Neighbourhood Fund

Supporting local community groups whose work addresses local issues, social problems, poverty and disadvantage

Neighbourhood Fund

Eligibility

The Neighbourhood Fund prioritises smaller community groups, therefore, applications made by groups with annual expenditure over £250,000 will not usually be considered by the panel.

Groups must be local to Dorset. We do not fund national charities but can fund local branches if they are managed separately and financially independent

Organisations that can apply:

  • Registered Charities
  • Constituted Community and Voluntary Organisations
  • Community Interest Companies (please see additional guidance for CICs in appendix 1 of our full grant-making policy here)
  • Social Enterprises (companies limited by guarantee that have a clear not-for-profit clause in their governing document and clear charitable or social objectives)

To be eligible the organisation must have:

  • A management committee or board of Trustees/Directors with at least 3 unrelated people
  • A written constitution or set of rules that sets out the purpose and management of the organisation
  • A bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two unrelated cheque signatories
  • An appropriate Safeguarding Policy

Exclusions:

  • Schools are not eligible but we can fund PTA groups if they meet our eligibility guidelines
  • We cannot fund the promotion of religion or political causes
  • We cannot fund public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations
  • We cannot fund animal welfare organisations
  • We cannot offer retrospective funding for items already purchased or work completed
  • Organisations with more than 12 months’ unrestricted reserves are usually not funded

Priorities

The Neighbourhood Fund supports local charities and community groups whose work addresses local issues, social problems, poverty and disadvantage due to age, illness, disability, isolation, discrimination or financial hardship.

Priority may be given to groups that work in partnership with other providers, involve service users in the design of services and invite feedback, and where the service/activities are easy to access with clear referral routes. We are looking to support services that effect positive change and bring tangible improvements to quality of life for Dorset residents.

In addition to the broad objectives of the fund outlined above, the Fund has two particular areas of interest and applications working in these areas may be prioritised:

  • Services that support older people to lead more active, healthy and independent lives (addressing social isolation and loneliness, declining health, poor access to services and support for carers)
  • Services that support those with mental health problems, including those with diagnosed conditions and early intervention (addressing low self-esteem and personal aspirations, relationship difficulties, unhealthy coping behaviours and other issues)

 What can I apply for?

Grants of up to £5,000 are available.

The activities funded must start within 2 months of the award and groups have up to 12 months to spend the grant. Applications do not need to be for new services. We can fund the continuation of existing services that are delivering evidenced outcomes, the expansion or adaption of these services in line with local needs or increased demand, piloting new ways of working or launch of new services.

We will fund any costs relating to the work you deliver including core costs, service delivery costs and reasonable capital costs (e.g. office equipment, sports equipment, tools etc). Contributions towards large capital appeals are a low priority for funding.

Monitoring and reporting

 You should have tools in place to measure and record the intended outcomes of the grant. We do not expect complex or multiple methods – examples may include feedback forms/questionnaires, interviews or discussion groups, recording observations, attendance logs or other relevant data.

Completion of an online End of Grant report is a requirement of funding, including how funds were spent, the outcomes achieved (for beneficiaries and/or your organisation), learning during the grant period and individual case studies where relevant.

 How to Apply

The Fund is now OPEN. The deadline to submit applications is midday on Friday January 14, 2022

To apply click here.

You will need to attach the following supporting documents to your online application, or send them via email to grants@dorsetcf.org

  • A copy of your constitution/governing document, if not registered at Companies House or the Charities Commission
  • A copy of a recent bank statement no more than 3 months old
  • A copy of your latest annual accounts, or in the case of new groups, please send a financial forecast or budget for your first year if you have one
  • Your Safeguarding policy and Equality & Diversity policy *our guidance notes may be helpful

Apart from the bank statement, you do not have to send these if you have already sent these documents in the last six months.

If you are unsure about any of the above criteria, pre-application advice is available from the Grants Manager Ellie Maguire on 07592 032666 or at grants@dorsetcf.org

If you are unsure about any of the above criteria or have any other queries, please contact our Grants Manager Ellie Maguire on 07592 032666 or at grants@dorsetcf.org.

* For support with policy development or reviews, we recommend you contact your local support agency for voluntary sector groups – Community Action Network covers the BPC Council area and Dorset Community Action covers the Dorset Council area.

Safeguarding policy – there are helpful online resources such as the Charity Commission’s guidance on Safeguarding and the NSPCC website .New groups or those without any current policy may find it helpful to watch this short video ‘Safeguarding adults in the voluntary sector’  introducing what Safeguarding is and why it is relevant for all voluntary sector groups, no matter how small or who you are working with.

Equality & Diversity policy – we recommend this should include as a minimum: reference to the Equality Act 2010 and explicitly covering all protected characteristics, equal access to services and employment and ways you achieve this, preventing harassment or discrimination and how complaints are dealt with fairly

In order for us to follow our decision-making process, the information given in your application will be shared with our independent panel members and/or donors as appropriate. Panel members are subject to a confidentiality agreement. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information on data sharing and storage.

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