This grant programme is currently closed. We expect this grant programme to re-open to application in the autumn of 2024.
You can view previous grant guidelines below.
Please note, these grant guidelines may change when/if the programme reopens to applications. Please make sure you read the new guidelines before you submit your grant application.
The festive season can be difficult for some, and this year many of our neighbours are facing extremely tough times ahead. At Somerset Community Foundation we want to support groups that can help to reduce loneliness and spread warmth and cheer through food and activities around the festive period with grants of up to £400.
Who can apply for this money?
You can only apply if your group:
- is based in the county of Somerset (but not North Somerset or BANES)
- exists to support your community and doesn’t make a profit for any directors, members, or shareholders
- wants to provide food and/or festive activities for isolated people between December 2023 and January 2024.
That means charities, community groups, sports clubs, and social enterprises can usually apply. But your group must have a:
- governing document or set of rules
- committee of at least three unrelated people
- bank account in its name
- has a safeguarding policy that meets our requirements (click here for more information)
If you don’t have these things, then Spark Somerset may be able to support you to put them in place. Or you could talk to another group, or your local parish or town council, who could manage a grant application for you.
Is my group more likely to get some money or not?
We’re more likely to give you money if your group:
- is based in a more disadvantaged community. Our team check the Index of Multiple Deprivation to see if you are in a richer or poorer part of Somerset. The Government publishes this Index, and you can look at it here
- works with older people or other groups facing bigger challenges. This might include people with disabilities, or those with conditions like dementia
- actively works with other groups in your area to make sure everyone can benefit from what you provide
- has not received money from us in the last year.
What can I use the money for?
You can use this money towards the cost of providing food and/or festive activities for isolated people between December and January.
What can’t I use the money for?
We can’t give money to:
- individuals or sole traders
- national organisations and groups based outside of Somerset
- activities that have already taken place or purchases that you have already made
- groups that give money to another group, rather than spend it on their own activities
- groups that have more than 12 months running costs in free reserves
- the promotion of religion. But we will give money to faith organisations for projects that deliver wider community benefits
- activities that are about animal welfare.
We can give money to these types of groups, but only in some cases:
- Social enterprises, like a Community Interest Company. Social enterprises must be limited by guarantee, and have objects and an asset lock that benefit Somerset communities.
- Statutory organisations, like a parish council or a school. Applications cannot be for statutory duties. This means we will not support educational activities for pupils that take place during the school day. We will also not give money for school facilities, classroom equipment or to train teachers. We would prefer Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) to ask us for money, rather than schools.
When will I get the money if I’m successful?
If we can, it will be paid directly to your group by a bank transfer in early December.
You need to spend your grant and let us know how the activity went and how it helped people by the end of January 2024. We’ll tell you more about that if you are successful.
How much is available?
The Festive Fund has about £10,000 to give out this year.
You can ask for up to £400.
How do I apply for money?
When this Fund is open, you can apply by filling out a short online application form via this link or on the ‘click here to apply’ box at the bottom of this page. This takes you to a registration page where you’ll need to enter your email address.
You don’t have to complete the form in one go. Instead, you can complete some sections then click ‘save draft’ at the bottom of the page. Use the link in your email to return to the form at another time.
You also need to attach the following documents alongside your application:
- a bank statement from within the last three months. This can be a scanned paper statement, or a copy downloaded from an online account. We need to see the bank name, your group’s name, the address where statements go, the account number and the sort code. You may redact transactions if needed.
- your safeguarding policy
- your governing document
- list of your management committee members, trustees or directors
If you are aware that we hold the most recent copies of the above documents you do not need to submit these again. If you are unsure what documents we hold copies of please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, you must read the terms and conditions and click ‘submit’.
Please contact us if you can’t use the online form, or you are unable to attach any of the documents. We’ll support you to make your application in another way.
What does Somerset Community Foundation do with my application?
You’ll receive an automatic email once you’ve submitted your application. This will include a copy of your application for your records. If you don’t receive this email then let us know.
A member of our Grants Team will look at your application. We’ll speak to partners like the Community Council for Somerset, Spark Somerset or the Somerset Diverse Communities Team if we need to understand more about your work. If we still have a question, then we’ll contact you. And if your group is new, then we may ask for a referee.
The Grants Team then take all the applications received to our Grants Panel. The Panel is a group of volunteers who have a wide range of skills and experiences. They will make the final decision on your application. They’ll consider:
- if you meet the criteria for the fund (rules)
- if you meet any of the priorities for the fund (interests)
- your group’s finances, governance and safeguarding arrangements
- how well you have explained what you would do with the money
- whether this offers good value for money
- how you work with other groups to avoid doing the same thing twice
- how well you have reported on any previous money we gave you.
Need help applying for this money?
Call us on 01749 344949 and ask to speak to Peter or Kirsty in the Grants Team (Option 5) or email the team at email@example.com. Please let us know your enquiry is about the Festive Fund.