We currently have over 70 funds offering grants to Cambridgeshire-based projects that help to improve the quality of life across the county. Between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, 2 out of 3 applications received funding. However, not all projects received the full amount they applied for.

Most of our funds offer grants to organisations. A few funds offer grants to individuals, but these applications must be submitted by referral organisations .

Each fund has its own eligibility criteria, with some funds focusing on supporting a specific cause, geographic area, or group of beneficiaries.

Our minimum grant size for organisations is £1,500 and our average is £4,500, but each fund specifies its own range of available grant sizes.

Application guidance

We strongly advise that you familiarise yourself with the application guidance on this page before submitting your application, to increase the likelihood of it being successful.

Please refer to the quick links in the dark blue box to take you to relevant sections of this page.

Application rounds

Application rounds

We work on a quarterly funding round basis, so applications are reviewed following the round’s upcoming application deadline. Some funds do not accept applications for every deadline, so you may have to wait to apply for a specific fund. Also, you can only submit applications for the funding round we are currently in so, for example, you cannot apply in the spring round to a fund that only accepts applications in the autumn round.

The main round deadlines for application forms and all supporting documentation are below. However, a small number of funds have different deadlines, therefore, please check the application details of your preferred fund before applying.

Spring round

Summer round

Autumn round

Winter round

Open versus specific fund applications

Open versus specific fund applications

If you think your project fits a specific fund’s eligibility criteria, you may choose to apply specifically to this fund. Some funds may also have fund-specific application forms so, if you wish for your project to be considered by a particular fund, this may be the preferred method of applying.

However, if you have checked that your organisation is ready to apply, but you are not sure or have no preference over the fund your application should be considered by, you can complete an open grant application form. Our Grants Team will then review your application and identify the most suitable fund.

To submit an open application for this funding round, please complete the form and submit your documents using the link in the Complete an application section by 23:59 on the nearest funding deadline, as outlined above. The following round’s open application form will be available after this round’s deadline has passed. If you start an open application in the current round, to submit in a later funding round, your progress will be lost after this round closes, as each funding round has a separate application form.

Step-by-step application process

Step-by-step application process

1. Check that your organisation and project is eligible for funding

We only fund community-focused, not-for-profit organisations, which must be legally registered if their income is above £5,000. This includes the following:

We support projects delivered within Cambridgeshire by national organisations, as long as the funding is restricted to this area of benefit. A very small number of our funds accept applications from outside Cambridgeshire.

We accept applications for a wide variety of projects and charitable causes, and we can fund project related salaries, vehicle rental and capital items.

We do not fund the following:

In addition, we manage a limited number of funds which provide grants to individuals. However, applications must be made by a referring organisation.

2. Prepare the documents we require

We require certain documents to show that your organisation is up to date with the latest legislation, and so that we can check that you have the necessary framework in place to receive a grant from us.

Documents must be submitted with your application by the deadline for which you have applied. If your documents are not supplied with your application it may be declined immediately without further assessment.

All organisations are required to have the following documents, which should be regularly and recently reviewed, signed, and dated by a member of your management committee:

Safeguarding and equality policies are no longer required for most applications. However, you will need to confirm that you have these policies in place and that you are clear about your approach to safeguarding and equality. We ask that these policies are reviewed on a yearly basis to ensure best practice.

Safeguarding and equality policies are still required for applications to the Cultivate Cambs Fund and the Thalia WB Community Fund. In addition to the above, you will need to submit the following:

To ensure you have provided all documents, you may find the following document checklists helpful:

If you have received a grant from us in the past two years, you do not need to resubmit your documents, unless there have been significant changes in your organisation or if any of the requirements outlined above are not incorporated.

In specific circumstances, we may require additional documents to the above:

3. Complete the application form

Our application form asks you for information on various aspects of your project, including:

A small number of our funds may have fund-specific application forms which may ask additional questions. The relevant application form can be found by clicking ‘Apply’ on each fund’s page.

Application forms are to be completed online and you can save the form and return to it later via a unique link which we will send to you via email. However, the form must be completed by the end of the funding round in which it is created, otherwise it will be lost, because funds have a new form for every funding round.

You can choose a fund to apply to and identify it on the form, or you can leave it ‘unspecified’, which means that our Grants Team will take your application to the most suitable fund.

We work on a quarterly funding round basis, so the submitted application will be considered following the nearest funding deadline. Some funds do not accept applications for every deadline, so you may have to wait to apply for a specific fund. A small number of funds also have different deadlines. Details on the specific funding deadline(s) are available on each fund’s page.

4. Assessment calls and internal panel

If your application requires further clarification, a member of our Grants Team may call you to find out more about your project and discuss any queries that we may have. Our team has plenty of experience working with local non-profit organisations and we know what the donors expect and want to fund. There may be follow-up tasks following the telephone assessment, either to comply with our procedures or to provide additional information for specific donors.

Complete and eligible applications are then reviewed by an internal panel of volunteers and trustees, in line with the Foundation’s strategic priorities.

5. A fund panel considers which projects will receive funding

Fund panels then decide which projects will receive funding, according to the fund’s priorities and available balance. The fund panel may decide to fund a project fully or partially. In the latter case, your application may be taken to several other fund panels. You may then receive funding from multiple funds, or your project may remain partially funded.

Unfortunately, the total funding requested in applications often exceeds the total funding available, so even excellent applications may not always be funded.

6. Outcomes are announced via email

Successful applicants are sent a grant offer letter with terms and conditions which confirm how the grant is to be spent, what project reporting will be required and what happens to any unspent funds. A signed copy (requiring 2 signatures) must be returned with contact details of someone with whom the Foundation can arrange a project visit and/or speak to about end-of-project reporting. This does not have to be the same person. The sooner you return the signed offer letter, the sooner we can pay out the grant.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified and may be encouraged to apply to the next funding round, signposted to alternative sources of funding, or to organisations which can help them become ‘grant ready’, depending on the reason why their application was rejected.

Read the most common reasons why applications are unsuccessful

7. Delivering your project

It’s time to run your project!

Changes to your project

If you experience any significant changes to your project after receiving your grant offer letter, it is important that you inform us as soon as possible, so that we can advise you on how to proceed. In particular, you must inform us of any ‘material changes’, which refer to significant changes to any of the following:

If you are unsure whether the issue or change which has arisen is a ‘material change’, please err on the side of caution and speak with our Grants Team, by emailing info@cambscf.org.uk or calling 01223 410535.

Displaying our logo

If you have received support from us, we would be grateful if you could display our logo on relevant project materials (e.g. promotional posters) to help to raise awareness of the support we offer.

View the available logo files

8. We may arrange a project visit, or you may be asked for an interim project update

If you have received a grant of £4,499 or above, or this is your first grant from the Foundation, a volunteer or member of staff might visit the project to see how it is developing and talk to you about how you are getting on.

Some programmes that make very large awards, or offer grant payments in instalments, may ask for interim project reporting. This will be made very clear at the application stage. Please view our reporting guidance for further information.

Even if we do not visit your project, we would really like to hear updates on how your project is going and what you have achieved. Please tag us in your project updates on social media and feel free to email us project photos and updates. We would be happy to share them through our channels to spread awareness about your amazing work.

9. Completion of the grant report at the end of your project.

Around a month after the end of the project, grants recipients are required to complete an end-of-project reporting form online. This can be accessed via a unique link sent to you upon receipt of your signed offer letter. The link allows you to tell us if all the money has been spent and what on, what activities were carried out and who benefitted from them. You can also upload photos, feedback and case studies using the same link.

If you are already producing a report for the project internally or for another donor, you can upload that as well.

If you did not spend all of your grant, you must contact the Foundation at this stage, as leftover funds above £100.00 must be returned.

Our Grants Team will review your monitoring to see how well the aims of the project were achieved and we will note any learnings you share that might help us improve how we support projects in the future.

We also look for case studies, photographs, and quotes to share with our supporters and wider network, including through our website, social media, and reports. Our fund holders also receive reports about the projects that their fund has supported. This raises awareness about the impactful projects we are proud to support in our community, as well as helping us raise more funds to support more projects in the future.

For more information on sharing your impact, including project reporting, please visit our reporting guidance.

Complete your online grant application

Complete your online grant application

Once you have checked that you are eligible for funding and you have familiarised yourself with the above application guidance, please complete either an open application form or find a suitable fund and complete the fund-specific application form, which you will find on each fund’s page.

Get in touch if you have any questions about applying for a grant through Cambridgeshire Community Foundation

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Grants Team | info@cambscf.org.uk

Email the Grants Team
Download the Foundation’s logos

Download logos

We can also offer other file formats, like vector files, or additional logo colour variations. Please email info@cambscf.org.uk to discuss your design needs.

Helpful organisations and resources

Helpful organisations and resources

To receive further support on the grant application process or other matters concerning your organisation, you may find it helpful to use some of the services and resources offered by the organisations listed below:

Local Councils for Voluntary Services

This is a network of organisations which supports local community and charitable organisations through training and advice. The organisations local to Cambridgeshire are:

Organisation-specific support

Grants bulletin

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