Our name has changed from Chester Municipal Charities to The Chester Bluecoat Charity.

Background

In various guises Chester Municipal Charities has been working to help the people of Chester and a defined surrounding area for over 800 years. Society has changed immeasurably during that time and the Charity has changed to meet new challenges and to continue to help the most disadvantaged in our society. We have helped many organisations in projects to support social cohesion, education and community development.

The Trustees have recently reviewed our grant making process and criteria to reflect the needs of today. We want to encourage the organisations to whom we make grants to think big, to be really focused on making a positive step change in reducing the causes of poverty, disadvantage and inequality of opportunity. Therefore, we encourage ambitious projects with robust proposals looking for funding to make these changes to apply to our “Strategic Funding” programme set at a minimum of £2,000.

We recognise that sometimes a relatively small grant can make a big difference so we also have a “Small Grants” programme for applications under £500 in a single grant. These applications have less stringent application requirements however they should still be able to demonstrate how they support the Charity’s strategic objective of “structurallychanging the reasons for poverty, disadvantage and inequality of opportunityand raising and supporting aspirations in our areas of benefit.”

Funding objectives criteria

We make grants to organisations which aim to structurally change the reasons for poverty, disadvantage and inequality of opportunity, to raise and support aspirations in our areas of benefit.

For the period 2019 – 2022 we are particularly interested in hearing from organisations that support young people. If you are considering applying for a grant, please keep this at the forefront of your application.

As well as demonstrating how they meet the Charity’s funding objectives, applicants for Strategic Funding must meet the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrate sustainability - the funding we give can support sustainability, but the organisation must have a sustainable model and organisation, and have community and stakeholder support.
  2. Organisations must pass due diligence criteria on finances and personnel. This includes having suitable governance and as a minimum a bank account in the name of the organisation applying. We do not award grants to individuals or commercial organisations.
  3. Projects/Organisations should be funded for specific measurable qualitative or quantitative outcomes (by outcomes we mean what will be the positive change achieved) – this does not preclude funding core costs, but still needs to be planned and reported.
  4. Organisations must have their head offices inside our area of benefit and a turnover of less than £300k.
  5. Funding requests should not be for the supply of services or goods that the state should normally and legally support.
  6. Member-based organisations (i.e. where people pay subscriptions) must show benefit to the wider community not just members.

Our grant programmes

We have two grant programmes which both run on eight weekly decision-making cycles.

  • Strategic Funding requests of a minimum of £2,000 plus per grant, preferably multiyear, focused on resilience and sustainability in outcomes delivered.
  • Small Funding requests less than £500 in a single grant.
  • The budgets available for these grant programmes are limited each year and we may have to close for applications if our full budget is allocated in any one year.

What Next

The Bluecoat has two bells on its roof: the Galeka bell, plus the bell inside the bell tower

Application bell

The relevant application form for your funding request is attached. Your application will be reviewed to ensure it has enough information to make a decision and also that it is within our criteria before being passed to the Grant Giving Committee.

Grant Giving Committee

The Grant Giving Committee may invite applicants to the Strategic Fund to attend the Committee to discuss their project in more detail.

Main Board of Trustees

Following this stage a decision can be made. If however the application is for more than £10,000, this will be passed to the Main Board of Trustees for final approval.

Grant Award Document

Trustees require the successful applicants to sign a grant award document prior to funds being released. This document lays out what the grant is being made for (as detailed in your application) and the expectations of the Trustees during the grant period.

Timetable

The dates for submission and decision making are as follows:

Applications for the next funding assessment to be received by Monday 10th February 2020.

Initial response back to applicant (this will advise you if your application will be considered at the Grant Giving Committee and if you will be asked to attend). Within 48 hrs of the closing date.

Grant Making Committee meeting 25th February 2020(if you are making a “Strategic Funding” request please bear this date in mind).

Notification of outcome within one week of the Committee meeting. If your application is for more than £10,000 it will need to be approved by the Main Board of Trustees on 4th March 2020.

There are further funding rounds throughout the year if these dates are not convenient.

Questions?

If you have any queries please contact:

Katherine Matheson at administration@chestermc.org.uk or 01244 345787 in the first instance. If necessary, we can arrange further conversations to help you make the application.

All applications should be made directly (rather than via Trustees) to administration@chestermc.org.uk or by post to the address above.