How do I know if my organisation can apply to Kent Community Foundation?
Your organisation needs to be a constituted group with charitable objects, a registered charity, charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), community interest company (CIC) or a not for profit company (limited by guarantee and not shares). We usually do not fund statutory organisations unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the state is under no obligation to fund the project. In all cases you will need to have a committee and your own bank account with at least two unrelated signatories.
We ask that CICs and companies limited by guarantee have three unrelated directors registered with Companies House. We have in the past sometimes funded organisations with just two directors, from 1st March 2021 we will be tightening up on this. If you are a limited company that also has charity registration, then it’s your charity details that we focus on – this change is really targeted at those organisations that ONLY have company status. From 1st March 2021 all new-to-us organisations will need to meet the three unrelated director standards. If we have funded you previously with just two directors, we can accept applications from you as you are currently set-up for the next six months, but from 1st September 2021 we will be unable to do so. We realise that in order to register with Companies House, a CIC or company limited by guarantee need only identify one director. However, we think it’s right to apply the same minimum to CICs/companies as we (and the Charity Commission) do to registered charities and constituted community groups, where three unrelated trustees is the minimum.
If you are not sure about your eligibility, it is important to contact us before filling out a form.
How do I know which fund to apply to?
If you are not sure which form to complete – call us. We’ll know which is the right form for you – what each fund is favouring at that time, which fund is undersubscribed etc.
We operate a “one form fits all” policy – so once you have submitted one form, no need to complete any others. You may feel that it will increase your chances of success but we will actively match your application with all those funds which we think might be interested in your request. Do not fill in multiple forms for the same project! It wastes your time and ours.
What supporting documents do I need to send?
- Constitution or other governing document (identifying your charitable objects and dissolution clause)
- Most recent set of annual accounts (draft accounts can be accepted) or recent management accounts if you do not yet have annual accounts
- A copy of three months’ most recent bank statements
- Debit card/credit card/online banking protocol
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults/Child Protection Policy (if applicable)
- Quotes for anything in the project budget over £250 (if salaries or similar we will need to see hourly/yearly rate and number of hours per week)
- Photos of your group in action (ideally)
How do we use these documents to assess an application?
- We review your latest audited accounts and the group’s sustainability.
- If a registered charity, we check your accounts and annual returns are filed and up to date. Also, that there have been no delays in doing so.
- We confirm you have a bank account with reasonable cash movement and that you have safeguards in place for all payment transactions.
- We contact your referee and ask them to complete a reference form relating to the group/charity and the project.
- We review your group's constitution to ensure it has clear charitable objectives/aims and review the dissolution clause.
- If you work directly with vulnerable adults or children we ensure that your group/charity has a reasonable policy in place for each.
- We confirm that any previous grants you may have received from KCF have all been evaluated and monitored. If this has not been done we will request it.
Why do we ask for photos?
We ask every applicant to send us up to three photos of their group which we may share with potential donors to bring the project to life. Of course we realise there are some groups who are not able to take photos; those who deal with vulnerable people and children especially. If your project is funded, we may use your photos in our marketing and publicity.
All we ask is that you ensure all relevant permissions have been obtained from individuals, their parents or carers for the photos you send us, in accordance with your organisation's safeguarding and media policies. You will be signing to agree this in your online application form.
Who should I choose as our referee?
Your referee needs to be a professional individual, not directly associated with your group, who has known your group long enough to be able to vouch for its sustainability and competence. They also need to have read your application form and know about the project for which you are applying for funding.
I can’t fill out an online application form, what should I do?
If you need help completing your application for whatever reason we are happy to help. We have a grants team who can offer advice via email, phone, or even in person if you require a little extra help. We can support those with limited or no access to a computer and the internet, or anyone with a disability who may consequently have difficulties in applying.
We understand that sometimes online forms can be difficult for those with sight problems, it may be easier for you to fill out a version of our application form on a word document if this applies to you. Please contact our grants team on 01303 814 500 for assistance with this.
Do you fund retrospectively?
We only fund activity and projects which are planned for a future date and have not yet happened. We do not offer funding retrospectively for activity which has already taken place.