Please only apply if you meet the following criteria:
* You are a registered charity. We will check with The Charity Commission. Please make sure that you state your Charity Number clearly on your application (this saves a lot of our admin time). In exceptional circumstance we will consider applications from not for profit organisations if you can show that you are in the process of applying for charitable status. We do this because we need to show that the grants we make are for charitable reasons and we also need to show due diligence that we can read your reports and accounts and see that you are accountable. We do not accept applications from state funded organisations like state schools or NHS hospitals. We will consider charities who have links to such organisations but not if they are directly fundraising for a school or hospital. In exceptional circumstances we have funded schools where they are making their facilities open to the general community outside of school hours but again this would need to come through a charitable organisation with the school's agreement. The application needs to come directly from your organisation and can not be submitted by a third party on your behalf.
* You actually need a grant. We will check your Reports and Accounts and if you have unrestricted reserves (in excess of 25%, or three months of your annual spending) that would cover the cost of the project then we are unlikely to fund you. We want to make the best use of grants we offer to benefit local residents. We are looking to fund initiatives that would be unlikely to go ahead without our help. Please do not apply to us if you have ample reserves as it is just a waste of admin time.
* Your request is in our geographical catchment area. The grant needs to be for the benefit of residents of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire in England. We will accept applications from British Charities but only if you can show that it is for a specific project that benefits our catchment area. We do not give money “pro-rata” for the number of your clients who reside in our catchment area.
* Your request is for something specific and quantifiable. We do not give grants for core funding. Core funding is the day to day running of your charity; what you do on a daily basis. For example, using a case study does not make it a specific project. If your charity exists to provide specialist beds for example, then giving us the name of someone on your waiting list who needs a bed does not count as a specific project. It is still part of your core activities and hence part of your core funding. If you are looking for a general donation towards running your charity we are unable to help you. We give grants for things that come up outside of your day to day expenses. What we like funding most is contributions towards one-off capital expenditure (for example if your charity needs a new van, or needs to install disabled toilets etc). We need proper breakdowns of the costs involved, with quotes. We will occasionally consider pilot projects if you need to purchase specialist equipment to run the pilot. We will not cover staff costs, but if you can show that something could potentially have a major community benefit but you do not have the funds for the equipment you need to try it out, we may be able to support you with the purchase costs. This is on the understanding that once you’ve successfully shown that something is working you can then apply to other charities for funding to continue. Again, please attach quotes to your application. Please give details of who is being targeted. For example, if you want to do a project in schools we would need a list of the schools involved and you would need to show that they have agreed to you working with them. We will also exceptionally step in to provide a bridge if you have a shortfall and you can show that you have another source of funding that will be forthcoming but you need to keep operating until it comes into force.
* Your request is in the future. The Charity does not give grants to retro-fund projects. You need to apply to us before you incur any costs you expect us to cover. For example, should you hire an architect to draw up plans to build an extension to your building, you could then apply to us for the cost of the building work but you could not apply for the architects fees as this has already occurred and would be retro-funding. When you commit to any spending you need to have the funding already agreed and in place.
* Your request does not involve creating or expanding a post. We do not want to be responsible for creating a job that has no long term prospect of continuing. We expect you to always pay your own staff costs and overheads. Even if it is a pilot project we will not cover funding for additional staff. If you put in anything to do with staff costs in your application that element of your application will be not considered for funding.
* If you are working with vulnerable adults or with young people you need to show that your staff are suitably qualified and that they have the proper enhanced disclosures in place. We need to be sure that first you will "do no harm". We have a duty of care towards the end users of your service and we need you to show that you are qualified to be working with these vulnerable groups. If you have volunteers you would also need to provide reassurance that they have been properly police checked and that statutory protections are maintained at all times.
* You need to show that you do not discriminate on the basis of faith, race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or disability in any form. Whilst we do not promote religion we do support projects from all faith groups but you must show that your project is open to all faiths and people of no faith and that there is no requirement to take part in any act of worship or religious instruction in order to access your service. You need to show that there is a general community benefit. The charity is very keen on making services accessible to people with disabilities so we welcome applications to make your charity as inclusive as possible.
* You haven’t received funding from us recently. We want to be sure that we help as many groups as possible. Unless you can show an exceptional need, then we are unlikely to fund you if you have had funding from us in the past two years, even less likely if you have had funding from us in the past year. Please don’t apply under these circumstances. We keep a database of all grants given, we will just turn you down and again it is a waste of admin time. This is another reason we need your charity number as this is recorded on the database. Where there is a National Charity with local branches then you need to make it very clear which branch you are and we will look at these on a case by case basis.
* You are prepared to provide a follow up report. We are required by The Charity Commission to provide proof of how the grants we have given have been used. You will need to provide receipts and a follow up report for any grant you receive from us. We would also like permission to mention your project on our website and on our Facebook page.