Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) Strand 1 Financial Assistance for Small Projects (small grants)

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Community Initiatives Fund (CIF)

Strand 1 –

Financial Assistance for Small Projects (small



Thank you for requesting the Community Initiatives Fund application pack. The Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) is a Council run fund administered by the Community and Voluntary Relations Unit. All decisions relating to the Fund and allocation for financial assistance from the Council to the Voluntary & Community Groups rest with the Health, Social Care and Partnerships Cabinet. The main purpose of the CIF is to provide support to voluntary and community organisations that promote the Borough of Solihull and benefit its residents and communities.

The Council acknowledges that the voluntary and community sector (VCS) ‘plays a pivotal role in delivering key activities, public services and in building strong, cohesive neighbourhoods and communities.’ (Voluntary and Community Sector Development Strategy for Solihull 2008 – 2013). It is these frontline organisations that work with and engage the most marginalised individuals in society who often cannot be accessed by public sector organisations.

Therefore this fund demonstrates our commitment to the sector providing some of the support it requires to ensure Solihull becomes the sustainable community which balances the social and educational, economic and environmental needs of the community and works together to meet them whilst protecting the environment for future generations.

This fund is intended to be flexible as the sector is diverse and therefore a range of applications for both revenue and capital costs will be considered. In order to cater for both large and small organisational needs and abilities CIF will be made up of three strands:

• Strand 1 – small grants will be considered for small/ new groups for amounts of up to £10,000

• Strand 2 – large grants will be considered for larger/ well established groups

• Strand 3 – a full commissioning process and arrangements subject to a tender process and service level agreements for medium/ large groups Assessment of applications will be carried out by the Community Initiatives Funding Panel which will meet at least 6 times a year.


• How the purposed project, activity and services will contribute to the Council’s Priorities (for larger organisations and funding applications you will also be required to demonstrate how your project/ proposal will help to meet the Sustainable Community Strategy and Local Area Agreement priorities)

• How your proposal will benefit local people and communities

• The sustainability of the project/ activity beyond funding approved by the Council. By sustainability we mean what measures you will put in place to ensure that your project can continue after the funding ends.

Guidance notes for applicants –

Please read these guidance notes carefully to make sure your organisation is eligible to apply1.

Strand 1

Small Projects

Who can apply?

Applicants can only apply if they are carrying out projects that benefit the residents and communities within the Borough of Solihull. The

council will not consider funding groups who have already received awards within the last two years.

You can apply if:

You are a not-for-profit community or voluntary group/ organisation or charity

You have a governing document e.g. a constitution with a working management committee or board of trustees

You have a bank account that requires at least two unrelated people to sign each cheque or withdrawal and is in the name of the group or organisation

Applications will not be considered from: • Companies which distribute a profit


What can be funded?

Any application for funding will need to be in line with the Council outcomes and priorities which can be found at:

Examples of some projects we could fund include (for illustration purposes only):

• Creating a community garden involving young and old people

• A project to engage volunteers providing those individuals that take part with training enabling them to gain transferable skills

• Promoting healthy eating and greater physical activity

• A community event encouraging everyone in the borough to come together

Here are some examples on the type of things that the financial assistance / funds received could be spent on:

• Computers

• Materials for use in the project, for example, arts and crafts materials

• Publicity materials

• Training

• Transport costs

• Venue hire

The CIF will only cover projects that will be completed within the Council’s

funding year.

What can’t be funded?

The Council will ordinarily only fund organisations and therefore we’re unlikely to fund individuals or causes that will only benefit one person including student grants or bursaries.

Other things outside of the CIF Strand 1 remit are:

• Costs to maintain the work of your group or its current activities


• Salaries for permanent or fixed term contract staff

• Activities promoting religious or political beliefs

• Retrospective funding, meaning support for work that has already taken place

When to apply?

Funding decisions are made throughout the year so you can submit an application at anytime. However, we advise that you apply at least 12 weeks before your project is due to commence. This is in order to allow enough time for the assessment and appraisal of your application and the process of you actually receiving the funding if your application is successful.


How to apply?

Self-Assessment Checklist

Once you have read through the guidance notes and you think that your organisation is eligible to apply please complete the checklist to ensure that you meet the main points of the criteria. If for whatever reason you are unable to tick off all the points below please get in contact with the Community and Voluntary Relations Unit and we will be happy to work with you to address any of these gaps.

I have read and understood the information about the Community Initiatives Fund

The amount I am requesting is for £10,000 or less

I represent a not for profit voluntary or community organisation The organisation has a constitution

The organisation has a bank account with two unrelated signatories The bank account is in the same name as the organisation as it appears on the constitution

The work I am purposing will benefit the residents of Solihull

If you have ticked all of the boxes in the self-assessment checklist you should now complete the application form contained in this pack. This is to give us information about your group, what you are applying for and why and how much the costs will be. The form also gives us important information which we will use for monitoring the expenditure you have incurred and the success of your project.

You also need to send us some other pieces of information with the application. Please see ‘What to send with your application’ below.

The guidance notes in this pack will help you answer questions on the application form. If you do have any further questions or queries regarding the form then please contact CVRU at or on 0121 704 8564.


Once you complete the application please send it to:

CVRU/ Admin

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council PO Box 19, Council House

Solihull, West Midlands B91 9QT

Or the application can be emailed to but a signed hard copy will have to be sent along with original supporting documents.

What to send with your application

Look at each of the following headings and decide which one applies to you. If you do not send all the documents we ask for, this will delay the processing of your application. All supporting documents should be in the same name as your group, such as your governing documents (constitution or set of rules), financial accounts and bank account.

Community group, club, society or registered charity:

• a copy of your governing document;

• your latest annual accounts or a statement of income and expenditure (if you are a new group estimated budgets for the year will be sufficient);

three consecutive months' recent (original) bank statements;

• details of your bank/building society account.

Additional Information

• The Council has a duty of care around safe guarding and protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults. If you are applying for a project that works with children, young people or vulnerable adults we will need to be sure they will be safe. It is your responsibility to have acceptable child protection and vulnerable adult policies and procedures in place, which we will need to see with your application. If you need any assistance with this or further information then please contact us at or on 0121 704 8564.


Please note that all original documents will be returned.


Organisation Information

1. Organisation name as it appears on your governing document. Please also

include what type of organisation your group is e.g. Charity

1a. If you are a registered charity please supply your charity number

2. Address of organisation for correspondence

3. Main contact for this application. Please include their role in the

organisation and a contact telephone/ mobile number, fax and email.

Project Information


5. When are you planning for your project/ activity to take place? Is this a

fixed or flexible date? If this date is unknown please specify a reason.

6. What project activities will take place if you receive this grant – what is it

that you want to do and where in the Borough?

7. How do you know that this project is needed by people in the local community? How will they benefit and be involved?

7. How do you know that this project is needed? What information do you


8. What will be the benefits of this project for the local community or your

targeted client group?

9. How many people do you expect to directly benefit from the project? Is the

project aimed at a specific group of people e.g. young, disabled, unemployed etc?

10. Please explain how your project will help towards achieving any of the

following targets: (please evidence all that are applicable)

• Improve local areas so that residents are happier and more satisfied with where they live

• Increase opportunities for local people to get involved in activities

• Raise people’s awareness of environmental issues and inform them of how they can get involved to help address them

• Increase learning opportunities and participation

• Increase leisure and cultural activities, especially for young people

• Involve more marginalised individuals in positive activities particularly those who might otherwise engage in negative behaviour

• Help more people into work


• Improve relationships between different communities within the Borough

11. Please give details of the proposed budget for your project:

Item/ Activity Cost Inc. VAT Funding secured from other


Funding required from CIF


12. If there is outstanding funding required please state where the rest of the


13. How will you know if your project has been successful and how will you

measure it? (i.e. no. of people involved, more volunteers trained, new skills developed, increased access to equipment/ facilities etc)

14. Use the following space to tell us anything more that hasn’t been included

above; a separate sheet may be used.

17. Independent Referee

Please provide the details of a referee who is completely independent of your organisation but knows the work of your organisation well and is aware of the project that you are applying for funding for.

Name: Date of Birth:

Occupation: Employer:


To be completed by the independent referee:

How do you know the organisation that is applying?

To be completed by the independent referee:

Referee Signature: ...

Date: ...

18. Declaration by applicant

I declare that the information in this application is to the best of my knowledge true and accurate:

Name (Printed): ...

Signature: ...

Position in organisation/ Group: ...

Date: ...