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

To read information specific to Community Interest Companies and Social Enterprises, click here.

Eligibility & Evidence


Your organisation should have a constitution/governing document/Articles of Association/set of rules to apply for funding and a management committee with a minimum of three independent members. This document will typically show:-

• The charitable aims of your organisation
• The organisation’s powers
• Who can become a member
• How the management committee and officers are elected and their terms of office
• The roles of the different officers of the group (e.g. Treasurer, Chair, Secretary)
• How frequently the management committee meets
• The arrangements for an Annual General Meeting
• How finances are managed
• How any amendments can be made to the group’s constitution

Your constitution must also include a Dissolution Clause i.e. what happens to the group’s assets if it ceases to operate. This clause should state that any assets remaining after the settlement of debts will be transferred to an organisation with similar charitable purposes, and not distributed among members. Articles of Association for CICs must contain a named Asset Lock.

To read information specific to Community Interest Companies and Social Enterprises, click here.

If your organisation is a Community Interest Company (CIC) or a Company Limited by Guarantee/Company Limited by Shares with charitable aims and objectives, there must be:

  • At least 3 unrelated officers, living at different addresses, registered with Companies House
  • Equal voting rights/shares for all registered officers
  • No “Person(s) with Significant Control” over the company registered with Companies House

If your company is Limited by Shares, your Articles of Association must clearly show that dividends (or other profit-sharing schemes) are not paid to shareholders, and that all profits are reinvested in the company.

The Charity Commission offers guidance about governing documents on their website.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Some projects will target particular groups of people, for example youth groups and day care centres. We expect our grants to benefit everyone in your community who wants to use the services or activities you provide. An Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policy will show us that your organisation is inclusive and treats everyone fairly and should contain:-

  •  A clear anti-discriminatory statement
  • A clear anti-harassment/bullying statement
  • Reference to the policy covering trustees, volunteers and service-users as well as employees
  • Reference to recruitment, selection, employment and training if you employ staff or volunteers
  • Reference to the most up to date legislation (i.e. the Equality Act 2010)
  • Reference to the nine protected characteristics

This policy should have been reviewed within the last 3 years, show the date of this review, and the date of the next. It should be signed and show the date of adoption by your management committee


Safeguarding is a key governance priority for charities as per Charity Commission guidance, and Duty of Care, negligence etc. also applies to the health and safety and safeguarding of staff and volunteers.

Organisations therefore have a responsibility to protect everyone they come into contact with from harm and this includes staff, volunteers and trustees as well as beneficiaries.

All organisations, not just those working directly with children and/or adults at risk of harm, need a safeguarding policy and safeguarding procedures in place.

An organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures should be fit for purpose and reflect the nature of its work.

An organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures should cover reference to ensuring that all staff and volunteers are appropriately trained to recognise and report safeguarding concerns.

Safeguarding procedures must be compliant with the reporting procedures for concerns in Suffolk.

Safeguarding policies and procedures should contain:

  • The name and contact telephone number for the organisation’s Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
  • Reference to the different types and signs of abuse
  • The organisation’s reporting procedure for safeguarding concerns
  • Reference to the organisation’s safe recruitment practices (e.g., DBS checks) for those working directly with children and/or adults at risk, including volunteers

This policy should have been reviewed within the last 3 years, show the date of this review, and the date of the next. It should be signed and show the date of adoption by your management committee

Community Action Suffolk has information about developing safeguarding policies and safeguarding training on its website.

Annual Accounts

You must provide your most recent end-of-year accounts. If these are more than 6 months old, you must also provide a copy of your current management accounts. These should show:-

• Your organisation’s income and expenditure e.g. venue hire, ticket sales etc.
• Your organisation’s unrestricted (or free) reserves

Unrestricted reserves normally exclude tangible fixed assets such as land, buildings or equipment held for the charity’s use. They also exclude funds set aside for essential future spending e.g. money saved towards a planned project or expected repair. Any deficit or loans need a clear explanation.

If your organisation has a large amount of unrestricted reserves, it may be given lower priority for funding, and we may ask to see a copy of your organisation’s Reserves Policy. As a rule, we would not normally consider funding an organisation with reserves greater than 12 months expenditure.

For further information about the financial controls all grant applicants should have in place, click here.

Bank Account

• You must have a bank account in the organisation’s name which requires two signatories for all transactions
• All signatories must be unrelated and live at different addresses
• If your organisation uses  electronic banking, the same level of internal financial controls should be in place as for more traditional forms of banking and we expect that a “dual authority” system is used, where one user submits a transaction and one additional user authorises it from a “pending transactions screen”. More guidance about electronic banking can be found on the Charity Commission website.
• You will be asked to provide a copy of a bank statement less than three months old or a paying-in slip. This will be used to verify your organisation’s banking details so that we can pay your grant into your bank account if your application is successful

These are standard measures to reduce the risk of fraud, and a requirement of most funders.

The Charity Commission also offers guidance on Internal Financial Controls on their website.

Outcomes and monitoring

All funding supported must show three clear measurable outcomes which will have to be reported on at the end of the grant funding. All applicants must be aware that they need to capture baseline data and show a journey of change at the end of delivery. Measurement tools such as WEMWBS, SWEMWBS, outcome stars can be used and data incorporated in all reporting.

If you are unsure how to describe what the outcomes of your project or intervention will be, as a general rule, think of the phrase ‘as a result of …’ and describe what will be qualitatively or quantitively be different as a direct result of your inputs.

A full end-of-grant monitoring report will be expected and interim reporting may be requested on your terms and conditions. This will need to include benchmarking of the beneficiaries at the beginning and end of the service, i.e. how were they referred to the service, what change has happened.

Unfortunately we are unable to support the following:
  • Community Benefit Societies
  • 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 funds, 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, including those that are grant makers
  • Medical research and equipment for statutory or private healthcare
  • Research, consultation or feasibility studies
  • Large projects unless 70% of the funding has already been raised and the project will be completed within 1 year
  • 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, tribunals or legal costs
  • Animal welfare, unless the project benefits people (e.g. disabled riding schemes)
  • Statutory work in educational institutions
  • Fees for professional fundraisers
  • Contingency monies

Which fund to apply for

We administer a variety of charitable funds. Please read the criteria for the fund before starting your application form. An organisation can receive multiple grants from the Foundation during a 12 month period but can only receive one grant per year per fund. There are a few exceptions to this rule e.g. emergency or hardship funding – for full details please speak to one of our Grants Officers. Only some of our funds accept applications from Social Enterprises and CICs. Further information can be found in each fund’s criteria.

Current available grants

We maintain a regularly updated database of available grants

Grants Awarded in 2019/20

In partnership with our many fundholders, over £4.92m has been distributed via 884 grants

What do charities say?

Find out what some of the 5,000 charities in Suffolk think about Suffolk Community Foundation…

Did you know …

you can apply once per year per fund (unless detailed to the contrary)

We want to be able to fund organisations and charities that are really thinking ahead and are clear about how they will be able to continue doing the work they have set out to do.

Richard Cooper

Grants Panel Volunteer, Suffolk Community Foundation

The grantmaking process


Application forms (except for Suffolk Disability Care Fund) can be completed via the APPLY NOW button below.  Each fund has its own application form. To request a paper copy of the application form, please contact us on T. 01473 602602.




You will firstly receive an automated receipt of submission. Then all applications received are subject to a detailed assessment, during which time the organisation or group may be contacted by email or telephone or the assessor may wish to visit the applicant.



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.



Unfortunately we are unable to fund every application 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 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. All monitoring forms are sent at the time of award and you should therefore familiarise yourself with the requirements before stating delivery.

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

Contact us

Please feel free to contact the grants team at any stage of your application for more help or support; 01473 602602 or


To ensure the best possible chance of a successful application, please ensure you have read the guidelines on this page, and don’t forget you can contact us at any time before or during the application process, for advice and support

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