Read This First
The London Community Foundation primarily supports small community groups and charities in London. We offer funds on behalf of different donors, and you may apply to each and every programme for which your group is eligible. The funding criteria is specific to each grant programme, so please do read guidance notes carefully to ensure you are eligible to apply to each grant programme. Please call us before submitting an application if you are unsure, or if you need support in completing the form.
The London Community Foundation is continually working to develop and secure new funds for the benefit of community organisations in London, so funds we have available will change throughout the year. To receive regular updates, you can sign up to our e-bulletin.
Who can apply to our funds?
The majority of our funds are open to all charitable organisations, including:
- Community groups
- Registered charities
- Companies limited by guarantee, without share capital
- Social enterprises
- Community Interest Companies (CIC’s)
Some of our funds may be restricted to certain types of organisations, so please check the fund guidelines carefully. If you are unsure, please contact us before applying.
We are also able to support Faith Groups, Tenants & Residents organisations and Friends of Schools or Parent Teacher Associations. Please click on the links for more details.
What work does The London Community Foundation support?
Over the years, The London Community Foundation has supported a diverse range of projects through our funds, from community gardening and lunch clubs for the elderly, to supplementary schools and youth work. We also fund activities targeted at supporting particularly disadvantaged and marginalised communities, and organisations tackling challenging issues, such as domestic violence and honor killings.
Donors can establish a broad fund that is responsive to a wide range of community issues, or they may wish to specialize in a particular field, for example, supporting organisations working in education. Its therefore important you read each set of fund guidelines carefully to see if your work meets the fund’s objectives.
The majority of our funds are targeted at small community groups and charities, so there are usually income restrictions in place to make sure we are targeting these groups. However, some of our funds are open to larger groups as well, so please do check individual fund guidelines.
What do I need to have in place to apply for a grant?
At a minimum, to apply for a grant from The London Community Foundation, your group must have the following in place, but please do read the guidance notes for each fund as there may be additional requirements:
- At least 3 Trustees, Directors or Management Committee members (If you are a community organisation, you must have this as a minimum. Registered charities and other bodies’ constitutions may allow for less – in this instance, please contact us prior to making an application).
- A governing document eg. Constitution or memorandum & articles of association.
- Accounts or a record of income and expenditure for your group, and sound plans for managing your money (if you are a new group you will need to provide a bank statement and a spending plan).
- A safeguarding policy if you are working with children or young people (under 18) or if you are working with vulnerable adults.
If you need help with any of the above, please contact the Grants Team for support. For our Grassroots Grants fund, we are working in partnership with local Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS), who will be able to provide you with more in-depth application or project planning support.
We also have online resources packs detailing what we would expect to see in a constitution, safeguarding policy, and other information on best practice. Please click here to view the Resources page [link to Training and Resources].
What happens when I apply?
We encourage you to put as much information as you can on your application form, completing all questions and providing your supporting documents. A Grants Officer may then contact you by telephone to carry out a brief assessment and gather any further information we may need. Please note this is not an indication that your application will be successful, rather it enables u to clarify any questions raised from the application, and gives us a greater understanding of your work.
If you require alternative methods of communication, such as an interpreter, please do let us know when you submit your application and we will be happy to arrange this.
Your application and any additional information gathered during the assessment will then go to a panel for consideration. The London Community Foundation's Board of Trustees approve all grants awarded through the Foundation.
What do we look for in a funding application?
Funding is a competitive business and our fund-holders and Trustees often have to make difficult decisions on where best to invest limited funds available. LCF always receive many more applications than we are able to support. When considering applications, we take the following into account:
- Demonstration of need – has the applicant provided good evidence of need for their proposed project? Are they meeting a gap in provision? Are they duplicating a service that already exists in the area?
- Sound governance – does the applicant have a strong, stable management structure in place, with Trustees or Directors having clear lines of responsibility?
- Sound financial management – has the applicant demonstrated an ability to manage grant funding? Does the organisation have clear financial procedures and methods of accounting in place?
- Sound project planning – is the proposed project well planned and well costed?
- Good partnership working – is the organisation working with other local organisations and/or statutory providers for the benefit of the community?
- Strong capacity and ability to deliver – has the organisation demonstrated knowledge of their field, their user group, and an ability to deliver the proposed project to a high standard? Are they likely to be successful in achieving their proposed outcomes? Does the organisation have a good track record in this field (applicable to established organisations only)?
What do I need to do if we are awarded a grant?
If you are successful in receiving a grant, you will need to provide a report demonstrating your achievements as a result of the grant and the benefits for your user group. You may also need to provide original invoices and receipts relating to your grant expenditure. Click here for details of our monitoring requirements.
The London Community Foundation
Tel: 020 7582 5117