- The Neighbourhood Fund supports grassroots community groups delivering local services/activities that address a broad range of social issues. Grants help local groups to improve the lives of those most in need of support. They want their grants to support and reflect the diversity of their county and they welcome applications from groups supporting diverse communities including communities who may be facing discrimination.
- 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. They 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, 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 people experiencing mental health issues, including those with diagnosed conditions and early intervention work (addressing low self-esteem and personal aspirations, relationship difficulties, unhealthy coping behaviours and other issues).
- 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. They 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.
- They 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.
- 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. They do not fund national charities but can fund local branches if they are managed separately and financially independent.
- Groups with two or more current grants from DCF funding programmes are a lower priority for funding.
- Organisations that can apply:
- Registered Charities
- Constituted Community and Voluntary Organisations
- Community Interest Companies (must be limited by guarantee)
- 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:
- At least 3 unrelated people responsible for running the organisation (for registered charities these are your Trustees, for CICs/Social Enterprises these are your Directors)
- 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 required for payments
- An appropriate Safeguarding Policy.
- Schools are not eligible but they can fund PTA groups if they meet their eligibility
- They cannot fund the promotion of religion or political causes
- They cannot fund public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations
- They cannot fund animal welfare organisations
- They cannot offer retrospective funding for items already purchased or work completed
- Organisations with more than 12 months’ unrestricted reserves are usually not funded
For more information, visit Dorset Community Foundation.