Grant Making Policy

All individuals and groups applying for funding from us must read our Grant Making Policy in full.

The below apply to all funds for groups and individuals.

Grant Making Policy

The foundation exists to benefit local communities throughout the county of Dorset by making grants to support voluntary and community sector groups making a positive contribution to their local communities. Our assessment process aims to identify that the groups we fund are aligned with our objectives, and deliver their services safely and effectively to their beneficiaries. The groups we support make no payment for our services and no eligible groups are excluded from our application process. We want our grants to support and reflect the diversity of our county and we welcome applications from groups supporting diverse communities including those who may be facing discrimination. We also exist to support individuals via a small number of funding programmes. The Foundation’s area of benefit is the county of Dorset.


Organisations that can apply:

  • Registered Charities
  • Constituted Community and Voluntary Organisations
  • Community Interest Companies Limited by Guarantee (see additional guidance in Appendix 1 of the full Grants policy here)
  • Companies limited by guarantee that have a clear not-for-profit clause in their governing document and clear charitable or social objectives that meet the priorities of the funding programme

To be eligible the organisation must have:

  • A management committee, board or Trustees of board of Directors with at least 3 unrelated people as members
  • A written constitution or set of rules that sets out our the purpose and management of the organisation
  • A bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two unrelated cheque signatories required for payments
  • An appropriate Safeguarding and EDI policy

We will prioritise small, grass roots charities and community organisations over larger local organisations that have a higher profile. We do not support national charities but can support local branches of national charities, if they are financially independent and locally managed. 

Applicants can apply to more than one grant programme throughout the year, however, if they are already in receipt of a grant they are a low priority for funding. A group cannot be in receipt of more than one grant from the same funding programme.

This is to ensure that:

  • The foundation is reaching as many groups as possible through its funding and not only appealing to those who have previously been funded
  • Previously funded organisations have submitted an end of grant form and the foundation can be confident that the grant funding has been spent as required

Grants will not be awarded to the following types of activity or organisations:

  • Public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations
  • The promotion of religion or political causes*
  • Retrospective funding – grants for a project that has started or been already completed
  • Animal welfare organisations
  • Schools are not eligible but we can fund PTA groups if they meet eligibility guidelines

Grants will not normally be awarded to the following types of organisations:

  • Groups operating outside the county of Dorset
  • Groups with more than 12 months’ unrestricted reserves
  • Groups previously funded with an overdue end of grant form
  • Medical research & equipment
  • Large capital projects, general large appeals, sponsored and fundraising events
  • Salary or fees of professional fundraisers
  • Projects duplicating an existing service

*DCF can fund churches and other faith organisations providing the funded activities are not designed to, or do not include elements that are designed to influence people’s religious choices. To assess whether awarding funding will promote religion we will consider the aims and objectives of the group as stated in the governing document and promoted on websites/social media, and the proposed use of the grant as described in the application.

For more detail on application processes, grants panels and complaints policy, please read our grants policy in full here.

If you are not clear about any of the above or have additional questions, please contact the Grants Team on 01202 670815 or