Our Community Grants programme supports people and communities in need in Wiltshire and Swindon. Grants of up to £5,000 per year for up to three years are available to voluntary organisations for projects and activities that improve people's lives.

We prioritise applications from grassroots and small to medium-sized organisations that are working with people on low incomes and people particularly impacted by the increased cost of living.

We are particularly interested in projects and activities that:

  • tackle poverty and inequality and its effects
  • prevent or alleviate poor mental health
  • support children and young people

However, we recognise that voluntary and community groups are the experts in need in their community and may identify other issues, therefore we are happy to consider applications that fall outside these areas.

Applications for activities for general community benefit are unlikely to be successful.

If you are new to fundraising, please complete the form but do not be concerned about "getting it right” as we will arrange a call to talk through your application.

We previously held an online Meet the Funder session on our Community Grants which explains the programme and application process in more details you can view a recording of the event here

What types of organisations can apply?

You can apply for a grant if you are a:

  • constituted voluntary or community organisation
  • registered charity
  • not-for-profit company including community interest companies (CIC) where the majority of directors receive no payment from the company (there are additional notes for CICs below)
  • currently not in receipt of one of our Community Grants

You need to be a:

  • local or regional organisation only working in Wiltshire or Swindon or in the south/south west of England
  • local branch of a national organisation with a local management committee based in Wiltshire or Swindon and your own bank account

Your organisation must have:

  • an active voluntary management committee with at least three people who are not:
    • related to each other or in a long-term relationship
    • living at the same address

Your organisation needs the following financial arrangements and documents:

  • a bank account with two signatories that are not related to each other
  • less than 12 months running costs in unrestricted reserves. This means in your end of year financial accounts, Unrestricted reserves (not including Designated funds) must be less than your Expenditure
  • financial records or accounts
  • a recent bank statement
  • a constitution
  • a financial plan or budget showing this year's expected income, expenditure and reserves.
  • a Safeguarding Policy and an Equal Opportunities Policy.  Further guidance is available here

If you don't have any of the documents mentioned above please talk to us and we will help.

New organisations who do not have the above in place may be able to apply through another charitable organisation. 

Additional notes for CICs

If your group is a community interest company or not-for-profit company, you will need to have at least three Directors who are unrelated individuals AND the majority must be acting in an unpaid capacity i.e. not employed by or receiving payment from the company. CICs limited by shares are not eligible. Additionally, we would expect a CIC to have an asset lock.

What can I apply for and how much?

How much can I apply for?

You can apply for a grant for 1, 2 or 3 years of £750 to £5,000 per year.

The maximum amount towards capital costs is £5,000.

You can apply for a grant for:

  • continuing something you are already doing
  • new activity

You must plan to start spending the grant within 6 months of when it was awarded. 

What costs can the grant pay for?

  • any reasonable costs for your organisation or project including:
    • core or running costs
    • project and activity costs
    • capital costs (buildings and equipment) you cannot apply for a grant towards building or equipment costing more than £5,000 unless you already have most of the difference between £5,000 and the total e.g. if the building works will cost £20,000 you must have almost £15,000 before you apply

Who must benefit from the grant?

Most of the people who benefit from the grant must 

  • live in Wiltshire or Swindon
  • be on low incomes. You might find our report on need in Wiltshire and Swindon helpful. You can access it here. 

    What we do not fund:

    • money to individuals or families
    • activities which duplicate an existing service
    • one-off or sponsored events
    • the advancement of religion
    • medical research and equipment
    • animal welfare
    • party political activities
    • running costs for pre-schools

    Who we don't fund:

    • individuals
    • schools
    • statutory bodies such as city, county or parish councils or health institutions
    • charities who operate nationally

    Please note we prioritise applications from small voluntary groups. Once you have applied, we will talk to you to make sure we have fully understood what you want funding for. If you are new to fundraising, please complete the form but do not be concerned about "getting it right”.

    This programme is open for applications but the next decision date is 4 September 2024. 
    If you have any queries please contact us on 01380 738985 or email info@wiltshirecf.org.uk
    Apply here