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Query  Type



Who can apply

Do you only give grants to registered charities?

The majority of our funds are open to community groups, registered charities, community interest companies, social enterprises and companies Ltd by guarantee, without share capital.

For CICs you must have a minimum of two directors, who can not be related. There must be no Person with Significant Control (PSC); we are unable to fund social enterprises with a person with overall significant control.

Please read the fund guidelines. All groups will need to be constituted and have the correct policies in place.


Can faith groups apply?

Yes, provided that the project for which funding is requested does not promote religious beliefs and would not exclude anyone on the grounds of religion, you must also have an equality policy in place. This will be considered by our grants team when assessing your application.


Do you give out grants to branches of national charities?

As long as you are independently constituted with your own management committee and bank account you are free to apply. Please read fund guidelines. We only fund work within Northamptonshire.


Do you consider consortium or partnership applications?

We actively encourage partnership working. You will need to identify one partner as the lead applicant. Any grant awarded will legally be the responsibility of the management committee of that organisation. You will also need to demonstrate in your application why a partnership is needed and which organizations will be responsible for which parts of the project. You may be required to provide policies for all partners.


Can schools or local authority nurseries apply?

We are unable to support statutory organizations. However, we are able to support friends of schools/nurseries or PTA’s – in this instance we only fund activities that are not statutory responsibilities, and which usually take place outside of school hours. There may be exceptions to this depending on the type of activity offered. We also encourage school groups to provide activities for the wider community wherever possible, and not just for children at one school.

Finance and Budgeting

Do you have an income threshold for grants?

Please check individual fund guidelines.


What type of grants do you give?

This depends on the aims of each fund. We are able to fund existing or new activities, one off projects or long term programmes. Please see individual fund guidelines.


What is your approach to full cost recovery?

Northamptonshire Community Foundation encourages the use of full cost recovery when budgeting. Full cost recovery (FCR) means securing funding to cover all your costs, including direct costs to run a specific project and a proportion of overhead/indirect costs needed to run your organization. 


Can an organization have more than one grant at a time?

Yes, a group can hold up to two grants from our main programmes.


Do you fund overseas trips?


Application and Assessment Process

Do you have deadlines for receipt of applications?

We do have deadlines for applications which differ from fund to fund. All applications and supporting documentation must reach the Foundation by the specified date and time detailed in fund guidelines, in order to be considered.


Can I email my application?

All applications are completed online, you can email your supporting documents if you have not attached them to the online bid.


What is the assessment process?

Once we have received your application form you may then receive a telephone call or email. This enables us to clarify any queries or gather any additional information we might need in addition to your proposal. A telephone call or email at this stage of the process is not an indicator of outcome. If eligible, your application will be taken to a panel and grants are normally approved by the Foundation’s board of trustees and community representatives.


What happens if my application is successful?

All applicants are advised by email of the outcome of their application. If the application is successful you will need to sign and return your contract confirming acceptance of the terms and conditions of the grant offer. You will also need to fulfill any conditions detailed in your offer letter before funding can be released.


Is there a time limit to return my contract?

Yes. If you have not returned your contract after eight weeks, your grant award will be cancelled.


How is the grant paid?

Once we have received your signed contract, and you have fulfilled any grant conditions we will release payment. The majority of grants are paid by BACS, although sometimes we will pay you by cheque.


Do you visit projects?

Yes, a grants officer may visit your organization as part of a monitoring visit should your application be successful. We also carry out virtual monitoring visits.


What if I don’t agree with the panel decision?

The decision of Northamptonshire Community Foundation is final. If you are unhappy with the quality or nature of our service, please view our complaint policy. We aim to provide useful feedback to support you in the next steps on your funding journey.


What do panels consider when awarding grants?

Panels consider a number of points when deciding on grant awards, including; group’s capacity and ability, demonstration of need, financial management and capability, quality of delivery and management of grant. They will also consider how applications meet the priorities of the fund. As with all funding streams in the voluntary sector, funding is never guaranteed and we receive many more applications than there are funds available. Panels and donors often have to make difficult decisions on how to best award the limited funds available.


We were unsuccessful- when can we re-apply?

If your application was declared ineligible, you can reapply at any point. Please try to correct the issues that were raised in your letter, or your application will be declared ineligible again. If an application was declined, please do not re-apply for the same project.

Managing the grant

What if I start the project and find I need to change the budget?

Please send an email explaining the changes that are required – provided that you are not changing the majority of the grant expenditure, and that costs are reasonable, grant officers can approve a change in spend. The important thing is to contact us to gain approval, before making the changes. In extreme circumstances, if the changes in expenditure are more significant, we may need to take the budget back to panel.


What if the project gets into difficulties or the need changes?

We will do our best to help you if your project gets into difficulties - the earlier you let us know, the more help we can offer. If your user groups are telling you that they need different types of support or activities during the project, then again, please contact us to discuss how the project might be altered to better meet their needs. As long as the project still fits the criteria and aims of the fund, we would much rather work with you to make a project work, than you deliver a project that won’t produce results!


What if I can’t complete the project in the given timeframe?

Please contact us as soon as you think you might not be able to complete on time. In some cases, we will be able to offer an extension. However, with all funds you should aim to complete in the given timeframe. In some circumstances, we may need to reclaim unspent funds.


Do I need to complete a report once my project is completed?

Yes. You will be required to complete an End of Grant report, and provide copies of all receipts and evidence of expenditure.


What if I fail to return my End of Grant report or receipts?

Your group will no longer be welcome to apply for Foundation funding, and we will take legal steps to reclaim the entire grant.


Why do I need to provide a monitoring report?

Monitoring and evaluation enables us to better understand the impact of our grant making. It helps us understand community need, enables us to learn from our grant making and inform future strategies, and also enables us to show donors the impact of their funding and hopefully encourage them to give more! It should also help you to collect valuable information on how service users benefit from your work, what works and what doesn’t, how you can make your services more effective, as well as demonstrating to funders the value of your work. The Foundation considers organisations’ previous track record in managing grants whenever we receive a new application.


Can I build in funding toward monitoring my grant in the application?

Yes – this should be in line with the expected outcomes or achievements of the project.