Community Organisations Support Grants
- About the grant
- Application process
- Assessment criteria
- State aid
- Application form
The Council recognises the enormous contribution made by the voluntary, community and faith sector to our communities; this contribution has been brought to light more than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic and the response of the sector during this time has been invaluable. The Council also recognises the increased pressure that a range of community-based organisations are under during this time, responding to reduced income and increased need.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council has been delivering a package of support to community organisations, including:
- Voluntary, Community & Faith Sector Support Team: single point of contact for organisations, comprised of Council & Bridge Renewal Trust officers. Coordinating additional support, including for funding bids
- Co-ordination of in-kind support offer
- Collaboration between organisations in the sector
- 6-month rent break for community organisations in Council buildings
- Community Organisations Support Grants
This application form is for the Community Organisations Support Grants. As described above, this is one element of the support the Council is offering to community organisations during this time. We want to encourage you to apply for the funding if your organisation is eligible and in need of it. The funding is for unavoidable running and core operational costs arising from Covid-19 and is not intended to pay for services, including services responding directly to the impacts of Covid-19.
If you wish, however, to apply for other elements of the package of support and not for a grant, please contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will consider all applications and where you are not eligible for funding, we will work with you to access the other support available.
The Community Organisations Support Grants are open to community organisations whose operations have been difficult to adapt to lockdown, including service delivery or income-generating activity, including:
- Charities and voluntary sector organisations
- Social enterprises (not in shared workspaces)
- Community organisations (which are not charities or voluntary sector organisations)
- Places of worship and faith groups
Applicants who have not been able to access funding from Government financial support schemes or external infrastructure funding sources or where funding received through these sources is insufficient to meet their operational budget requirements will be prioritised.
- The Council will make financial aid available as a last resort – we expect organisations to demonstrate that they have exhausted other routes to funding (whether from central government or from other external funding streams) and have mitigated any ongoing costs for the organisation (for example, through furloughing and access to the Government’s Employee Retention Scheme) before approaching the Council for support
- The Council will take an evidence-based approach – organisations will need to demonstrate that funding from the Council is required in order to address immediate financial deficits and that these are related to the impacts of Covid-19 and not to previous instability of financial standing
- The funding available will be directed to meet unavoidable running and core operational costs arising from Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown restrictions and is not able to cover all outstanding liabilities of an organisation
- The organisation should be able to evidence that receipt of such funding from the Council will make a positive difference to their future operation and not be immaterial to their support needs
- The Council will use its leverage to support the community sector in ways other than financial
- The Council and the community organisation will agree to act transparently at all times
- To ensure that recipient organisations are able to cover unavoidable running costs for up to a six-month period.
- To support the continued viability of organisations offering high value to the borough and whose financial model has been directly and severely affected by Covid-19.
Funding will be focused on supporting organisations to move to a more viable business model going forward and will, therefore, be considered as transformation funding to support the long-term viability of the organisation.
During this period, organisations will be expected to consider the ongoing viability of their operations and adaptations required to service delivery in response to Covid-19.
The funding is not intended to pay for services, including services responding directly to the impacts of Covid-19, but is intended to cover the organisation’s core infrastructure costs. If you are looking for funding to deliver services, there are a number of external funding sources available and we are keen to support your organisation to access these, so do get in touch to discuss.
The online application will initially be open for a two-week window. All applications will then be considered. The window may be extended, or re-opened based on demand.
It may be necessary to return to applicants for clarifications, to request further documentation and to discuss needs. Please ensure your contact details are entered correctly.
As part of the overall package of support, we will seek to respond to everyone’s needs based on their particular circumstances. Decisions will be flexible based on need, and where funding is not available, we will seek to engage with the organisation to access other support.
The online application form will ask for:
- Organisation details
- Information on work & impact (qualitative question, will be looking for demonstration of social value)
- Financial position including unavoidable fixed costs, impacts of Covid-19, and mitigating strategies taken
- Access to other grants & funding
- Covid-19 related activity
- Overall impact of Covid-19 on organisation
- Documentation: last three months’ bank statements
Ensure you have these details to hand before you start the application form.
There is no appeals process, any decision on award of a grant is final.
You will need to complete all application questions for us to consider your application.
The assessment criteria will be based on the scheme’s principles. We will be looking to confirm that:
- You have exhausted other available routes to funding and have mitigated any ongoing costs for the organisation
- The funding from the Council is required in order to address immediate financial deficits and that these are related to the impacts of Covid-19 and not to previous instability of financial standing
- The funding will be directed to meet unavoidable running and core operational costs arising from Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown restrictions
- Receipt of such funding from the Council will make a positive difference to your future operation and will not be immaterial to their support needs.
In addition to confirming the above, we will be assessing applications based on:
- The impact and social value of your work
- The level of your need for funding and the impact it will have on your organisation.
The amount of grant awarded will be based on the value of up to 6 months unavoidable running costs. Depending on demand, an additional sum may be added to this.
If you apply for a Community Organisations Support Grant, you will need to confirm that your receiving the grant will not breach any current EU State Aid de minimis rules. State Aid is any advantage granted by the state (the Government and Local Authority in this instance) to any organisations/businesses that could potentially distort competition and trade in the European Union (EU).
If you have, or believe you have, received in excess of EUR 800,000 in State Aid then you are not eligible to receive the Community Organisations Support Grant. If you have not received grants equal to EUR 800,000, then you are considered to be State Aid compliant and you can answer confirm in the declaration that your receiving the grant will not breach any current EU State Aid de minimis rules.
If you want to review the application questions before you begin completing the e-form you can download the following:
Page last updated:
Tell us what you think about the website
We are currently running a short survey about our Covid-19 response and information. You can take the Covid-19 survey here.
Contact us about our services
Please note if you have a service problem or complaint you need help with then please visit our contact pages.
Give us feedback about this page
Please use this space to tell us how we can improve the website.
Overall, how easy was it to get the help you wanted today?
* = response required