Oct 2021: Long-time mentor appointed as our new Project Manager

A lot has happened since we said a fond farewell to Funding for All (FFA) founder and CEO, Nigel Turley, who took retirement at the beginning of 2019. We’ve undergone an extensive strategic review, navigated a global pandemic whilst continuing to support the Kent voluntary sector, grown the FFA family with two new additions (welcome little Olive and George), secured funding for the next three years thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund’s generous support and, last but not least, appointed Kerry Donati as our new Project Manager to lead us into our next chapter.

Kerry is no stranger to FFA having been with us every step of the way as a successful mentor and advocate of our work since our humble beginnings back in 2012. As Kerry transitions from FFA mentor to full time staff member, she’ll be saying goodbye to her Assistant Academy Director of Sixth Form position at Brockhill Park Performing Arts Academy in Hythe.

Chair of Funding for All, Sarah Avery, said 

“We are pleased to appoint Kerry Donati as the FFA Project Manager. Kerry has a wealth of knowledge and experience of working with Kent and Medway VCSEs and as a valued mentor for many years. As part of this role, Kerry will be responsible for leading and delivering FFA’s important ‘That’s the Way to Do It’ project. This will continue to provide our core offering of a mentoring service but with a focus on increasing the hours and range of customised support available to groups to meet their changing development needs, in addition to offering a timetable of specialist webinars in various subjects and drop-in sessions. 

We look forward to working with Kerry in building our strengths as an organisation that empowers, upskills and enables local charities and groups to build their fundraising capacity and secure a more sustainable future.”

Alongside a successful career in teaching and sharing her fundraising skills with the VCSEs we support, Kerry has also found time to establish Kent Play Clubs in response to the lack of affordable afterschool childcare provision for families. Kerry continues her involvement today as a trustee and volunteer fundraiser. 

Kerry said 

“I’m really looking forward to my new role at FFA as Project Manager. I’ve loved being a mentor for the past 14 years, and I have seen first-hand the real impact that mentoring makes. It’s all about upskilling and helping groups to know how to bring in the money they need for their projects. I’m a volunteer fundraiser myself, and I’ve been inspired by the mentees FFA has worked with over the years. I’m really looking forward to building our support for those amazing people helping Kent and Medway’s VCSEs achieve what they are trying to do”

Kerry has big plans for the future and has wasted no time getting stuck in! The expansion of our fundraising mentoring service, specialist webinars, drop-in funding advice sessions, new resources, and vacancies are all in the planning.

Exciting times are ahead for FFA and the county’s voluntary sector… click below for webinars now booking and our trustee vacancy.

Between 14-18 June, the Marmalade Trust are hosting Loneliness Awareness Week 2021 in the hope to raise awareness of loneliness, break down stigmas and get people talking about it.

Across Kent and Medway there are many brilliant organisations running programmes that seek to create an understanding of loneliness, support those experiencing it and promote that it’s okay, and completely normal, to feel this way – especially after the 15 months we’ve just had!

If you run such a project or are looking to start one, here’s our guide to just some of the grants available to you:

  1. DCMS & The National Lottery Community Fund: Local Connections Fund
    National grants scheme supporting small, local organisations (annual income under £50,000) who bring people and communities together in particular helping organisations who work to reduce loneliness restart their activities.
    Grant size: £2,500
    Opens: Monday 28 June 2021
  2. Kent Community Foundation: Themed Funds – Elderly & Isolated
    Kent and Medway grants scheme supporting local projects that address the challenges faced by elderly adults and support people to stay well, healthy and independent and, most importantly, combat social isolation.
    Grant size: up to £5,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme
  3. Barchester Healthcare Foundation
    National grants scheme supporting small, local groups and charities working with older people and other adults with a disability or mental health problems in their community.
    Grant size: up to £5,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme
  4. The Philip and Connie Phillips Foundation
    Kent and Medway grants scheme supporting organisations working to 1. support elderly people who are isolated and vulnerable and 2. are working to combat the effects of poverty and deprivation, such as food poverty and homelessness.
    Grant size: up to £10,000
    Deadline: Monday 21 June 2021
  5. Shanly Foundation
    South east grants scheme supporting organisation based within the Edenbridge area of Kent with projects that are helping to improve the welfare and quality of life of those that are disadvantaged within the community.
    Grant size: no maximum amount specified
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme
  6. Tesco Community Grants
    National grants scheme supporting local projects that make a positive difference within their community, in particular helping children and families.
    Grant size: up to £1,500
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme
  7. The Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Force for Change
    National grants scheme supporting community projects that reduce isolation and promote integration; supporting post-Covid recovery in local Armed Forces communities affected by isolation.
    Grant size: up to £10,000
    Deadline: 2 August 2021, 12 noon and 12 November 2021, 12 noon
  8. Global’s Make Some Noise
    National grants scheme supporting small, local charities helping vulnerable elderly people who live alone and have very few people to talk to.
    Grant size: up to £30,000 or 40% of annual income
    Deadline: currently closed. Join Mailing List for details of the 2022 round.
  9. The Tudor Trust
    National grants scheme supporting smaller, community-led organisations that work directly with people who are at the margins of society: organisations that support positive changes in people’s lives and in their communities. 
    Grant size: no maximum amount specified
    Deadline: continuous rolling programme
  10. Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund
    National grants scheme supporting community initiatives which provide vital support for Sanctuary residents experiencing, but not limited to, challenges associated with: job loss, mental health, money management, health and wellbeing and social isolation.
    Grant size: no maximum amount specified
    Deadline: continuous rolling programme

For the latest grants schemes, see our Find Funds Health & Social Care fund category.

Further reading and support services

Funder Tuesdays, in partnership with Stronger Kent Communities, is your opportunity to hear from a fantastic line up of local and national funders followed by the chance to ask your questions. 

If you missed our sessions, do not worry! Our guest speakers have kindly allowed their presentations and top tips to be shared with you…

The Tudor Trust

On Tuesday 18 May 2021, we were joined by The Tudor Trust’s Head of Research and Information, Nicky Lappin and Grants Support Officer, Ihsaan Budaly. Not only did Nicky and Ihsaan share some great top tips on applying to The Tudor Trust, but they also shared some useful links which you can find below:

Things to remember when applying to The Tudor Trust:

  • Read the Funding Guidelines – they have recently been updated (link above)
  • The Trust are focussed on helping smaller, community-led groups. Guidelines state they only support organisations with an annual income under £1 million however in 2020 41% of grants were made to groups with an income under £100,000 and the rest were to groups with an annual income under £500,000.
  • In 2020, approximately 2,600 applications were received. One in eight were successful to the second stage.
  • Average grant size in 2020 was £74,000 over one to three years. See Recent Grant List April 2020 – March 2021 link above for more information. Grant data also published on 360Giving website.
  • The Trust’s giving is roughly split as one third new applicants, one third continuation funding and one third previously funded at some point.
  • The Trust is focussing more on core funding rather than project costs. In 2020, 92% of their giving was for core funding.
  • If applying for capital funding state what your shortfall for the project is and ask for a contribution rather than an exact figure. Currently the average grant is between £40,000 to £60,000. Detail the total project cost, what you have and what you need to raise. A more detail figure will be explored in the second stage of application, if successful.
  • If an applicant is unsuccessful progressing to the next stage they can reapply after 12 months. If an applicant is unsuccessful after stage two feedback will be given and you may be able to reapply however you normally must wait 12 months before reapplying.
  • If an applicant makes in through to the second stage, the current wait time for a decision is approximately three months.
  • The guidelines state ‘We fund a wide range of organisations working to support positive change in people’s lives and in their communities around the UK.’ The term ‘communities’ does not necessarily refer to a local area or ‘residents’. Communities can be a group of people spread across a county or even the country that share a common interest, disadvantage or problem.
  • The Trust wishes to support organisations that ‘help people at the margins of society’. They feel applicants are best placed to identify a community that is marginalised or not experiencing life to the full. Examples could be groups supporting in areas of health and wellbeing, economic, domestic abuse, older people, sexual violence or refugees and asylum seekers.
  • The Trust is keen to support long term work with a holistic approach that is sustainable for both the organisation applying and the community they help.
  • Ensure the application is written by someone at the heart of the organisation that truly understands what they do and what they are trying to achieve. Use a personal voice and back up statements with your own data rather than national statistics which the Trust already knows. Talk about direct experiences of working with the community supported and the struggles they encountered.
  • Get someone external to your organisation to review your application – ideally someone unfamiliar with the work you do. Do they understand from your application who you are, your mission, who you support, what your requesting, do they understand any terminology/jargon you’ve used etc.
  • Often applicants state all the negatives and weaknesses within a community they are trying to improve, but the Trust are also keen to hear about the positives and strengths. What positive work have you/other local organisations already done within the community? How do you wish to grow this?
  • Advice for specific organisations:
    • Community centres – welcome to apply as long as they are providing or hosting services that support marginalised communities e.g. community cohesion, support groups
    • Faith-based organisations – welcome to apply as long as the project is open to all and does not for the promotion of religion
    • Food banks – must offer wraparound holistic support to their beneficiaries rather than only food parcels or meals

If you’d like to discuss your Kent or Medway project in more detail before applying, you can contact The Tudor Trust by calling 020 7727 8522. Further contact details here.

See Nicky and Ihsaan’s presentation here.

As lockdown begins to lift and life slowly returns to some form of ‘normality’, Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 (MHAW) couldn’t come at a more relevant time. Now is the time to stop, reflect, check in and take stock of ours, and our loved ones, mental health.

This year, the theme of the week is ‘nature’ thanks to the well documented positive impacts it can have on our mental health – read the Mental Health Foundation’s full explanation for their decision here. Nature and the great outdoors has been a saviour for many this past year with the RHS reporting a 533% increase in the number of 18 to 24 year olds visiting its website during peak lockdown. Gardening, in particular ‘grow your own’, has also seen a sharp rise in popularity with DIY chain, Homebase, reporting a 45% increase in fruit and vegetable plant sales compared to the previous summer*.

With the positive impacts of nature on our mental health well and truly in the spotlight (not to mention we are in the middle of a Climate Emergency), it’s no surprise funders have taken note. Just last month, Kent Community Foundation launched their new environmental strategy and Fund for the Environment which seeks to “embody the ‘think global, act local’ sentiment and facilitate dynamic change by supporting projects which enrich nature, connect people with green spaces and enable more sustainable and healthier ways of living in Kent and Medway.”

And they aren’t the only ones… As part of MHAW 2021, we’ve highlighted 20 trusts and foundations inviting applications that support charities/project working in mental health and/or encourage people to reap the wellbeing benefits of nature, the environment and the outdoors.

  1. Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally: Heart of the Community Awards
    National grants scheme supporting projects that encourage people to spend time in the great outdoors.
    Grant size: £5,000
    Deadline: Monday 31 May 2021

  2. FCC Community Action Fund
    National grants scheme supporting projects within a ten mile radius of their environmental waste sites (two within Kent – Isle of Sheppey and Maidstone) that offer the provision, maintenance, or improvement of public amenities such as parks, nature reserves, play areas, woodlands or sports grounds.
    Grant size: up to £100,000
    Deadline: Wednesday 2 June 2021, 5pm

  3. D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
    National grants scheme supporting projects that use gardening or other environmental activities to bring about positive changes in the lives of those who are living with disabilities or ill-health.
    Grant size: typically up to £6,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme (next review meeting deadline Wednesday 16 June 2021)

  4. The Woodward Charitable Trust
    National grants scheme supporting mental health projects.
    Grant size: up to £3,000 (typically £1,000)
    Deadline: Friday 30 July 2021, 12 noon

  5. Localgiving: Magic Little Stars
    National grants scheme supporting projects that improve mental wellbeing, improve green spaces, respond to the climate emergency and increase community access to outdoor space.
    Grant size: £500
    Deadline: Saturday 31 October 2021

  6. The Tudor Trust
    National grants scheme supporting projects that work directly with people who are on the edges of mainstream society in ways which encourage inclusion, integration, independence, wellbeing and quality of life.
    Grant size: no maximum amount specified but typically over £10,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  7. Tesco Community Grants
    National grants scheme supporting mental health projects.
    Grant size: up to £1,500
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  8. Cameron Grant Memorial Trust
    National grants scheme supporting mental health projects.
    Grant size: up to £2,500
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  9. Kent Community Foundation: Themed Funds – Vulnerable Adults
    Kent and Medway grants scheme supporting projects that help vulnerable adults stay well and independent, with a focus on early intervention projects to tackle disadvantage, deprivation and social exclusion, includes mental health.
    Grant size: up to £5,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  10. The Albert Hunt Trust
    National grants scheme supporting projects that promote health and well being – areas of support under this heading have included physical and learning disability, physical and mental health.
    Grant size: no maximum amount specified
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  11. The Mrs Smith & Mount Trust: The Mount Fund
    National grants scheme supporting mental health projects.
    Grant size: up to £20,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  12. Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund
    National grants scheme supporting mental health projects benefitting Sanctuary Housing residents.
    Grant size: no maximum amount specified
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  13. Lloyd’s Bank Foundation
    National grants scheme supporting mental health projects.
    Grant size: two-year unrestricted grants of £50,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme throughout 2021

  14. Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust: Investing in Families
    Kent and Medway grants scheme supporting mental health projects.
    Grant size: up to £45,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  15. Cobtree Charity Trust
    Maidstone grants scheme supporting projects that maintain public parks and open spaces for the promotion of mental, moral and physical education and health.
    Grant size: up to £5,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  16. The February Foundation
    National grants scheme supporting mental health and environmental projects.
    Grant size: up to £5,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  17. The Swan Mountain Trust
    National grants scheme supporting refugees and asylum seekers, with particular emphasis on the mental health of young people in these categories.
    Grant size: typically between £2,000 and £4,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  18. The Henry Smith Charity: Strengthening Communities
    National grants scheme supporting projects that encourage their community to participate in activities which improve connectedness, opportunities and wellbeing.
    Grant size: between £20,000 and £60,000
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme

  19. Alpkit Foundation
    National grants programme supporting projects that tackle issues such as the community response to Covid-19, diversity and inclusion in the outdoors, participation, education, conservation and protection of our natural environment and health and wellbeing.
    Grant size: up to £500
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme
  20. The Wolfson Foundation
    National grants programme supporting projects that support charities working in mental health with capital projects with a particular focus on training, employment and supported housing. focus on training, employment and supported housing.
    Grant size: no maximum amount specified
    Deadline: Continuous rolling programme – two funding rounds per year.

Please note, this is not an exhaustive list but we hope this page offers links to potential sources of funding. All information is correct at the time of publishing. Please always refer to the funder’s website directly for latest guidelines and deadlines.

If you’re a Kent or Medway voluntary sector organisation looking to apply for funding from any of the above or elsewhere, but aren’t sure where to start, get in touch. We offer free, practical guidance and training in all aspects of fundraising including bid writing skills.

*Flower Power: Covid restrictions fuel boom in plant and bulb sales, The Guardian, 31 October 2020

Funder Tuesdays, in partnership with Stronger Kent Communities, is your opportunity to hear from a fantastic line up of local and national funders followed by the chance to ask your questions. 

If you missed our sessions, do not worry! Our guest speakers have kindly allowed their presentations and top tips to be shared with you…

Arts Council England

On Tuesday 4 May 2021, we were joined by Arts Council England Relationship Managers, Lorna Palmer and Kevin Grist. Not only did Lorna and Kevin share some great top tips on applying to the Arts Council, but they also shared some useful links which you can find below:

  • Arts Council England – ten year strategy ‘Let’s Create
  • New to the Arts Council? First time applicant guidance
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants overview (organisations and individuals)
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants guidance for applications under £15,000
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants guidance for application over £15,000
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants supplementary note until August 2021
  • Information Sheets covering all 29 specific project types e.g. touring, international, music, dance etc.
  • Is my project ready? Pre application quiz for National Lottery Project Grants
  • Developing your Creative Practice fund (individuals only)

Things to remember when applying to Arts Council England:

  • Read the Arts Council’s ten year strategy, Let’s Create, and think about how your project will fit in to this – in particular their three outcomes and principles (see pages 28-29).
  • Currently focussing on smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners until 31 August 2021.
  • They are looking for projects that enable communities to access arts and culture that may not normally. Bringing the arts to non-typically spaces such as shopping centre or civic centres are also of interest.
  • Think about the social impact your project will have.
  • They are looking for audiences to have an active involvement in your project rather than a passive one e.g. just watching an end performance. Get your beneficiaries involved with the creative process.
  • If a project has health and wellbeing benefits consider partnering or involving other organisations/health professionals that specialise in this field.
  • Do not assume they know about your artform so avoid jargon and explain terminology.
  • It is rare for a first time applicant to be funded over £15,000 most are under. If you would like to apply for over £15,000 with your first application they advise a pre application enquiry is made (contact details below).
  • During this period of change, funding guidelines have slightly altered – see Supplementary Note link above. Key points include: 10% match funding is no longer essential however still desirable and they keen to support research and organisational development activity.
  • Take application lead times into consideration when planning your project’s start date. Registering for the Arts Council’s application portal, Grantium, takes up to ten days and current response times are longer due to Covid-19 – for applications £15,000 and under allow up to ten weeks and for applications over £15,000 allow up to 16 weeks.

If you’d like to discuss your Kent or Medway project in more detail before applying, you can contact the Arts Council England South East team via:


See Lorna and Kevin’s presentation here.

We are looking for a committed, driven and pro-active individual to lead our ambitious team into a prosperous future.

Funding for All is a successful charity dedicated to inspiring and empowering community organisations in Kent and Medway to build their fundraising capacity and secure a sustainable, confident future.

We believe small charities and community groups have a huge part to play in the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the people in their area. These groups are value driven, motivated by social goals, and have a closeness to and understanding of the needs of their service users and communities. They deliver excellent services, often delivering outcomes that the public sector finds it hard to achieve.

Our mission is to enable these small charities, voluntary organisations and community groups in Kent and Medway to be the best they can, by providing free specialist mentoring in fundraising. Working with infrastructure organisations, local authorities and other supporters and stakeholders, we empower the county’s voluntary and community sector to be successful and sustainable.

Thanks to recent funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, we are looking to expand our core team by recruiting a Project Manager.

This new role is an exciting opportunity for an experienced project/programme manager to help shape our charity’s future. 

The Project Manager’s main duties and responsibilities include: 

  • leading, delivering and managing our ‘That’s the Way to Do It’ mentoring project;
  • the management of Funding for All’s funding, in order to achieve its core objectives and projects including researching and writing future grant applications as well as ensuring all agreements are complied with and all evaluations are completed on time;
  • exploring opportunities to generate additional income for Funding for All which do not rely on grants or commissioned services, such as consultancy and delivering training;
  • the line management of the Project Administrator and Mentors; and
  • developing the work of the Charity in order to achieve the agreed strategic plan and its objects, vision and mission and thus to ensure that the Charity is focused on achieving the strategic priorities.

See our Job Vacancies for more information.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 20 April 2021, 5pm.  Interviews will be held the week commencing 26 April 2021.

We are thrilled to announce that Funding for All has been awarded £415,846 over three years from The National Lottery Community Fund! This funding will ensure our successful mentoring services and training programme can continue to grow, develop and reach even more Kent and Medway voluntary sector organisations.

Recognition from the National Lottery comes at a time when the community groups and small charities we support have been left most vulnerable due to the Covid pandemic. These organisations have experienced unprecedented demand and have proven how vital their services are for their community. Thanks to National Lottery players, we can continue to look forward with these organisations on the road to recovery and adjust to working in the new normal.

This generous grant will enable us to provide 800 hours of 1-2-1 mentoring support per year, 24 training workshops per year and drop-in funding advice sessions throughout each year, but it’ll also do more. The money we’ve received will ensure that the positions of our three core staff members are secure for the next three years and will create a new employment opportunity for the sector with the addition of a Project Manager role.

Liz Duckworth, Chair of Funding for All said “We are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the importance of our work in supporting community groups and small charities when the Covid pandemic has left them most vulnerable. This generous grant means we will be able to reach those smaller organisations across the county whose services are vital to their community. This is important because not only does our support help those organisations become skilled and sustainable, but it also brings communities together and builds stronger relationships across the county.”

After what has been a turbulent year, we can’t wait to help those incredible organisations that have supported our county through this pandemic to acquire the knowledge and skills they require to become stabile, secure and sustainable in the longterm.

Sign up to our mailing list (bottom of the page) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out more information coming soon, including details of how to join our team!

Funder Tuesdays, in partnership with Stronger Kent Communities, is your opportunity to hear from a fantastic line up of local and national funders followed by the chance to ask your questions. 

If you missed our March sessions, do not worry! Our guest speakers have kindly allowed their presentations and top tips to be shared with you.

BBC Children in Need

On Tuesday 2 March 2021, we were joined by BBC Children in Need Regional Officer, Sophie Charles. Not only did Sophie share some great top tips, but also some useful links which you can find below:

Things to remember when applying to BBC Children in Need:

  • Make sure your organisations meet’s BBC Children in Need’s Minimum Standards
  • They know the data – they want to hear how well you know the issues affecting disadvantaged children and young people in your community, the problems they face and why you are best placed to support
  • Keep your idea simple and be specific
  • Tell them the impact your project will have on the young people and how you are making a positive difference
  • Keep your three outcomes simple, achievable and defined e.g. Children will improve their relationships with their families or children will have more fun
  • Explain how you will monitor and evidence your outcomes
  • Projects can include family members but ensure it is always child-focussed
  • Involve children and young people in the planning, delivery and evaluation of your project
  • Avoid running projects that run within school hours
  • Follow NSPCC Safeguarding policies and procedures – Checklist (due to be updated in May 2021), Safeguarding Standards and how to write your own Safeguarding Policy Statement
  • Make sure your outcomes are appropriate and realistic to the money you are applying for
  • Direct projects costs only (can include project staff costs)

If you’d like to discuss your Kent or Medway project in more detail before applying, you can contact Sophie via:

sophie.charles01@bbc.co.uk or 0303 081 7791

See Sophie’s full presentation here.

From all of the Funding for All team, we wish you a wonderful, restful and joyous festive break. You’ve earned it!

This year certainly hasn’t been easy and we haven’t all been rewarded with the end of the year we thought we’d have, but positivity has still shone through 2020. 

Communities have come together to support one another, volunteering has soared and even when faced with unprecedented demand and a funding crisis of their own, charities and voluntary organisation have shown resilience like never before.

We’ve seen first-hand from the groups we support through our mentoring programme, how dedicated and passionate those in the sector are – it is truly inspiring.

– Thank you –

Office Hours over the Festive Break

From 4pm on Christmas Eve, Funding for All will be closed until Monday 4 January 2021, 10am

If you need support during this period visit our free grant search tool and top tips from our funding mentors are still accessible. If you make an enquiry for our fundraising support programme, we will be in touch in the new year.

During these past six months of lockdown, we’ve seen how charities have been a lifeline to those in our communities who so vitally need their support – all at a time when charities are facing their own funding crisis.

A recent survey from Kent Community Foundation, suggests that voluntary organisations in Kent and Medway could see a 27% shortfall in income (estimated to total £135 million), despite 62% of survey participants having already accessed emergency funding.

With a coronavirus second wave on the horizon, charities across the country truly are never more needed, but in order to continue they need the whole sector behind them.

As an infrastructure charity who is working with many organisations facing challenges caused by the pandemic, we stand united with our peers to back the sector by adding our voice to the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign.

The campaign, which states ‘the Government cannot afford to overlook or undervalue the not for profit sector at the moment’, asks the Government to go further on their initial financial support package by:

  • recognising that existing measures do not do enough to enable charities to continue to deliver essential services that have never been more needed. It asks Ministers and officials to work with the charity and voluntary sector to address the medium and long-term scale of the financial challenge ahead, and to ensure that the critical support charities provide will continue to be able to meet need and make a vital contribution to rebuilding our society;
  • ensuring the distribution of funding available is speedy and efficient, and that equality and human rights are designed in from the outset, so that everyone’s needs are meet and that decision making is transparent; and
  • making necessary regulatory changes to existing schemes to make them fit for purpose for charities and voluntary organisations.

With many small, grassroots charities already closed, and large, national charities warning that they are also at risk we ask the Government to listen and act before it is too late.

To find out more and to add your voice to the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign click here.

If you lead a charity, community group or social enterprise you’ll be fully aware of the day-to-day challenges the role can bring, especially if you operate with limited resources.

Charity Mentors Kent and Medway, founded in 2019, offers free mentoring (typically for up to four months) to charity leaders from across the county providing support on matters such as:

  • supporting and encouraging managers in clarifying options and priorities;
  • decisions about the development and direction of the organisation;
  • managing change and how to articulate it;
  • decisions concerning structure and staffing;
  • exploring how an organisation might move to the “next step” in terms of growth and sustainability;
  • positioning and purpose of an organisation to enable strategic focus and better funding applications;
  • identifying resource requirements;
  • working through trustees and governance issues; or
  • help with being new in role as a manager or CEO.

Their mentors have top level management experience in the business or the voluntary sectors and will seek to help you gain a fresh perspective on leading your organisation. During your mentoring, your assigned mentor will talk through the issues you face and aid you to find your own solutions and conclusions. The whole mentorship is designed around you, your organisation and your needs.

The service has already supported many leading Kent and Medway charities and is receiving fantastic feedback from mentees – see their Facebook page for full reviews.

Funding for All are delighted to have this new addition of support for Kent and Medway’s voluntary sector and looks forward to working together in the future.

If you would like to know more about Charity Mentors or would like to make an enquiry for their support please visit their website for details.

We are delighted to announce that we, Funding for All, have been awarded over £31,000 from the National Lottery to offer free mentoring support to vital grassroots organisations from across Kent and Medway. 

Since opening in 2012, our mentoring programme has supported 670 Kent and Medway voluntary sector organisations by developing their skills in bid writing, income generation, fundraising, business support, marketing and communications, and legacy programmes. Our objective is to inspire and empower community organisations to build their fundraising capacity and ensure sustainability. At the heart of everything we do, our core promise is expressed as: 

“We offer the skills and advice to help your organisation raise the funds it needs.”

By giving fundraising support to charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises, we have been directly responsible for bringing more than £7 million into the county since our launch. 

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players to good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will enable us to increase our reach of infrastructure support to a further 50 small organisations.

Liz Duckworth, Chair, Funding for All said “We are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the importance of our work in these difficult times. This grant means we will now be able to reach those smaller organisations across the county whose services are vital to their community. This is important because not only does our support help those organisations become skilled and sustainable, but it also brings communities together and builds stronger relationships across the county.”

Ollie Briggs, Managing Director, Arts Education Exchange said “This is fantastic news for Funding for All and the county’s voluntary sector! Funding for All has been instrumental in enabling us to set up Arts Education Exchange. We have been lucky enough to have its support from the early conception of an idea to a fully operational organisation. Funding for All’s personal approach and wealth of knowledge have been inspiring!”

Our Fundraising Mentoring programme will open to new enquiries from early September. Sign up to our newsletter to hear the news first.

Funding for All’s Mentoring Programme is supported by The National Lottery Community Fund

The need for sector support has never been higher. Charities across the country are facing unprecedented challenges and financial crisis with some even being forced to close completely.

With the increased need for help, and the world turning virtual, many organisations who support our sector are offering their expert advice for free.

Here’s our guide to free on-demand webinars covering all aspects of fundraising for you to access:

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), includes:

  • How Email Can Drive Your Charity’s Fundraising
  • Learn to Build Long-Term Relationships with Your Donors
  • Facebook Tips for Small and Medium-Sized Charities
  • Instagram Tips for Small and Medium-Sized Charities
  • Surviving and Recovering from Covid-19 for Charities

Charity Digital, includes:

  • Hybrid (both virtual and physical) Approaches to Fundraising Events
  • How to Secure a Funding Grant
  • A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Social Media to Raise More Funds
  • People over Platform: Top Tips to Keep Your Fundraising Goals Front of Mind
  • Getting Started with Google Ad Grants
  • Adopting Digital Experiences to Boost Your Virtual Fundraising

Crowdfunder, includes:

  • Creating Your Crowdfunder Page
  • Launching Your Crowdfunder Project

Ecclesiastical, includes:

  • Top Tips to Continue Fundraising for your Church during Covid-19 and Beyond
  • Digital Fundraising and Crowdfunding During Covid-19 and Beyond
  • Successful Grant Applications for your Church during Covid-19 and Beyond
  • Measuring the Success of your Project during Covid-19 and Beyond

Gifted Philanthropy, includes:

  • Planning for a Major Project
  • Delivering a Capital Campaign
  • Designing a Transformational Legacy Programme
  • Why Your Communications Strategy is More Important Than Ever
  • Planning Your Christmas Appeal

Google Digital Garage, includes:

  • Explore how Website’s Work
  • Writing for Social Media
  • Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Get Started with Analytics
  • Writing your Business Plan

JustGiving, includes:

  • Top Tips on How Individual Giving Can Support Community Fundraising
  • Everything you Need to Know About JustGiving to Enhance our Fundraising
  • Five Tips for Creating a Successful Virtual Event
  • How Did They Do That: Virtual Challenge Events

Lloyds Bank Foundation, includes:

  • Digital Fundraising for Small Charities
  • How to Communicate in a Crisis

NCVO Knowhow, includes:

  • Preparing Successful Bids and Tenders for the Public Sector
  • Introduction to Sustainable Funding
  • Write a Winning Funding Bid
  • Fundraising, Finances and Future: Four-in-One Training Pack

    (Membership to NCVO is required to access some of their training videos. Membership is free to those organisations with an annual income under £30,000, £52 per yer for up to £50,000, £115 per year for up to £100,000. More information on NCVO’s membership scheme click here.)

Stronger Kent Communities, includes:

  • An Introduction to Corporate Partnerships
  • Marketing for Small Organisations
  • Making Connections and Fundraising

The Foundation for Social Improvement (theFSI), includes:

  • Legacy Fundraising
  • Developing Corporate Relationships
  • Trust and Foundation Fundraising
  • Developing Your Fundraising Strategy
  • Community and Events Fundraising
  • Protecting Your Charity from Cyber Crime and Online Fraud

The School for Social Entrepreneurs, includes:

  • Impact Measurement
  • How to Run a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
  • What Makes a Good Funding Bid?
  • Social Media Marketing

This page will continue to be updated so keep checking back.

All information correct at the time of posting – last update 8 June 2021

In partnership with Stronger Kent Communities, we are taking part in a series of free fundraising drop-in sessions for those working in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in Kent (excluding Medway).

Bookable 45-minute one-to-one support sessions are available with a Funding for All fundraising expert. 

The session will be bespoke to your requirements and questions can be answered about all types of fundraising (including trusts, individuals, corporates or community) and can cover all sectors (such as arts, heritage, older people, health and wellbeing or children and young people).

Expert mentors can support you on a wide range of subjects, such as identifying potential funders, getting started with fundraising, planning your fundraising and reviewing applications you may have already drafted.

Here are the upcoming free drop-in sessions:

Thursday 30 January 2020, 10am-4pm in Margate BOOK NOW
Friday 7 February 2020, 1-4pm in Sittingbourne BOOK NOW
Wednesday 19 February 2020, 10am-4pm in Sevenoaks Weald BOOK NOW
Tuesday 10 March 2020, 10am-3pm in East Malling BOOKING OPENS SOON
Wednesday 25 March 2020, 5-8pm in Ashford BOOKING OPENS SOON

More funding success for Funding for All! We are delighted to announce that the Fidelity UK Foundation Kent Community Development Fund, administrated by Kent Community Foundation, has agreed to award us a grant to develop our customer relationship management platform, Salesforce.

The Fund awards grants of up to £20,000 to capital and infrastructure projects that strengthen robust, UK registered charities within Kent and Medway. Costs relating to equipment, new construction, renovation and expansion are considered, alongside strategic IT projects and consultancy.

By developing our existing CRM platform we will be able to streamline our working with automated administrative processes, target our services and ensure we capture qualitative and quantitative data to achieve new levels of efficiency.

Work has already begun and we look forward to transforming the way we work this spring!

The staff and Trustees of Funding for All thank Fidelity UK Foundation for their generous support. To find out more about the fund please visit Kent Community Foundation’s website.

Typically celebrations amongst the Funding for All (FFA) team are for the successful groups we support through our fundraising mentoring and bid writing consultancy services, but today we got to have our own celebration!

We are delighted to be awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to support our ongoing mission to empower Kent and Medway’s voluntary and community sector to be successful and sustainable.  

Back in December 2018, we held our annual flagship event, the Kent & Medway Funding Fair in Sandwich. Delegate feedback post-event showed us that groups attending benefitted mostly from the FFA advice workshops and 1-2-1 sessions, both led by our specialist mentors. Further consultation with individuals and organisations from across Kent and Medway as part of our ongoing strategic review, revealed that smaller community groups reliant on volunteers and a small staff team would prefer time critical events that are local and offer practical advice.

In light of this feedback, we will be launching a series of Information, Guidance & Support Sessions throughout the coming year thanks to the generous funding we have received from the National Lottery. Held in six different districts of the county, the events will offer advice on registering for gift aid, support with social media, governance and mentoring support and writing funding applications including running bespoke grant searches for attendees, if required. 
Chair of Funding for All, Liz Duckworth said“We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the importance of our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to make our support offer more accessible to those smaller organisations whose services are often vital to their community. This is important because not only does it help those organisations become skilled and sustainable, but it also brings communities together and builds stronger relationships across the county.”
We are very much looking forward to launching our new series of events with you in the coming weeks and hope to meet some old and new faces along the way. 

To receive updates from Funding for All please subscribe to our bulletin and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Over the past few months, we have been working to develop our existing bid writing service. Our new Funding Consultancy Service is aimed specifically at the VCSE sector in Kent and Medway. We work with organisations of all sizes to write and develop a fundraising strategy, research appropriate funding streams and write funding applications as required. 

The service is delivered by our specialist mentors who have a wide range of experience from across the sector and expertise in funding development as well as the skills to mentor your staff and help you develop capacity within your own organisation. 

We charge £40 per hour with your initial meeting free of charge.

More details here

We are a very newly set up community group and engaged with Funding for All’s social media mentor, Laura and what an inspiring and helpful experience it was.

Laura happily travelled across Kent to meet with us and arrived well prepared, having investigated our requirements and viewed our existing Facebook page in advance. 

During our mentoring meeting Laura provided us with a wealth of information, guidance, suggestions and top tips, her knowledge was almost never ending and despite now having a huge list of actions we feel confident that we can take our social media work to another level.

Laura followed up our session with a follow up email containing all of the information and page links that she mentioned to us which was so helpful.

Laura is a huge asset to the Funding for All team. 

Gemma Stapeley, Community Manager at Special Educational Needs Support TunbridgeWells (SENs TW)

Sadly, at the end of January, we said a fond farewell to our Founder and long standing CEO, Nigel Turley, who has taken a well-earned retirement. 

Nigel has supported hundreds of charities over the 13 years that he has been running Funding Buddies and then Funding for All. There can’t be many organisations in the voluntary sector in Kent that don’t know Nigel, his passion for the voluntary sector is indisputable and he will be missed by us all. On behalf of the Trustees and everyone involved with Funding for All, we wish him a very happy retirement.

Whilst Nigel takes a well-earned break in the West Indies watching the cricket in February to start his retirement we are taking some time to review how Funding for All works and to ensure that we continue to support the voluntary sector in Kent with high quality, specialist mentoring. Two of our Mentors; Sally Bushell and Claire Haffenden are managing Funding for All on an interim basis over the next few months and supporting the Trustees to develop and implement a new strategic plan, whilst keeping business running as usual.

Sally and Claire will be seeking input into our plans from groups that have used our service in the past, as well as other key stakeholders and partners throughout Kent, via an online survey as well as face to face meetings. We really appreciate any feedback or ideas you may have, so do look out for opportunities to share your views on Funding for All over the next couple of months. In the meantime, if you would like to send us your feedback you can do so via our Contact Us form. 

There might come a time in your organisation’s future when you wish to expand, buy assets, hire staff or perhaps you’ll need to bridge the gap between grants. If so, social investment could be worth considering.

Social investment is the use of repayable finance, often with interest, invested into social organisations such as charities, social enterprises or community interest companies enabling them to increase their impact on society and to further achieve their goal.

Here’s our guide to those social investment loans currently considering applications.

To apply, you’ll also need to have prepared your business plan, how you expect to repay the loan, plus interest, and your financial forecast over the next two years. 

Remember, social investment loans aren’t suitable for every organisation and should be considered alongside your other funding options. 

If you’d like advice on whether or not social investment might be right for your organisation, contact us to discuss with one of our specialist Funding Mentors. We will also be able to mentor you through the application process. Read more on our free* mentoring programme, That’s the Way to Do It!

*That’s the Way to Do It! is a Stronger Kent Communities project funded by Kent County Council. To be eligible for free mentoring, organisations must be based in Kent with an annual income under £400,000. 

We are calling out to all the groups we’ve previously mentored to share their successes with us in photographic form so we can celebrate and promote your work whilst having some great images on our recently relaunched website.

Sadly, the work we do isn’t particularly interesting from a visual point of view (it would mainly consist of us sitting at a desk surrounded by cups of tea or driving up and down Kent’s motorways meeting groups) so we want to use your photographs that best showcase the work you do. We’ve had some brilliant ones already (such as the one below from Samphire) that’ll soon be featuring on our website and in our marketing materials.

Samphire, a Dover-based charity, seeks to change attitudes to, and improve the lives of, the ex-detainees and migrant communities. One project, Dover Welcomes All brings together the diverse communities of Dover to celebrate and embrace a welcoming culture for all. The project reaches out to the wider Dover community to involve them in conversations and activities (such as the one pictured above) that encourage social inclusion and cohesion.

So if you’ve been or are being mentored by a Funding for All Mentor and would like us to celebrate the work you do, please send us your photographs, including organisation name, project title and photo credit, and project updates to info@fundingforall.org.uk.

[NOTE: If images include your beneficiaries, plus ensure full permission has been granted for images to be used and securely stored by third parties. Proof of permission may be requested. Funding for All will not distribute the images you supply onto other organisations. By sending us your images you agree for us (Funding for All) to use them on our website and in our marketing materials and annual report]

Last week, we were honoured to attend a networking event for Kent’s voluntary sector hosted by Chairman of Kent County Council (KCC), Mr Mike Angell. The evening was an opportunity for local voluntary organisations, including ourselves, to meet and network with other invited voluntary organisations, senior Members and Officers of KCC.

In preparation for the event, we pulled together some of our achievements since becoming a member of the Stronger Kent Communities (SKC) consortium commissioned by KCC back in January 2017. 

Seeing the impressive figures all together made us feel very proud of what we have been able to achieve since receiving this funding and we wanted celebrate with you. After all, a lot of them are your achievements too!

I was pleased to see that the consortium has delivered many and varied projects in its first year, including the generation of over £1,200,000 to the voluntary sector economy in the county. This is a very positive and it is clear that the purpose and service offer from SKC is really crystallising now.

– Sam Sheppard, Commissioning Manager Kent County Council responding to SKC’s Annual Report 2017

The joy of our work really is supporting all the incredible voluntary organisations dedicated to making the communities of Kent fairer, vibrant and stronger – mirroring the aims of what SKC seeks to achieve.

You can read more about our SKC consortium projects here

Sometimes you meet someone (or lucky for us, lots of people!) and think ‘yes, this is why we do what we do’. The Founder of Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet CIC, Sharon Goodyer, is one of those people.

We first met Sharon, a former Head Teacher turned baking entrepreneur, back in May 2017 when her latest idea had just begun to form.

‘It started when I was on the bus and overheard a mother telling her children what they were going to have for their tea. It was a meal of hot dogs and alphabet potatoes. When I got off the bus I went and bought those items. I was amazed! She had fed her whole family for 50p each! Incredible, but there was nothing nutritional about it. I knew what I could do that might help. I could offer a range of healthier, locally made, affordable frozen meals only in Thanet.’

It was this lightbulb moment that brought Sharon out of retirement and call upon four local people who became friends for advice, including Stephanie Hayman (Founder of Whole School Meals CIC and Chequers Kitchen Cookery School CIC) and Shane Godwin (Commercial Director at East Kent College who in July 2016 opened the award-winning The Yarrow hotel).

Their advice? Contact Funding for All.

After initially meeting Funding for All CEO, Nigel Turley, Sharon was assigned Funding Mentors James Walker, to advise and support on organisational registration, and Karen Raeburn, to mentor Sharon through applying for funding.

‘Karen is an effective enabler and facilitator. Her level of expertise is unbelievable. She is positive, tactful and never drove the project. It was all my vision, but she took my ideas and shaped them. She got into the heart and soul of our organisation.’

Through a series of meetings either in-person or via online video conferencing, Karen guided Sharon through applying to Big Lottery Fund’s National Lottery Awards for All and proved successful.

‘Following that I [Karen] would suggest other funders to her, but really Sharon was up and away, identifying funders herself and contacting them directly. I think she is a good example of why it’s really beneficial for groups to directly contact funders where appropriate, and “sell” your project to them before going for the formal bid.’

Sharon went on to use her newfound knowledge to have further successes with Kent County Council’s Combined Members Grant and the Linda Hogan Charitable Trust. These small grants, along with £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, enabled her to acquire and equip a depot to package, store and distribute products for a six month pilot project.

All meals use local produce where possible (typically gleaned by FareShare Kent), contain no added salt, very little sugar and at least 80g of vegetables, as required by the Food Foundation. Meals are developed in-house or in partnership with local take-away restaurants to create wholesome, affordable (on average, meals are sold at £1.10 each) convenience meals.

It’s not just the health benefits, Our Kitchen can boast about either – it’s the environmental ones too.

‘All our packaging is compostable and we keep labelling to a minimum. Two reasons: 1. freezable labels contain plastic so are non-recyclable and 2. a label costs 11p each which does not help keep the cost to a minimum.’

Each meal is accompanied by a pamphlet detailing nutritional content, who supplied the food and the recipe. Limited labelling also means products cannot be sold on.

During the six month pilot (only four of which were active trading), Our Kitchen sold 690 meals via six experimental distribution methods. The trialled methods included:

  1. Door-to-door: A weekly van visited local, densely populated housing estates which have limited access to food shops.
  2. Depot: Customers could visit the depot to purchase their convenience meals.
  3. Groups and organisations: A weekly van visited local meet-ups such as playgroups, children’s centres andcoffee mornings.
  4. Local retailers: Stocking products in local shops.
  5. Catering: Our Kitchen catered at local events and business meetings including Lark in the Park and Ageless Thanet celebrations.
  6. Fridge freezers: A network of fridge freezers where installed across Thanet including leisure centres, community centres and church halls with meals being purchased on site.

Out of the six trialled techniques of selling, methods 1 and 6 proved to be the most successful in terms of sales, audience reach, accessibility and convenience. Overall the pilot was a success with more meals being sold than had been originally projected. With a growing customer-base, Sharon was keen to expand what she and her team of fellow volunteers had worked hard to develop, however an uncertain time followed.

‘For two months we had no money – it’s actually amazing what you can achieve with nothing! The original funding had been spent and we couldn’t apply for more until the pilot was over and the results had come in. Funders want to see your evidence. I should have thought ahead and planned between the pilot and the project starting.’

Of course, Sharon’s spirits were not dampened and she continued to produce meals from donated gleaned food and called on her supporters for financial backing. She didn’t have to wait long as further funding came meaning this summer more fridge freezers will be installed across Thanet including Arts in Ramsgate, Global Generation Church, Millmead Children’s Centre, Newington Community Centre, Quarterdeck Youth Centre and The FeelGood Factory) A pop-up community kitchen will also be held during August at Drapers Mills Primary Academy in Margate.

The vision of Our Kitchen doesn’t stop there, though! Sharon is currently in talks to secure Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet their own site hosting a café, shop and professional kitchen to produce their ready meals, but to also offer in-kind to other local, small food producers on the basis they develop a dish for the CIC.

‘It’s about community and taking ownership of our health. Getting together and enjoying locally sourced food that tastes delicious, is good for us and is affordable to everyone. As the strapline says – Thanet Feeds Itself Better.’

Our newest mentors, Jenni Page and Laura Stokes share their top 3 things to remember when it comes to digital marketing…

#1 Pleasure, not business. Remember, social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) were designed for people to connect and engage on, not for organisations to market themselves on. Think about who you are trying to reach and then create (and share) useful and interesting content that will resonate with your audience.

#2 Be consistent. Make your content relevant, topical and unique. Regularly update your social media feeds by having a posting strategy and stick to it, rather than posting as and when you have time (use a social media management platform like Hootsuite to schedule your posts). This way, your network of supporters will have a better idea of what to expect from you and will hopefully become more engaged.

#3 Don’t forget to check your analytics. All the social media platforms have their own free to use built in analytics tools. Try posting more of the content that gets the most engagement. Also, try experimenting posting at different times of day and on different days of the week to see when works best.

You’ve set up your Facebook page and have created a website, but now what? How do you use it effectively to raise awareness and fundraise for your organisation? Are you sure it’s even the right platform to be marketing your organisation on? 

Having a digital presence is becoming a must for all organisations, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Here at Funding for All we receive more and more requests for digital marketing guidance from Kent charities and VCSE organisations each day. To meet the demand, we are delighted to introduce our newest recruits… Marketing and Communications Mentors, Jenni Page and Laura Stokes.

Based: Whitstable / Founded:Chilli PR & Chilli Social

With a background in music PR, Jenni draws on over 18 years experience of working in the entertainment industry promoting artists and bands to TV. Clients have included Island Records, Sony Entertainment, Ministry of Sound and Universal Music to name but a few. More recently, Jenni has been working with Kent businesses to create successful social media strategies and running training events for those who are new to digital marketing. 

Specialisms: Instagram / Facebook Advertising / PR / visual content for social media / community-focussed social media campaigns / Social Media Optimisation.

Based: Folkestone / Founded:Stokes & Co.

Laura has over 14 years’ experience in traditional and digital marketing, product innovation and specialises in social media. After nine years at Which?, the UK’s largest consumer body, Laura turned her attention to social media management and will now be sharing her knowledge and passion for all things marketing with you through our mentoring service. 

Specialisms: Pinterest / Twitter / Instagram / analytics and reporting / content strategy / website design / social media campaigns for small organisations / printed media.

If you’d like free* marketing and communications mentoring
support for your organisation, get in touch and we’ll arrange a
meeting. *see website for eligibility. 

Simplified application processes, new ways of thinking and staff numbers across England almost tripled – there are some big changes at the Big Lottery Fund. 

Led by Jane Haddock, Funding Manager, the Kent and Sussex team has appointed four new local Funding Officers to support applicants during their funding journey – from initial ideas through to project completion and beyond. Meet your Kent team:

Supporting: Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells.

Supporting: Dover, Canterbury, Folkestone, Shepway and Thanet.

Supporting: Ashford, Maidstone, Medway and Swale.

Claire Webley and Sarah Owen, Funding Officers, supporting Sussex.

Last week, we had the pleasure of meeting Jane and her team to hear all about their new approach to grant making. One of the biggest changes is the new application process. Gone are the days of applicants blindly submitting online forms and playing the waiting game. Processes have been simplified and streamlined to cut decision waiting times and the opportunity for feedback and resubmission is now given.

Before applying, applicants are invited to discuss their early stage ideas with their local Funding Officer – ideas can be submitted via email, telephone or an online form. If the idea is thought to be fundable, an application form will need to be completed. Once submitted, applications are reviewed at fortnightly team meetings. Feedback is then issued and the opportunity to submit a second draft is permitted. Further feedback is given again within two weeks and should an application need further support the local Funding Officer will be on hand to work with the organisation. 

There are currently five funding programmes accepting applications from charities, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises. Of the three most popular funds, the application process for National Lottery Awards for All remains the same, however Reaching Communities England and Partnerships are included in the processing change.

FEB 2019 UPDATE: Big Lottery Fund has relaunched as The National Lottery Community Fund. Find out more about the change here.

If you’ve ever researched into applying for the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF), there’s a good chance you’ve spent some time researching how the scheme operates and if your project is eligible. This month, we highlight the key points to consider before applying…

The LCF, regulated by ENTRUST on behalf of HMRC, is a private tax credit scheme enabling Landfill Operators (LO) to voluntarily donate a percentage of their landfill tax (a tax which is to be paid to HMRC for every tonne of waste they put into landfill) to Distributive Environmental Bodies (DEB).

Six DEBs in Kent currently distribute funds on behalf of LOs to not-for-profit organisations who deliver projects for the benefit of communities and the environment in the vicinity of a landfill site. They are: Biffa Award, Enovert Community Trust, Ibstock Enovert Trust, SUEZ Communities Trust, Veolia Environmental Trust and Viridor Credits Environmental Company. Derbyshire Environmental Trust also offer the LCF in Kent, however this is through the Biffa Award.
Each DEB is entitled to set their own eligibility criteria, objectives and priorities, but they must adhere to those set out in The Landfill Tax Regulations 1996 (Regulations). They are:

The five Objects are:

Object A: The Reclamation, Remediation Or Restoration Of Land Which Cannot Currently Be UsedThe project site is where there once was an activity which has now ceased, which prevents or restricts the current use of the land, e.g. the site may have been contaminated. For example, construction of a footpath on a closed railway line.

Object B: The Prevention Of Potential For Pollution Or The Remediation Of The Effects Of Pollution
The project seeks to clean up land that has ceased activity and is polluted. Project example, decontaminating and demolishing an abandoned wharf.

Object D: The Provision, Maintenance Or Improvement Of A Public Park Or Another Public Amenity
The project site must be open and accessible to the general public (minimum 104 days per year) without a view to profit. Project example, improvements or construction to a village hall or play park.

Object DA: The Conservation Or Promotion Of Biodiversity
The project seeks to protect, restore or enhance natural habitat and those species living there. Project example, installation of bird nest boxes or tree planting.

Object E: The Restoration Of A Place Of Religious Worship Or Of Historic Or Architectural Interest
The project seeks to preserve, maintain, restore and/or repair a building of historical or architectural significance. The site must be open to the general public (minimum 104 days per year). Project example, repairing a roof or improving disabled access. 
DEBs can select which Objects they wish to support. Find out which Objects Kent DEBs support here.

A licensed landfill site is any site that is issued with a Waste Management License Number. The status of that license is not considered. However, a DEB can still set their own conditions on eligible project site locations in conjunction with ENTRUST’s, so we recommend checking. See individual DEB guidelines below.

Corporate bodies, such as limited companies, and unincorporated bodies, such as associations, clubs or trusts, are all eligible to enrol as an EB as long as they are not-for-profit and based in the UK. EBs must not be controlled by the local authority or a LO. The term ‘environmental’ does not define the type of organisation that can enrol.

Becoming enrolled is subject to approval from ENTRUST and can be done on the ENTRUST website. A payment of £100 is also to be made. There are ongoing obligations EBs must adhere to such as, submitting an annual return, informing ENTRUST of any LCF awards you receive and sending updates on your projects. This is all done through your account on ENTRUST’s website.

EBs who are enrolled for more than three years will be eligible to apply for an additional grant through a DEB. The Small Grants Scheme (SGS) can be used for projects under Object D and allows a DEB to make a number of small grants, up to £5,000 each, under a single, umbrella project registration with ENTRUST. A SGS registration is for one year only (1 April to 31 March). 

Note, if you applying for funds through a DEB you may not have to enrol as they sometimes do it on your behalf. See individual DEB guidelines further down.

Before any LCF monies can be spent, projects must be approved by ENTRUST to ensure expenditure is in compliance with their regulations. To seek approval, an online project registration application form must be submitted through your ENTRUST account. Decisions are made within five working days.

If you are applying through a DEB, they may register your project with ENTRUST on your behalf.

When a LO makes a contribution to a DEB it can only claim tax relief on up to 90% of the contribution it makes and is left with a 10% funding shortfall. Some LOs will absorb this cost, or a portion of it, themselves. Some will require you to find a separate third party to make the 10% payment or a portion of it. A CTP must meet ENTRUSTs requirements:

  • CTPs must be legally separate from the applicant;
  • CTPs cannot use any LCF money;
  • CTPs cannot gain a unique benefit from any LCF expenditure; and
  • CTPS must make the payment directly to LO or follow ENTRUSTs intermediaries guidance

Before applying, check the DEB’s conditions on who pays the CTP. More information on CTP payments can be found here.

If your project generates income as part of its operation, for example, you’ve built a community hall which will receive income from venue hire, the money must be put back into the project and can only be spent on approved expenses such as maintenance and operation. Also note, any interest that the fund may gain whilst in the bank is also classed as income and must be spent on the approved project.

The above are the keys points to consider before applying for the LCF. There are many more specific regulations detailed here which EBs must adhere to.

We strongly recommend carefully reading the regulations (and the ENTRUST website as a whole), and the DEB’s criteria, before applying.

Find out which DEB operates in your area:

Biffa Award

Enovert Community Trust

Ibstock Enovert Trust

SUEZ Communities Trust

Veolia Environmental Trust

Viridor Credits Environmental Company

With a new year and new beginnings, let’s get on track and start as we mean to go on…

The majority of our core work is mentoring organisations in bid writing. The groups we support vary from having no previous experience to some. So, this month, we go back to basics and explore how to write funding applications that don’t head straight to a funder’s wastepaper bin.

Before we begin, we will say that some of the below may sound obvious, but our Funding Mentors often see silly mistakes which cost organisations vital funds. So, take note!

Don’t dive straight in…
READ THE GUIDELINES: Make a cuppa and find a quiet corner to have a good read through the whole document before you start writing any answers. Highlight their priorities and eligibility criteria. You must ensure your organisation is 100% eligible to apply because if not, you waste yours and the funders time and risk losing creditability. It’s also worth considering that many trusts and foundations do not allow organisations to apply twice within a specified timeframe (typically one to two years) so if you have another, more eligible project that requires funding during that period, you may have wasted your chance.

ANNUAL REPORTS AND ACCOUNTS: These can be found on the Charity Commission’swebsite. The reports are full of useful information such as Trustees’ future priorities, who they’ve previously funded and average grant size. Use this knowledge to check your eligibility and to ensure your expectations are realistic. For example, if their grants never exceed £5,000, don’t ask for £10,000.

TIMEFRAMES & APPLICATION PROCESS: Each funder will have their own system so ensure you can provide everything they ask for before the deadline in the format they specify.

CALL THE FUNDER: Unless they explicitly state they do not (usually on the Contact Us page of their website), funders welcome pre-submission phone calls. Give them a ring and talk through your project – they won’t indicate your chances of success, but they will confirm your eligibility and if your work is of interest to the Trustees.

Time to get writing…
WORD PROCESSOR: If you have access to a computer, use a word processor (e.g. Microsoft Word or Pages) to write your answers. By doing this your spelling, grammar and word count are automatically checked and you’ll then be able to transfer your answers into the funder’s required application format.

ANSWER THE QUESTION: Read all the questions and plot out your answers. Make sure you cover every aspect of your project and try not to duplicate answers. The key is to focus on the project you want funding for and to be clear and succinct – do not waffle! Using bullet points is a great way to achieve this, and can keep your word count down.

You’re likely to be asked about your aims and objectives and outputs and outcomes… make sure you know the difference!

DON’T USE JARGON: Technical words may sound impressive, but are meaningless to those not in the know. With limited word counts, applications don’t allow for long explanations, so try and avoid jargon where possible. If you must, make sure you explain.  

EMOTIONS: Be emotive, but don’t be overly dramatic and keep adjectives to a minimum. Rather than using empty statements such as ‘passionate’ or ‘dedicated’, show funders through facts and figures that you are these things. For example, state how many volunteers you have, how many hours staff work, how much you’ve raised through fundraising activities etc.

SECTOR KNOWLEDGE & AWARENESS: Do your homework! Find out what is going on in the sector locally and nationally. If you have the same idea as another organisation get in touch and share knowledge. If the organisation is local, you may need to alter your idea or it could be an opportunity to work collaboratively. Funders love joint up ways of working!

EVIDENCE OF NEED: Funders want to see ‘evidence of need’. You may have a great idea, but if there is no need or demand for it then why should they fund it? Local and national statistics can be obtained online for free, but conducting your own research and case studies will illustrate to funders how your project will really benefit local residents.

It is said a funder makes their decision within 20 seconds of reading an application, so state your case straight away and a create a big impact.

SUSTAINABILITY: Demonstrate how you propose to ensure the legacy of the project, in terms of social, economic and environmental sustainability, once the grant has come to an end.

REPORTING: Many funders require monitoring and evaluation reports so think ahead to how you will fulfil this criteria. For example, do you have the right resources and how will you be measuring the impact of your project.

BUDGET: Before writing your budget refer back to the funder’s guidelines and check what costs are eligible for funding. Some funders only fund a specific piece of equipment or won’t cover staff costs, and some require match funding (cash or in-kind). Give the funder a full breakdown of the costs you are asking them to contribute to.

Round numbers often raise suspicions with funders as it shows vagueness and lack of research so try to avoid. Do your research and find out the true costs.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS: These can be a great visual tool to state your case even further, but check they are welcomed before you include them. It’s also worth remembering, you are not required to have beautifully printed materials, a simple flyer or info sheet about a previous project printed at home will suffice. Videos about your work/projects simply captured on your phone and uploaded to YouTube can also work well.

Don’t submit just yet…
REVIEW: When you think you’ve finished a draft, leave it for a few days and come back to it. There’s a good chance you’ll make amends or realise you’ve missed details.

In February 2015, a group of local parents wanted to revamp their village’s tired and unused play park into an amazing new facility for the whole coastal community of Kingsdown, near Deal to enjoy.

Forming as a Community Group to begin with, they set out to raise the funds needed to achieve their goal. Wanting to progress further, the Friends of Kingsdown Play Park (FKPP) formed as a charity and were introduced to Funding for All by Dover organisation, CASE Kent for mentoring.

After Lisa Dennison’s (Chair, FKPP), initial meeting with Funding for All CEO, Nigel Turley, Nigel introduced Lisa to her assigned Funding Mentor, Karen Raeburn. Karen’s expert knowledge in Children and Young People, Older People and Training complemented FKPP requirements and the two began working together on grant searches and bid writing.

Unlike many of the groups Funding for All support, Lisa did have some experience in fundraising and bid writing through her previous role as Chair of registered charity, Kingsdown Pre-school so they got straight into applying for funds. At first, Karen met with Lisa to explore the history of FKPP and review grant applications Lisa had previously submitted. From this meeting, the two went on to communicate via email and draft grant applications together.

In total Lisa received 40 hours of mentoring from Karen and submitted 21 grant applications to a variety of local and national trusts and foundations including Awards for All, Kent Police Property Fund and Garfield Weston Foundation. Nine were successful and FKPP received the required funds for the completion of Phase One (installation of new play equipment and resurfacing).

‘[I’ve learnt] …to be patient and remain optimistic! I also write a much better grant bid now.’

Using the skills and knowledge Lisa learnt during her time with Karen, Lisa and the FKPP team have gone on to raise more funds through successful applications and fundraising events, have an active presence online through Facebook and the FKPP website and Lisa has shared her skills with colleagues. FKPP are still fundraising for Phases Two (play equipment for older children including a zip wire) and Three (outdoor gym equipment) through grant applications and events and hope to have Phase Two completed by Spring 2018.

‘We’re still going but we’re getting there and we’re certain we wouldn’t be as far as we are without the support of Karen.’

Lisa Dennison, Chair of FKPP.

Read more about Friends of Kingsdown Play Park here.

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