Top 10 funding tips!

One thing that we constantly need when running a community building is funding!  So see below 10 top tips that may help you when thinking about filling in funding application forms.

  1. Do your homework – Funders have to reject a large number of application they receive because the applicants didn’t read the guidance properly.
  2. Make sure you are ready for success – Think carefully about how you will manage the project and the finances.  Tell the funder how you are going to do it.
  3. Ask for help – there are lots of organisations (including Cambridgeshire ACRE) that can offer help and guidance – also the funders themselves.
  4. Be clear – about your project and what you want the money for.  Remember the funders know nothing about your project, so make sure you get the key message across.
  5. Keep it short and simple – You should be able to describe your project on a couple of sheets of A4 paper.  Tell the funders the need for the project, what you are going to do and how it is going to make a difference.
  6. Mix and match your funders – You may not find one funder to deliver the whole project so breaking it down into smaller sections is a good idea.  Write a list of all the elements which make up the overall project so funders can see exactly what it is they are funding.
  7. The project budget – it is vital to show that you have thought out how the money will be spent, showing good value for money.
  8. Don’t be discouraged – Ask the funder for feedback if your application is rejected, they may be able to give you advice to apply again.
  9. Remember your responsibilities to feedback – All funders will require an account/evaluation of how you have spent their money.
  10. Credit your funders – It is a good idea to display at your hall or on your website the names and if possible the logos of your funders.

If you are interested to hear more about funding and managing a renovation project, why not join us for a members evening networking event taking place on Wednesday 27th June 18:30 till 20:30 at Swaffham Prior Village Hall.

Booking is easy just contact me on for more information.




Success for Buckden Village Choir!

Community choir piano

Calor launches £50,000 national grant scheme for rural communities could your community benefit just like Buckden?

Watch their short video to see what a difference this fund made to them. (Buckden, Cambridgeshire)

Calor recently announced:

Rural communities throughout the UK could be eligible to receive funding via the Calor Rural Community Fund from energy provider Calor.

Established in 2017, the Fund aims to give off-grid communities the chance to gain funding for projects that will improve local life.

Last year’s winning projects included an inclusive swing for a community park, a new piano for a community choir, books for a rural school library and the installation of fibre broadband into an off-grid village.

With a total fund of £50,000 and with 21 individual prize pots up for grabs, this year’s Calor Rural Community Fund will be open for applications between 20th March and 21st May.

Paul Blacklock, Calor’s Head of Corporate Affairs, says: “As off-grid energy providers we are passionate about country living and the success of last year’s scheme has shown us the tangible impact that the Calor Rural Community Fund has had on a number of rural communities.

“This year we are offering funding for 21 different projects, with prize pots ranging from £1,000 up to £5,000. Past submissions have included funding for community centres, village halls and sporting venues, as well as initiatives to support local schoolchildren and the elderly.

“Application is via our Calor website, which will open for entries on the 20th March 2018 for a period of nine weeks. Accepted projects will be published online and we’ll be encouraging communities to get on board by voting for their favourite, before we shortlist the finalists.

“We’re also pleased to announce that national community action groups, Business in the Community and Rural England, and the national mental health charity, Mind, will be joining our judging panel in order to help us decide on the most worthy winners, assessing each project for its impact and reach, sustainability and of course, its originality.”

Entries open on the 20th March 2018 via

South Cambridgeshire funding opportunity

South Cambridgeshire District Council has just launched the Community Energy Grant fund.  Please see below information from their recent press release:
South Cambridgeshire’s community groups can now bid for a share of a £55,000 grant pot, made available by the District Council, to help them be greener.  The authority’s Community Energy Grant Fund has today (1 March) been officially launched. It allows groups to bid for funds to spend on measures that make them more energy efficient, and so reduce the amount of energy they use. 

Parish councils, charities, sports and social clubs, not-for-profit organisations and other voluntary groups are being invited to bid for up to £3,000 each to spend on initiatives like insulation, lighting and heating controls and efficient boilers for their buildings, battery storage to help make the most of solar panel installations and electric car charging points for community use. 

For groups that are just starting out on the road to becoming more energy efficient, grant applications can be made to fund a community building energy survey. A community building self-survey is also available on the Council’s website. 

The £3,000 funding limit means a wide range of projects throughout South Cambridgeshire will be able to benefit. A total of £55,000 will be available each year. 

The money is coming from business rates that the Council retains from renewable energy generation sites in the district, such as solar farms. This fund ensures some of the benefits from these large-scale sites are reinvested in the green energy sector, but at a community level. 

Additionally, a separate loan fund for residents, businesses and community groups to borrow funds to spend on green energy measures is also being established by South Cambridgeshire District Council. This is due for launch in mid-July.

This grant could be a great way for your village hall or community building to benefit from some funding and make your buildings greener and more efficient.

You may like to put up the poster to help advertise this fund wider in your community or forward this information to colleagues so they may see if they can meet the criteria.  Click below for the download poster

Community Energy Grant Poster 2018 

Have you signed up yet?

Funding portal

Are you currently looking to fund a project?  Or you have an idea for a project but are unsure how to fund it?  Well, SupportCambridgeshire 4 Communities is a free self-service portal which enables voluntary and community organisations to browse, search and apply for grants to support their work.

The portal has been funded by Cambridgeshire County Council for a 12 month period, and community organisations are encouraged to register, visit and use the site as much as possible.  If you would like training or support using the site we can offer group or 1:1 sessions on how to use the portal.  Simply register today to start browsing and searching for new funding opportunities.

Its FREE and there for you to use, so what are you waiting for!

Have you signed up to the new ‘Support Cambridgeshire 4 Community’ funding portal?

Funding portal

Not only can you do individual funding searches but you can also sign up for funding alerts allowing you to receive email notifications if new funding opportunities arise which match your search requirements. Why not give it a try and take a look around the website, just click on the link below and you never know you may find just what you have been looking for!