Grant Help & Advice
Some tips for a successful application:
- Your organisation must have a documented form of governance. You do not need to send a copy with your application, but the Trust may ask for it. If asked, you must be able to produce evidence that your organisation has been operating for at least 3 years.
- In your Initial Grant Application, make sure you have provided all the information required.
- When submitting your Full Grant Application, answer the questions fully.
- The Trust will check the Charity Commission’s website to make sure your annual returns are up to date. If your submissions are overdue, you are unlikely to be successful in your application.
- You will need to give details of how you have arrived at the total cost of your project. Consider obtaining estimates in advance for the main elements, and be prepared to show the reasoning behind other elements of the budget.
- Be prepared to explain the other sources of funding for your project in addition to any grant from the Rochester Bridge Trust. This may come from your own reserves, current fundraising activities, or applications to other grant-making bodies.
- Think carefully about the timing of your application. For the main grant programmes, depending on when you send in your form, it can take up to 4 months to receive a decision and, if you are successful, another 2 months to finalise the Grants Conditions Form or Grant Agreement.
- Do not contact the Trust by telephone or send any information by post, unless you are asked to do so.
If you are invited to make a Full Grant Application and your organisation is not a registered charity or your charity’s income means that you do not submit accounts to the Charity Commission, we will need a signed copy of your latest financial accounts. If your financial accounts are over a year old, you may be asked for your management accounts.
The person submitting the application must have the authority of the organisation to submit an application. The Trust may ask for evidence of your authority with your Full Grant Application.
Other information the Trust may require, if you are invited to submit a Full Grant Application for larger projects, may include some or all of the following: an explanation of how this project fits into your organisation’s strategic plan; a project activity plan and timetable; more detail on the outcomes from project – what makes it transformational? Which new beneficiaries will you reach?; more detail on partnership working arrangements; a more detailed budget breakdown; a project cashflow forecast; a fundraising strategy for the organisation; a sustainability plan for this project; a risk assessment for delivery; details of your other current major projects or projects for which you are currently seeking funding; photographic support where appropriate.
1. Will the Trust continue funding us after our initial project has finished?
No. The Trust gives priority to applicants who have not recently received funding from us. Grants are for the project which is the subject of the application, not for ongoing running cost or project development.
2. Will the Trust fund the whole project?
No. Grants are usually for 20-75% of the total cost of the project. In certain circumstance a grant of up to 90% of the cost may be made, but applicants will always need to find some funding from other sources as well. If the total cost of the project rises, the Trust is very unlikely to increase the grant awarded.
3. What if the project doesn’t keep to the project delivery plan?
The Trust understands that projects don’t always go to plan. Any significant changes to the project programme must be notified to the Bridge Clerk by email. If you require an extension to the deadline for taking up a grant, you must make a written application with full details of the reasons that an extension is needed. Approval for a change to the deadline is subject to the approval of the Wardens.
4. If the project it has funded is progressing according to plan, why does the Trust want to know if something has gone wrong elsewhere in the charity?
The Trust would rather hear about any problems directly from the charity, so that the it can reach its own judgement about whether the Trust’s grant is likely to be affected. Knowing the true situation also enables the Trust to deal appropriately with any press enquiries.
5. How do we receive our grant?
You must submit a request for funding by email, attaching the required documentary evidence of the placing of contracts or other relevant evidence of readiness to incur expenditure. Payment will be made by electronic bank transfer. You do not need to wait until the end of a project to claim a payment. Interim payments may be made on request provided that the required evidence is submitted. If you believe interim payments will be required for your project, you should make this clear and explain your reasons in your Full Grant Application.
6. Can we meet or make a presentation to trustees to try to persuade them to approve our application?
The Trust will let you know if it needs to meet you before making a decision on your application. The Trust has very limited resources, and a meeting is not usually necessary. For information to be considered as part of the application process, it needs to be sent to the Bridge Clerk directly as explained in the application process. Information given to, and discussions with, individual Wardens or Assistants will not be taken into account. This is to ensure that all applicants have an equal chance of a fair hearing when grants are considered.