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Before you get started
Funding selection criteria
Frequently asked questions
Terms and conditions
The name, address and telephone number of an independent referee who can vouch for your group, this person should have knowledge of your group or projects, but not directly benefit from any grants received. You must have already obtained consent from them to enter their details.
A copy of your group’s accounts – we ask you to complete your income, expenditure and balance of your group’s accounts to us. You will need to send us a copy of the accounts. The accounts must be signed by your group's treasurer, if we don't receive your accounts within 20 working days, your application will be withdrawn and you will need to reapply. If you need any further help with this, call 0844 262 4001.
What items you’re asking for and how much they cost.
The cheque payee name should your application be successful. Cheques are not made to personal accounts, so you must have a bank account set up in the name of your group before you apply.
You might also find it helpful to read the funding selection criteria to double-check if your project or your group is eligible to apply.
You must complete the form in one session as your from cannot be saved. It should take around 45 minutes to complete.
You can download a list of the questions you will be asked here: The Co-operative Membership Community Fund questions PDF, 116 KB – Once you've clicked on the link, select open or save. **Please note this is NOT the actual application form. Please do not submit this**.
If you want to apply for a grant in any of the following areas please telephone the helpline on 0844 262 4001 before applying:
PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT AN APPLICATION UNTIL YOU HAVE SPOKEN TO A MEMBER OF THE HELPLINE TEAM. Thank you.
You can’t move onto the next screen until you have correctly completed the current one. If you fail to complete a compulsory question, then a red asterisk will appear to show you where you need to add information.
Only use the ‘previous step’ and ‘next step’ buttons to move between screens. Do not use the ‘back’ button on your browser, as some of the information you’ve entered could be lost.
There are information bubbles next to some questions to help you – just hold your cursor over the icon to see the information.
Apply for The Co-operative Membership Community Fund.
Community Fund grants, between £100 and £2,000 are awarded to community, voluntary, or self-help groups to run projects that meet the following criteria. To be successful, a group must:
and a project must:
The following exclusion criteria set out the type of groups and projects excluded from the Community Fund:
Please note – Whilst schools are not eligible to apply, independent groups within schools such as PTAs can apply.
1. How can I apply?Applications to the Community Fund can only be submitted online.
2. How much can I apply for?Between £100 and £2,000. In 2010 the average award given was £1,033. If you are a newly formed group (less than three months) or you are unable to provide accounts to support your application the maximum you can apply for is £500.
3. Who can apply?Community groups, voluntary groups, self-help groups, community charities or local branches of national charities are eligible to apply.
4. What types of things can my group apply for? Anything from equipment to event costs, help towards rent or fixtures, sport or computer equipment. Please note we cannot fund applications retrospectively or reimburse costs for events that have previously taken place. If you need further clarification as to whether your project items are eligible, please call 0844 262 4001.
5. Can my group apply for running costs? Yes, the fund now supports running costs including salary costs, rent, heat, light etc.
6. Who can be an independent referee?Anyone who knows about the group but has no direct link to it, for example a PTA of a school could not ask the head teacher of the same school to act as referee as their pupils would be beneficiaries of the grant. Basically the referee needs to be someone who could never benefit from the grant, now or in the future. The referee also needs to be independent from the applicant and not related in any way.
7. What account information is required for applications over £500?If you are applying for over £500 you must provide a copy of your group’s most recent accounts signed by your group’s treasurer. If you do not have accounts, you could submit a three-month record of your income and expenditure, signed by the group’s treasurer. This could be a spreadsheet kept by the group, logging all the income and all the itemised spending of the group. Bank statements will not be accepted. Accounts do not have to be audited. Please do not send your original accounts, we can accept copies.
8. If I'm asking for money to update a building, does my group have to own the building?Your group either needs to own the building or own the lease, or have at least 15 years left on the lease, if you are asking for money towards building or renovation costs, or anything that will be a permanent unmovable fixture.
9. How long does it take to get a decision?Groups will receive a letter notifying them whether their application has been successful or otherwise. If your application has been completed correctly and all required supporting documents have been received the process should take no longer than four months. Please note applications in the Northern Ireland region can take up to 12 months.
10. Who decides whether my group is successful? There are over 50 Area Committees made up of democratically elected members of The Co-operative Group who meet and decide on applications from their specific area. With their local knowledge, they are tasked with making the tough decisions on which projects to fund. These meetings are generally held every other month.
12. Do groups always get the full amount they apply for?No. Area Committees have a limited pot of money and may only have enough to make a donation towards the project.
For any further questions contact us at:Grants AdministratorCommunity FundDept: 113051 Angel SquareManchesterM60 0AG By phone:Help line: 0844 262 4001By email:firstname.lastname@example.org
The terms and conditions below sets out the legal relationship between us (The Co-operative Group Limited) acting as agent for and on behalf of Co-operative Community Investment Foundation (CCIF)) and your group (you). If you would like help to fully understand the contract, call us on 0844 262 4001 and we’ll do our best to answer any questions.
Data protection statement
Co-operative Group Limited will use your information to administer your request for a Community Fund grant. We would also like to tell you by email, sms, phone, or post about special offers, products and services, which may be of interest to you. We may introduce you to other members of our family of businesses (full list available on our website), other co-operative societies and carefully selected partners.