Our aim is to provide grants and funding support to voluntary groups, charities, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises that encourage active participation from volunteers and usually have low levels of reserves. We prioritise applications from groups that benefit people living in economically or socially deprived areas of Leeds, and/or those supporting vulnerable groups.
We offer funds in several different programmes that supports projects in the Leeds Metropolitan District, as well as in Bradford and other local areas.
Every grant we make goes through a rigorous process, so that we can make sure we are funding the great organisations and work which will have the greatest impact. The steps involved in this process are set out below:
To apply for our open grants programmes (except Micro Grants and Solutions for an Ageing Society) you must:
- Be a not-for-profit, voluntary or community group or social enterprise (you don’t need to be a registered charity but your activities must be considered charitable).
- Have a governing document (constitution/set of rules/other) that show how your group is run or managed (other than for programmes that offer grants to individuals. Check grants programme criteria for details).
- Have a management committee/governance body, of at least three people, who are independent and unrelated members.
- Have a bank or building society account in the name of the group, with a minimum of two cheque signatories (or are willing to open a separate account if your application is successful).
- The exceptions are The Leeds Fund Micro Grants (which can fund informal groups and individual community activists) and Solutions for an Ageing Society (which funds individual social entrepreneurs). See these fund’s pages for more information.
Step 1: Before You Apply
- Look through our Open Grants and Upcoming Grant Programmes to see what what we’re currently receiving applications for, eligibility criteria for each grant programme and application deadlines.
- Learn about our grant making priorities and full assessment process by reading our Grant Making Handbook.
- Check our Eligibility Requirements above to make sure your organisation can apply for our grants.
Step 2: Your Application
- There is a different application form for each of our grants programmes. These can be accessed on the individual grants pages listed in our Open Grants page.
- Once you have entered your email address, you will be sent an email with a link to the online application form (please remember to also check your junk folder). You can use this link to return to your application at any point before the deadline.
- Please note the online application form is not saved automatically, please press ‘save’ regularly and ‘submit’ once you have completed the form
- Once you have submitted your application you will be emailed a PDF copy of your form.
We currently use online application forms for most of our grants programmes. If you require an alternative application method, or have any issues filling out your application please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on 0113 242 2426 for support.
Step 3: Assessment Process
An initial review of the applications and supporting information is carried out by the LCF Grants Team to ensure to ensure all the basic requirements are met.
This includes a review of questions such as:
- Does the organisation and project meet the priorities of the fund?
- Does the group have the capacity to deliver the project?
- What is your track record like in delivering similar projects?
- Does the project make sense in terms of what you want to do and when?
- Does the budget look reasonable?
In some cases we may need to ask you further questions about your application, to gather more information or help clarify any queries raised. We do this with many of the applications we receive, especially for larger grants, so it does not necessarily mean that there are any issues with your application.
Step 4: Decision
Once this initial assessment is complete the applications are all considered by an independent panel who have the responsibility of taking decisions on which applications will be funded.
There is usually a different panel for each scheme, with representatives from the funder, the local community, experts in particular fields where relevant, along with representatives of the public and/or private sector as appropriate.
It is important to stress that Leeds Community Foundation staff do not take the final grant making decisions.
The panel’s decision will be one of the following:
- Yes: a grant is approved (this may sometimes be a lower offer than the amount applied for depending on the nature of the scheme).
- Conditional yes: a grant is approved but there are certain conditions the panel have made before the offer is confirmed. We will make these clear and tell you what you need to do before we can release the grant.
- Defer: we will make reasons clear and set out what needs to be done before we could reconsider the application.
- Decline: we will give as clear a reason as possible as to why the application was not successful.
Please note that many of our funds are heavily oversubscribed and so although we receive a high number of good quality applications, unfortunately we cannot fund all eligible projects.
Step 5: Notification
The outcome of your application will be emailed to you within 8 weeks from the application deadline. Please remember to also check your junk folder.
Step 6: Successful Applications
- If your application has been successful, you will be emailed with the grant offer, a Funding Agreement and grant monitoring form. A bank statement and the funding agreement needs to be signed and returned to us by post.
- We can then approved the grant payment and transfer this to you.
Monitoring and Evaluation: Within a time period specified in your grant offer email, you will also be required to complete a monitoring form for your project. Please visit our Monitoring Requirements page for more information.
Media, Logos and Publicity: We ask groups and projects to demonstrate their support for Leeds Community Foundation and our partner organisations by using our logos on your marketing materials and websites. We also encourage all of the groups that we support to get good publicity for the grant and your project. If you send us any photos, press or promotional materials we can help promote these across our networks. Please visit our Resources page for more information.