Community Grants - Frequently Asked Questions
Who may apply?
Not-for-profit organisations or individuals proposing projects that benefit the wider community in East Herts, including Buntingford, Sawbridgeworth, Hertford, Bishop’s Stortford, Ware and the many rural villages.
Organisations that are proposing large-scale projects related to buildings or green spaces must already have most of the money for their project and to be applying to the council at the end of their fundraising campaign.
What does the application process involve?
Organisations must submit their request for a grant on an application and attach all the required paperwork. Discuss your idea with Claire, the Council’s Grants Officer, before submitting an application. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 531459.
Be sure to provide a strong argument for funding or you will not be awarded a grant. Depending on the type of grant you are applying for, you must obtain agreement from the East Herts Councillor (representing the area from which most of your beneficiaries will come) to serve as a mentor (for grants up to £300) or to provide a written endorsement (grants over £301) of your application. Applications to be emailed to Grants.Admin@eastherts.gov.uk
What do I have to include with my small grant application?
All applications must be accompanied by a Mentor Statement by an East Herts District Councillor who has agreed to serve as a mentor. This is a separate form that Councillors can access online. You may be asked for evidence demonstrating your experience, knowledge and skills.
What do I have to include with my large grant application?
You must include all the required paperwork listed on page 12 of the application plus any other evidence that supports your business case and how you will take forward the outcome(s) you ticked. If this paperwork is not received by the deadline, your application will not be processed.
What do I have to include if I am applying for Matchfunding for a project that will be on Crowdfunder?
The same paperwork as above, but you must also include a detailed action plan about how you will deliver your campaign. You must apply 4 to 6 months prior to the campaign going “live” on Crowdfunder. For more information please visit the Crowdfunder website.
What do we mean by evidence?
This is facts or information that supports your proposal and proves that there is a problem. It could range from national or local statistics, waiting lists to feedback from public meetings and testimonials. It forms part of your business case. The more background information you provide the higher your score.
How do I obtain a mentor or endorsement from my East Herts Councillor for my application?
You can find a list of East Herts Councillors, using our find your councillor search. You can then phone or email to discuss your idea.
What type of projects are the Council interested in funding?
We are keen to fund projects that are delivered in areas of disadvantage and low income. Projects in these areas will be considered for a grant first. We are interested in funding projects that the whole community supports and can benefit. Successful projects are those that address at least one of the Council’s priorities and outcomes listed in Appendix 1 of the grants policy and are based on the interests and needs of local people.
Why do I need a mentor in order to apply for a small grant?
Having a mentor is a requirement of this pilot scheme. It is a good idea to meet with the Councillor representing the area from which most of your beneficiaries will come and discuss your idea. He or she can advocate for you and will help you
- Complete the application
- Ensure safe and appropriate delivery and
- Monitor the benefits of the scheme/project to the wider community
What is the maximum grant?
Up to £8,000 is available to fund improvements to buildings and open spaces. Up to £3,000 is available to deliver projects but be aware that the maximum grant is only available for projects that run for 6 weeks or longer and will clearly result in positive changes to behaviour. Grants of up to a maximum of 50% of the total funding needed or £2,000, whichever is the lesser, is available for projects or schemes fundraising on Crowdfunder.
What will not be funded?
- Medical equipment
- Promotion of a particular religion or political belief
- A service the state is obligated to provide
- Land or building where ownership (freehold or eligible lease) is not yet established
- Purchase of items on behalf of another
- Maintenance or minor repair work on buildings or spaces
- General fundraising campaigns
- VAT that you can recover
- Hardship where an organisation is in a crisis which requires a rapid response
- Commercial ventures
Would it be possible for a grant to be back dated for money we have already paid out?
No, the council does not fund retrospectively for projects or activities that have already taken place.
How does the Council assess applications for large grants?
Appendix 2 in the grants policy shows how your application will be scored. The Council has limited funds so only applications that score more than 50% of the maximum available points will be considered for funding. Each application will be assessed on its own merit against carefully designed criteria in the following areas.
- Accurate, realistic budget
- Effective delivery
- Sustainabiity of the project/scheme
- Match funding
- Size of organisation
- Previous financial support from the Council
- Real impact/benefits on a Council priority/outcome
- Need for project by the wider community (consultation)
The funds available will be allocated to those applications with the highest scores. Projects that score low compared to others but that the panel considers to have potential may be funded if the applicant agrees to certain conditions.
What do we mean by consultation?
Consultation is defined as activities undertaken for a set time period to seek opinions from a chosen group in order to reach a decision. The greater the level or amount of consultation that takes place, the higher the score the application will receive as long as the feedback supports your proposed actions. It is important to provide evidence of this type of work such as results from a questionnaire.
When do I receive my grant?
If your application is successful we will confirm this via email no later than 8 to 10 weeks after the deadline. Small Grants will not be paid out to individuals or fledging groups but to an organisation that has agreed to serve as a “banker” or directly to a supplier. In the case of Project Grants for Delivery, once we receive your reply agreeing to the terms and conditions, we will arrange payment directly to your bank account. Project Grants for building works/equipment will be paid once the project is completed and claim submitted with relevant invoices. We will not release a grant in advance.
I am an individual or group without a constitution applying for a Small Grant. What do you mean when you say I need to identify a “banker”?
A “banker” is a not-for-profit organisation (not connected to yourself) that has agreed to take receipt of your grant for you. Examples of eligible “bankers” include Community Voluntary Services for Broxbourne and East Herts, Hertfordshire Community Development Action CDA Herts or a parish council or village hall.
What happens if I sell the building?
Organisations wishing to dispose of buildings or equipment that have received a grant must seek the consent of the council. The council reserves the right to require repayment of the grant, in full, immediately following the disposal.
When are we eligible to apply for a grant again, after being successful?
You are eligible to reapply once you have delivered or completed your existing project or activity.