This page contains all the information you need to apply for this fund. At the bottom of the page is a link to an application form. All the questions from the application from can also be downloaded as a word document.
What are the criteria (or rules) for this fund?
You can only apply if your group:
- usually runs on less than £100,000 a year
- is based in the county of Somerset (but not North Somerset or BANES)
- exists to support your community and doesn’t make a profit for any directors, members, or shareholders.
That means charities, community groups, sports clubs, and social enterprises can usually apply. But your group must have a:
- governing document or set of rules
- committee of at least three unrelated people
- bank account in its name
- safeguarding policy.
If you don’t have these things, then Spark Somerset may be able to support you to put them in place. Or you could talk to another group, or your local parish or town council, who could manage a grant application for you.
What are the priorities (or interests) of this fund?
We want to use this Fund to support village halls or community centres, community shops, cafés or foodbanks, sports clubs or playing fields, or community events and activities. It’s about helping you make your community stronger by providing the places and spaces for people to get together.
We’re more likely to give you money if your group:
- is based in a more disadvantaged community. Our team check the Index of Multiple Deprivation to see if you are in a richer or poorer part of Somerset. The Government publishes this Index, and you can look at it here.
- actively works with other groups in your area to make sure everyone can benefit from what you provide.
- has not had money from The Somerset Fund in the last year.
What can I use the money for?
You can use this money towards your group’s running costs.
This might include things like
- utility bills
- office staff.
What can’t I use the money for?
We can’t give money to:
- individuals or sole traders
- national organisations and groups based outside of Somerset
- activities that have already taken place or purchases that you have already made
- groups that give money to another group, rather than spend it on their own activities
- groups that have more than 12 months running costs in free reserves
- the promotion of religion. But we will give money to faith organisations for projects that deliver wider community benefits
- activities that are about animal welfare.
We can give money to these types of groups, but only in some cases:
- Social enterprises, like a Community Interest Company. Social enterprises must be limited by guarantee, and have objects and an asset lock that benefit Somerset communities.
- Statutory organisations, like a parish council or a school. Applications cannot be for statutory duties. This means we will not support educational activities for pupils, that take place during the school day. We will also not give money for school facilities, classroom equipment or to train teachers. We would prefer Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) to ask us for money, rather than schools.
When will I get the money if I’m successful?
You must apply by 5pm, Friday 13 August 2021.
We'll let you know if we can give you a grant by the end of September 2021. If we can, it will be paid directly to your group by a bank transfer.
You need to spend your grant within 1 year and send us a short report. We’ll tell you more about that if you are successful.
How much is available?
The Somerset Fund has about £100,000 to give out this year.
You can ask for £250 to £2,500. We expect most of the grants we give out to be about £1,500.
This money comes from lots of different individuals and businesses. Their money is matched by Somerset County Council.
How do I apply for money?
You can apply for money by clicking on the button below.
You’ll need to provide an email address and then we’ll email you a link to an online form. If you don’t see an email from us after a few minutes, then please check your spam folder.
You don’t have to complete the form in one go. Instead, you can complete some sections then click ‘save draft’ at the bottom of the page. Use the link in your email to return to the form at another time.
If you would like to see what you have to do before you start filling in the online application form, then this word document includes all the questions.
You also need to attach the following documents at the end of the application form:
- your governing document or set of rules
- your most recent accounts
- the names and addresses of the people who run your group, if it is not registered with the Charity Commission or Companies House
- your safeguarding policy
- a bank statement from within the last three months. This can be a scanned paper statement, or a copy downloaded from an online account. We need to see the bank name, your group's name, the address where statements go, the account number and the sort code. You may redact transactions if needed.
Finally, you must read the terms and conditions and click ‘submit’.
Please contact us if you can't use the online form, or attach any of the documents. We'll support you to make your application in another way.
What does Somerset Community Foundation do with my application?
You’ll receive an automatic email once you’ve submitted your application. This will include a copy of your application for your records. If you don’t receive this email then let us know.
A member of our Grants Team will look at your application. We’ll speak to partners like Spark Somerset or the Somerset Diverse Communities Team if we need to understand more about your work. If we still have a question, then we’ll contact you. And if your group is new, then we may ask for a referee.
The Grants Team then take all the applications received to our Grants Panel. The Panel is a group of volunteers who have a wide range of skills and experiences. They will make the final decision on your application. They’ll consider:
- if you meet the criteria for the fund (rules)
- if you meet any of the priorities for the fund (interests)
- your group’s finances, governance and safeguarding arrangements
- how well you have explained what you would do with the money
- whether this offers good value for money
- how you work with other groups to avoid doing the same thing twice
- how well you have reported on any previous money we gave you.
If you have any questions, then please get in touch with us. It's usually best to email us on email@example.com but you can also call on 01749 344949.