroughs of Lancashire and Merseyside.

How much money is available?

The size of grants available varies for each fund and is dependant 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 £250 and £10,000.

What funding is available for my project?

Each fund that we manage has criteria, outlining the types of projects that can be considered. We recommend you look at the criteria for each fund to find which one is most suitable.

I need help with my application, who can I ask?

If you need clarification on a specific question then please do not hesitate to contact one of our staff here at the Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside. However, if you require further assistance or are new to writing applications we ask you to please contact your local Council for Voluntary Service or Community Development agency, the contact details can be found in the Useful Links section on our website.

I do not know if my project meets the criteria of a particular fund, can I still apply?

We ask that you check there is an available grant fund that could consider your project before you apply. The criteria for each fund is clearly stated and you are welcome to contact us if you are unsure. This will save you time as we will withdraw applications that do not meet the criteria of any available grant fund.

Do you have application deadlines?

Please refer to each grant programme for further information on deadlines.  Some programmes have specific closing dates whilst others operate on a rolling basis and you can apply any time.

Which form do I use to submit my application?

Most of our grant programmes have their own application forms now which can be completed online. All forms can be accessed by clicking on the apply section in our website.

What are the supporting documents you need with my application?

We require a copy of your:

  • Constitution/Memorandum and Articles of Association please note if you have directors in place then to name three that are unrelated. 
  • List of Trustees/Directors/Management Committee members (you need to have a minimum of three that are unrelated in place) 
  • Latest annual accounts or income and expenditure sheet
  • Relevant safeguarding policies that include a named officer, definitions and signs of abuse, review date in the past two years and any procedure that the group follows. 
  • Copy bank statement within the past three months. 

I have sent my online application, when do you need my supporting documents?

When submitting your application you need to ensure you have submitted the supporting documents within 7 days, failure to do so may lead to your application being withdrawn.  We would prefer you to submit your documents electronically but if you cannot do this then please post them.  You do not have to send in an original bank statement a copy is fine.

I applied to the Community Foundation recently; do I need to resubmit my supporting documents?

If you have received a grant from the Community Foundation within the last 12 months you do not need to re-submit your supporting documents.  But we do need to see your most recent accounts so if you have produced new annual accounts since the last application then please send these in. Please also ensure that you send in a bank statement that is dated within the last 6 months.

How are decisions communicated?

Decisions are sent out to all applicants by email. We advise that all applications add to their safe sender lists so that correspondence doesn't go to junk folders

Will I be notified even if I have not been successful with my application?

We complete an initial sift of applications. If your application is still incomplete seven days after submission (no supporting document provided) your application will be withdrawn without further notification.  If your application is complete though does not sufficiently meet the criteria of one of our available funding programmes you will be notified.

If your application is complete and is unsuccessful at a grants panel you will be notified with the reasons for the declination within 2 weeks of the grants panel by email or letter.

Can I get feedback as to why my application was not successful?

You will receive an email/ letter informing you on this occasion that you have not been successful. Where possible we will provide some specific feedback on why the application was unsuccessful but please note that sometimes it can be purely due to oversubscription. You are able to apply again to the Community Foundation and do not have to wait 12 months to re-apply.

How are grants paid?

Most of our grants are paid by electronic transfer direct to your bank, which is why we ask for an up to date bank statement.  If for some reason this is not possible then we will send a cheque in the groups name to the contact.

I have received a grant, when can I apply again?

You can apply to the Foundation at any time you do not have to wait a certain amount of time but you can only apply to the same fund once the first grant has been spent and all monitoring has been completed. In some cases where a fund is oversubscribed priority may be given to those groups who have not received a grant from this fund before.

If successful, what sort of reporting do I need to do?

We ask all our grant recipients to complete a monitoring form once they have finished spending the grant and to send this to us along with evidence of expenditure. Further information on this can be found on the Monitoring & Evaluation section of the website. The link to the online monitoring report is provided with the grant offer email and we strongly recommend to look at this early and see what sort of reporting information is asked for.

I need to extend or change some of my project- what do I do?

We are able to consider variations and/or extension requests and 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)

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