Managing community funds


Delivering your funding programme

Previous sections establish the background for delivering a fund. The next step is to consider how this can be done.

It is practical to establish, with reference to your funding policy and CDP:

  • the process of fund distribution
  • the delivery procedures
  • the paperwork trail that will:

    communicate the details to potential beneficiaries, support the processes and procedures and allow for recording, monitoring and evaluation

Sample forms can be downloaded from here as a starting point and to provide ideas for the content for funding policy, grant application form and application guidance.

In essence, the process creates a clear and defensible way to:

  • carry out early screening
  • support the development of ideas
  • undertake assessment and selection

Keep it in proportion. It is a key advantage of community run funds that there is no need for complex bureaucracy.


Early screening

Eligibility criteria

The most straightforward way to focus distribution of income at an early stage is by the use and communication of eligibility criteria. If these are well thought out and clear, they allow early screening of ideas, proposals and projects and can save unnecessary work for both potential beneficiaries and the fund administrators.

Many funds set eligibilty criteria. Research by your organisation to understand the different criteria used by others may help you identify criteria for your own fund.

Click here for some examples.

Development of ideas

Depending on available resources and the assessment of need, support can range from written guidance and checklists to a dedicated grants officer (for larger funds) who can provide advice and help groups to formulate and communicate their ideas.

After initial screening for eligibility it is likely that most proposals will need some form of research and development in order to provide sufficient information to allow the proposal to be fully assessed.

Commonly, the level of work needed closely mirrors the size, cost and complexity of the proposals being developed.

Example: very little extra information may be required for a small grant for a one-off event such as a youth club trip other than travel details, cost, and confirmation of eligibility.

In contrast, a proposal to acquire and run a large capital asset such as a community care facility is likely to require more detail. This could take the form of a feasibility study, business plan and financial forecasts, in addition to other data.

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