Applying for our community grants

********** GRANTS NEWS December 2019 **********

We’re excited to let you know that in the new year DCF will be reviewing the way it deals with grants. We’ve listened to our applicants and as a result we’re aiming to make the whole process simpler, give decisions faster and put more focus on funding core costs.

In order for our busy Grants Team to get all this done they will be taking a break from normal grant making until a brand new procedure launches in the autumn of 2020 in line with our new and improved website.

We are now closed for new applications.

For applicants who are invited to complete Stage 2 of our application process, we will require these to be completed by Thursday 30th January 2020. Applications received by this date will be processed as usual, and be submitted to our grants panel for a decision on funding during February 2020.

For news of other grants and to keep updated with what's happening at DCF please sign up to our newsletter here

Please note that our office will close for Christmas at 2pm on Thursday 19th December and will reopen on Monday 6th January 2020.

It is important that you read the information on these pages very carefully before applying to make sure your organisation is eligible and, if so, that your application reaches us through the right format. If you have any questions please email or call us on 01884 235887.

The aim of our grant making is to help build thriving communities. We support core costs, new or continuing projects and one-off initiatives. We welcome applications from organisations collaborating on projects and simply request that you submit one application with a lead contact. 

Organisations MUST meet the following eligibility criteria: 

Be a not-for-profit voluntary or community group, registered charity or social enterprise/CIC (limited by guarantee) using profits and assets for the benefit of the community and that:

  • Are providing services or facilities for the benefit of people and/or communities in Devon (including Torbay and Plymouth)
  • Have a Governing Document (Constitution/Set of Rules/Articles) which sets out the organisations charitable aims and includes a dissolution clause or asset lock which states what would happen to any funds should the organisation be wound up; CICs should have clearly defined objects within their Articles of Association
  • Have a bank account in the organisation's name with at least two unrelated signatories (in exceptional circumstances we are able to pay a grant through a host organisation)
  • Have a management committee with at least three unrelated members; CICs should have at least 3 unrelated Directors registered with Companies House
  • Can provide annual accounts and/or financial records that show the organisations balance of funds and a breakdown of income and expenditure
  • Have Safeguarding Policies in place to protect young people and vulnerable adults, where appropriate, and which comply with current legislation/best practice
  • Have an Equality & Diversity/Equal Opportunities Policy in place
  • Does not have an outstanding end of grant evaluation for a previous grant
  • Have unrestricted funds of less than one year's running costs
  • CICs must be able to demonstrate that profits made are reinvested to support and benefit the local community                                                        

What we DON'T fund: 

  • Building or refurbishment works 
  • Capital purchases over £1,000
  • Consultancy fees or feasibility studies
  • Grant making organisations
  • It is unlikely that we will fund an organisation more than once in a 12 month period
  • Large projects where a small grant would not make a significant difference
  • National or regional charities, unless there is a local branch with its own management committee and bank account
  • Organisations or activities that primarily support animals or plants 
  • Overseas travel
  • Promotion of political or religious beliefs 
  • Retrospective funding (activity that has already happened or been committed)
  • Sponsorship and/or fundraising events
  • Statutory bodies e.g. schools/colleges, health services, local councils (Friends of or PTA school groups can apply)

Please note that some of the above may be considered by the Community Benefit Funds that we administer. Details of these funds, which relate to specific geographical areas, can be found on the Community Benefit Fund page.

Submitting an application 

Stage 1 Application 
To help us establish which fund your project might be eligible for we ask all applicants to submit a Stage 1 Application. Once received, we will contact you within approximately two weeks to let you know whether or not there is any suitable funding available. If there is, we will send you an email inviting you to complete a Stage 2 Application

Stage 2 Application 
Please thoroughly read the email you will receive as it will contain essential information for completing your application. To get started you will simply need to follow the link within the email to take you to your Stage 2 Application, which can be saved as a draft and returned to at any time before submitting the final version. You will be required to upload supporting documents with your application, without these your application may be rejected. We are unable to accept hard copies of application forms or documents. Your Stage 2 Application will be valid for six months from receipt of the Stage 2 invitation email.

Applications are subject to a detailed assessment. As part of the assessment, you may be contacted by email or telephone or the assessor may wish to contact the named referee.

Panel approval
Funding decisions are made by a community grants panel. Unfortunately, we are unable to fund every application that we receive but where possible we may be able to fund certain aspects of an application or draw money from a number of funds to fully meet a request. Please note that there is no right of appeal on award decisions made.

Grant decisions
We will let you know whether or not you have been awarded a grant by email. If awarded a grant, DCF will make the payment by BACS transfer on receipt of a signed Grant Agreement, which will be emailed to you on notification of your grant.

Monitoring and evaluation
DCF is keen to establish a two-way relationship with funded organisations as this is important to monitor progress. Funded organisations will receive an evaluation form and possible visit by the DCF team to see the progress and effectiveness of the grant. The satisfactory completion of the evaluation form is a requirement for any future grant application to DCF.

DCF will ask for monies to be returned if, for any reason, the organisation is unable to use the grant effectively for its original, defined purpose, unless alternative conditions have been subsequently agreed in writing. Grants must be used for their stated purpose within 12-months of approval. DCF will endeavour to support organisations that experience difficulties but the responsibility is on the organisation to keep DCF fully informed of any issues.