Grantmaking guidelines

What does Suffolk Community Foundation support?

We award grants to charities, voluntary or community groups and organisations which are charitable in purpose and are working to help relieve disadvantage and deprivation across Suffolk. We seek to support genuinely good ideas that will make a real difference to the lives of local people.

The aim of our grant-making is to:

  • Promote health and wellbeing
  • Tackle disadvantage
  • Support local solutions to meet local needs
  • Promote community cohesion
  • Develop sustainable and supportive communities

The Foundation supports core costs, new or continuing projects, one-off initiatives, and capital costs. We seek to achieve an equitable distribution of resources across the county.


  • You must have a recognised governing document e.g. Constitution, Memorandum
  • If you are working with children and/or vulnerable people, you must have a Safeguarding Policy in place
  • You must be able to provide annual accounts for your organisation
  • You must have a bank account in the organisation’s name which requires two signatories for all withdrawals. In addition, all signatories must be unrelated and live at different addresses
  • You must have a management committee with at least three members

What will Suffolk Community Foundation NOT support?

Please note that Suffolk Community Foundation will NOT support the following:

  • Projects not benefiting people living in Suffolk
  • Grants directly to individuals or families for personal needs (with the exception of Suffolk Disability Care Fund and donor designated donations)
  • Direct replacement of statutory obligation and public funding
  • Promotion of religious or political causes
  • Groups with significant financial free reserves
  • Retrospective grants
  • Contribution to endowment fund, payment of deficit funding or repayment of loans
  • National charities that are not providing clear local benefits
  • Overseas travel or expeditions
  • Sponsored or fundraising events or groups raising funds to redistribute to other causes
  • Medical research and equipment for statutory or private healthcare
  • Start-up funding for a project that is unable to start within nine months
  • Commercial ventures, unless the group is a registered not for profit organisation
  • General appeals
  • Animal welfare, unless the project benefits people (e.g. disabled riding schemes)
  • Statutory work in educational institutions
  • Fees for professional fundraisers

Which Fund should I apply to?

Suffolk Community Foundation manages a variety of charitable funds. Please read the criteria for the fund before starting your application form. Please note that an organisation can receive multiple grants from the Foundation during a 12 month period but can only receive one grant per year per fund. Only some of our funds accept applications from Social Enterprises and CICs. These are denoted by ‘SE’ on the available grants list.

What information do you need to tell us?

When completing your application form you should consider how you will demonstrate the following:

  • How the project will impact a particular need or problem; groups should demonstrate that a grant will make a real difference to the people or community it intends to support.
  • How the project will support the people involved.
  • The plans both for the long-term development and for the project for which you are applying are realistic and practical
  • How the effectiveness of the work supported by a grant from the Foundation will be measured
  • How the service users are involved in developing the project, wherever possible
  • How you address equal opportunities within your organisation

How is an application submitted?

All application forms (except for Suffolk Disability Care Fund) can be completed online. Each fund has its own application form which applicants can fill in and attach their supplementary documents to submit online. Note that for some applications, as well as completing an online form, a Part B will need to be signed and returned along with your supporting documents. If this is the case, you will be informed in the automated email and Part B will be attached. If an applicant has recently provided the supplementary documents to the Foundation, they do not need to be re-submitted, unless the documents have been updated.  To request a paper copy of the application form, please contact the Foundation.

What happens once I have submitted my application form?

Acknowledgement of receipt

You will receive an automated confirmation email following online submission of your application. We will then process your application, acknowledge receipt by email and inform you if any further information or documents are needed. Note that if you are informed Part B is required for your application, we will send an acknowledgment email once your application is complete i.e. both Part A and Part B are received by the Foundation.


All applications received at the Foundation are subject to a detailed assessment. As part of the assessment of the application, the organisation or group may be contacted by email or telephone or the assessor may wish to visit the applicant.

Grant decisions

Once you have been awarded a grant, Suffolk Community Foundation will make the payment on receipt of the signed Terms and Conditions for Grant Awards which will be issued with the Grant Offer Letter.

Committee approval

Unfortunately we are unable to fund every application that we receive but where possible we may be able to fund certain aspects of an application or draw money from a number of funds to fully meet a request. Please note that there is no right of appeal on award decisions made.

Monitoring and evaluation

We monitor and evaluate successful applicants to ensure that funding has been spent appropriately. Groups funded will receive an End of Grant Monitoring Form to complete and a possible visit by a member of the Foundation to evaluate the progress and the effectiveness of the grant.

The satisfactory completion of the monitoring and evaluation form is a pre-requisite for any future grant application.

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