Essential Information & FAQs.

What do I need to submit with my application?


  •  Your organisation/company must have a management committee / board of trustees / board of directors with at least 3 unrelated people as members, a list of those directors will be required showing who has bank authorisation. Please submit names and addresses indicating who has bank authorisation.
  •  A written constitution / articles / set of rules.
  • A copy of your most recent annual accounts or financial records showing your organisation’s balance of funds, income and reserves.
  • If you do not have financial records that cover a full year then you will needs to provide what records you have currently and/or a cashflow forecast.
  • A bank statement from the last 3 months.
  • A copy of your safeguarding policy (see below for further details).
  • A copy of your equal opportunities policy (see below for further details).
  • Quotes for capital items over £300.
Which types of organisations can apply?


  • Registered charities
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation
  • Constituted Community groups
  • Companies Limited by Guarantee with charitable aims
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Co-operatives – registered Community Benefit Societies and
    registered Industrial and Provident Societies
  • Social Enterprises

**Funding to Community Interest Companies and other non-charities may include conditions to
restrict funding to charitable objectives only.

Some funds vary so please check the fund factsheet to the fund you are applying for.

Which types of organisations cannot apply?

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

  • Animal welfare
  • Political groups or activities promoting political beliefs
  • Religious groups seeking to influence people’s religious choices
  • Sports groups with no community or charitable element
  • Statutory bodies, Schools, Churches, Parish Councils or PTAs unless wider community benefit is demonstrated
  • Larger or national charities that are based outside the area
  • Individuals
  • Medical research
  • Organisations with substantial reserves
Can individuals apply?
We generally do not award grants to individuals unless specified in the programme.
Can Community Interest Companies or Social Enterprises apply?

Organisations set up as Community Interest Companies, or as a recognised Social Enterprises must demonstrate that they have clear charitable purposes and that their work has a defined social benefit.

  • Heart of England Community Foundation will consider supporting Community Interest Companies (CICs) and other social enterprises, where there is a sound business plan, with the start-up or expansion of charitable work, or the delivery of specific charitable activities
  • The Foundation would prefer that a SE or CIC will have been registered with the appropriate Regulatory Body for twelve months prior to the date of the grant application. The Foundation would normally expect a SE or CIC to have become self-sustaining within four years from incorporation but will consider applications from those which have been established for a longer period than this, providing the application is for capacity building or a new initiative that will develop services for the ultimate benefit of the user group
  • That the salaries and benefits of any paid directors are approved by a majority of non-executive directors and are reasonable and proportionate to the work they do and the financial position of the organisation
  • Have an ‘asset lock clause’ to ensure that funds or assets can only be transferred to a named organisation or cause with charitable objects aligned to the applicant
  • Your CIC must be set up and registered as such with Companies House, and able to provide a registration number. A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association must be supplied with applications
  • If a CIC is limited by shares rather than guarantee the company may be eligible providing they meet other criteria which will include open share distribution from the wider community. We will not fund an organisation where the shares are limited to the Directors or people who are involved/employed with the CIC only
Can schools apply?

We will only award funding for school-based activities which are outside the scope of statutory provision and wider community benefit is demonstrated. We will not generally make grants for purchases or activities which fall within an existing statutorily funded budget, even where that budget may be insufficient to fund the school’s ambitions.

Can national organisations apply?

Heart of England Community Foundation will not fund national organisations. Consideration will be given to local branches of national organisations who have their own bank account and management committee.

Can faith based organisations apply?

Whilst promotion of any religion is not an activity which will receive grant funding from Heart of England Community Foundation, faith based organisations may still be funded provided that the grant benefits the wider community and is not intended to influence people’s religious choices or to promote a particular belief system.

What activities can be applied for?

The types of activity or item a group can apply for will depend on the grant programme to which the application is submitted. Heart of England Community Foundation manages a range of grant programmes each with its own criteria and maximum grant award. The relevant guidelines can be found on the grant programme’s webpage.

What activities can we not fund?
  • General and major fundraising appeals
  • Arts projects with no community or charitable element
  • Individuals
  • Mainstream activities of schools and colleges
  • Promotion of religious causes
  • Medical Research
  • Animal Welfare
  • Political Activities promoting political beliefs
  • Organisations with substantial reserves
  • Direct replacement of statutory funding
  • Sports projects with no community or charitable element
  • Retrospective grants
  • Contribution to endowment fund, payment of deficit funding or repayment of loans
  • Overseas travel or expeditions
  • Funding for projects taking place overseas
  • Sponsored or fundraising events or groups raising funds to distribute to other causes
  • Contingency or unspecified expenditure
Is there a restriction on the size of income or financial reserves of applicant organisations?

Your organisation / company income level must be equal to or less than £500,000, as shown in your most recent annual accounts.

For the majority of our grant programmes an organisation’s income and level of financial reserves will be taken into consideration. If your organisation is holding significant financial reserves you will need to make it clear in the application why the reserves cannot be used to cover the cost of your activity.

Are applicant organisations asked to provide references?

For a few of our grant programmes it is required that applicant organisations must provide a referee. Referees should know the work of the applicant organisation in a professional capacity but not be directly involved.

Are applicant organisations asked to provide evidence of insurance?

Organisations do not have to provide evidence of insurance for their activities at the application stage. However, if it is necessary, your organisation must maintain adequate insurance for its activities at all times, and if asked, must supply copies of insurance confirmation.

Do we support the principle of full cost recovery?

We support the principle of full cost recovery and where appropriate applicants can include management cost in their application proportionate to the activity being undertaken.

Will we award a grant that contributes toward a larger project involving multiple funders?

We will occasionally consider making a small contribution towards a larger project cost, however the majority of our programmes will view such applications as a lower priority. You will be required to outline how remaining funds will be secured including what has already been confirmed.

Can an organisation submit applications to more than one grant programme?

In any one financial year applicants can apply to one or more of the grant programmes run by the Heart of England Community Foundation for which they are eligible. Groups are welcome to apply to more than one grant programme if they have multiple activities they need funding for, or if they need to apply for more than one aspect of a single activity. However, we discourage the submission of duplicate applications to multiple grant programmes. To apply for any grant programmes you must not have any overdue monitoring with Heart of England Community Foundation.

Funds are limited and it is important that the funds are distributed equitably; therefore if you submit multiple applications you may not receive the outcome you wish for them all. Please only apply for the funds that are most closely aligned with the work of your organisation.





Organisations that have not previously had funding from Heart of England Community Foundation can only hold a maximum of two applications until satisfactory receipt of monitoring has been received.

How often can an application be submitted to any one grant programme?

If you have been successful in a grant application you can not apply to that programme for another 12 months. 

What should my Safeguarding Policy include?
Groups working with children or vulnerable adults must have a safeguarding policy. We may request you to send us your policy, this is part of the due diligence process and will determine if you are shortlisted or not. You can get help from your local infrastructure organisation or online sites such as the NSPCC.

We look for the following in your safeguarding policy:

  • Definitions of abuse and signs of abuse and reporting procedure in case of disclosure
  • The name of the person responsible for child protection
  • All staff, volunteers and trustees that are working directly with vulnerable adults and/or children have the appropriate checks
  • It is good practice for all staff, volunteers and trustees who do not work directly with children and young people should be trained on safeguarding
  • Risk assessments should be carried out to ensure children and young people in their care are safe
  • A description of how abuse if different for adults (in a Vulnerable Adults Policy)
  • Needs to show a date and review date (yearly)
What should my Equal Opportunities Policy include?

We look for the following in your policy:

  • References Equality Act 2010
  • Policy should cover age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation (protected characteristics)
  • Equal access to services
  • Employment
  • Preventing harassment and ensuring everyone is treated equally
  • Complaints are dealt with fairly
Project Costs:

We require a detailed breakdown of costs. As well as a list of project costs we require the budget to be broken down in detail.

E.g. If you are requesting sessional salary costs we require the number of staff x the number of hours x the £s per hour.

If you are requesting capital items such as computers we need to know the cost per item. Please remember to include quotes for items over £300 with your applications.

Bank Statements:

As part of our due diligence process we require your organisation’s bank statement from the last 3 months.  The bank statement must be clear and not redacted. It must  show the following:

  • Name and address of the organisation
  • Account balance

Our request for a bank statement falls in line with GDPR requirements. In the event that payments have been made to individuals you can redact these in line with GDPR.


All projects must adhere to the most current Government guidelines in relation to COVID-19.