Grant Making Policy
You could be eligible for a discretionary grant for your work supporting people who face hardship or homelessness.
1.1 This purpose of this policy is to set out the principles, criteria and processes that govern how CEO Sleepout UK makes grants.
1.2 A grant is defined as a financial award CEO Sleepout UK makes from its funds to support charitable activities, usually to registered charities or charitable community groups, but sometimes to other bodies or to individuals.
2.1 CEO Sleepout UK is a registered charity (number 1154963) benefiting communities in England and Wales with particular focus on the Tees Valley. It is governed by a board of trustees. A staff team led by the Chief Executive has delegated responsibility for day-to-day activities.
2.2 The trustees ensure proper governance of CEO Sleepout UK’s grant-making in three ways. Through grant-making principles which ensure that, even where there is donor or funding partner involvement, decisions are ultimately made by CEO Sleepout UK’s trustees. These principles clarify that funds given are CEO Sleepout UK’s asset, albeit with degrees of restriction on their use, and that, where they are involved, donors are recommending grants, not awarding them. Through published grant-making criteria which set out the activities the trustees wish to support in furtherance of CEO Sleepout UK’s charitable objectives. The criteria also include activities which the trustees do not wish to support because they do not consider them to be in line with CEO Sleepout UK’s purpose. The trustees accept that they will on some occasions make grants outside published criteria but that in all such cases the activity supported will be charitable in law. Through grant-making processes which set out how decisions are reached for awarding grants from different types of funds at CEO Sleepout UK.
3. Grant-making principles
3.1 The principles which underpin the trustees’ governance of CEO Sleepout UK’s grantmaking take into account the scale and range of its grants and strike a balance between proper oversight of decision-making and responsive customer service for both applicants and donors.
3.2 The principles are as follows. The Board of trustees has ultimate collective responsibility for all grant-making decisions in line with CEO Sleepout UK’s charitable purposes and any restrictions agreed with donors and funding partners. Trustees may assign certain decision-making responsibilities to staff. Such delegated decisions are subject to scrutiny and review from time to time. Trustees reserve the right to apply conditions to any grant. Trustees also reserve the right not to approve any recommendation or nomination if they (or those acting with their delegated authority) determine that the resulting grant would not be charitable, or would conflict with CEO Sleepout UK’s stated policies or damage its reputation.
4. Grant-making criteria
4.1 CEO Sleepout UK’s published guidance on criteria for applications from individuals and groups is set out in Appendix 1 of this policy. The goal is to make grants to a wide range of organisations. Trustees are particularly keen to help grassroots community groups and small-to-medium-sized voluntary organisations in areas where CEO Sleepout events are held.
While not excluding large UK-wide charities, CEO Sleepout UK normally only makes grants to such organisations where there are strong relationships in the primary area of benefit and the proposal has potential to achieve a substantial impact.
4.2 As a registered charity, CEO Sleepout UK can only make grants to support activity which is charitable in law. Organisations do not have to be registered charities to apply, but CEO Sleepout UK will only make general running cost or unrestricted grants to charities.
4.3 Trustees are mindful of the regulation and focus of Community Interest Companies (CICs) and other non-charity social enterprises. CEO Sleepout UK’s approach is to consider helping such organisations, where there is a sound business plan, with the charitable costs of start-up or expansion. CEO Sleepout UK does not normally support CICs and other non-charity social enterprises with the costs of continuing services, which should be financed by the sale of goods and services in line with the governance model they have chosen.
4.4 Trustees expect that grants will normally support one or more of the following outcomes: Services and activities that work – helping groups maintain, expand or provide new services, with an emphasis on quality and effectiveness. Stronger organisations – organisational development rather than the costs of services, and strengthening civil society overall. Change in policy and practice – where the focus is not on services but on influencing improvements in relevant policy and practice.
4.5 External applications for support must be made using CEO Sleepout UK’s online application process. The application form can be found here.
4.6 Grant requests which the trustees will not normally support are: Contributions to general appeals or circulars; Religious activity which is not for wider public benefit; Public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations; Activities which solely support animal welfare; Activities which have already taken place; Grant-making by other organisations. Privately owned and profit-distributing companies or limited partnerships.
4.7 To ensure CEO Sleepout UK’s resources are used solely to further its charitable objectives, and it can report on the impact of grants, trustees normally expect that all grants will have one to three objectives agreed at the beginning of the funding period as part of the grant offer.
4.8 To enable CEO Sleepout UK to measure impacts, a report should be provided at the end of a 12 month period, detailing how the funds were used and what improvements or impacts were achieved as a result of the grant.
4.8 The minimum grant in response to an external request is £500. The upper limit is ususally £2500, but applicants should be mindful of CEO Sleepout UK’s average grant size.
4.9 A limited number of funds support individuals, and the trustees only accept applications from individuals to these funds as advertised or, exceptionally, from other funds on the basis of donor nominations.
5. Grant-making processes
5.1 Trustees aim for CEO Sleepout UK’s grant-making processes to be transparent and to address the interests of applicants and the wishes of donors and funding partners. To this end, all eligible external grant requests go through a four-stage process as follows: Allocation to available funds according to their availability and criteria. Requests that cannot be allocated to live funds are rejected. Assessment to determine whether the request should be shortlisted for support. Requests not shortlisted are rejected, unless a donor/partner wishes to review them. Review of the assessment and recommendation by a fund advisor, panel, the Board, or by a person acting with the delegated authority of the Board. Grants not recommended are rejected, unless allocated to another fund. Ratification of the recommendation by the Board or a person/committee acting with its delegated authority.
5.2 The process for donor-nominated grants is: A fund advisor nominates a grant to a UK-registered charity, or a similarly regulated organisation for charitable purposes, or to an individual in need. For organisations, due diligence on governance and finance is conducted by staff to confirm the nomination can be supported. The nomination is ratified by the Board or the person/committee acting with its delegated authority.
5.3 In addition to responding to external grant requests and donor nominations, the trustees may at their discretion invite or commission proposals, or provide funding in collaboration with others or by combining fund contributions, where doing so would meet CEO Sleepout UK’s strategy and priorities for its unrestricted and discretionary funds.
5.4 Trustees delegate responsibility for approval of grants from different funds as follows. Ratification of recommendations from donor- and panel-advised funds and for donor nominated grants is delegated by the Board to the Chief Executive. A list of ratified grants (and rejections) is formally reported to the Board. External requests or invited proposals for up to £2,500 from unrestricted and discretionary funds may be approved by any one member of the senior staff and decisions ratified by the Chief Executive.
5.5 Recommendations to approve high-risk and unusual grants of any type are not delegated and must be referred to the Board. Examples include where: there is a question as to whether the grant would be for a charitable purpose; there are risks around an organisation’s long-term liquidity or solvency; the grant is for unusually large sum, or for a type of organisation, activity or area of benefit not usually supported; one or more trustees or senior staff have a conflict of interest; there is a risk of damage to CEO Sleepout UK’s reputation; or there is a potential conflict with CEO Sleepout UK’s policies. 6. Variations to this policy 6.1 The Board of trustees may vary the terms of this policy from time to time. Version 4.0 approved by the Board March 2016
APPENDIX 1: GRANT-MAKING CRITERIA
Grants for groups How do I apply?
All applications must be made using CEO Sleepout UK’s on-line application process. The form can be completed online here.
Who can apply?
We make grants to a wide range of organisations. We are particularly keen to help grassroots community groups and small-to-medium-sized voluntary organisations. We do not normally make grants to large UK-wide charities, but we might do so where there are strong relationships in our area and the proposal has potential to achieve a substantial impact. You do not have to be a registered charity to apply, but the work you ask us to support must be legally charitable. However, please note that we can only make grants for general running costs or unrestricted purposes to charities.
Grants to any other organisations will always be restricted for a specific charitable purpose. You must have a governing document (constitution, rules, memorandum and articles of association etc.), a governing body of at least three unrelated individuals, and a bank account in your group’s name with at least two unrelated signatories. Community Interest Companies (CICs) and other non-charitable social enterprises with a business plan that shows realistic aspirations for non-grant income generation can apply for a restricted grant to support the charitable costs of any start-up or expansion. We do not normally support such organisations with the costs of continuing services, which should be financed by the sale of goods and services in line with the governance model they have chosen.
When making an application, CICs and non-charitable social enterprises must provide a Community Interest Statement and business plan.
For general grants, you can apply whatever your income level. Some funds and programmes may have more specific requirements about the size and type of organisation eligible. When this is the case, there will always be a call for applications which will state the criteria you must meet. Please note if you have previously had a grant from us we will not consider any new application unless you have sent us all the required grant reports.
Which area do I need to be in to apply?
Our general, grants are for activities in areas where a CEO Sleepout event has been held, or the Tees Valley in particular. If your work is in these areas, you can apply on our general form and we will try to match your request to a fund. Some funds and programmes provide support across the whole of the North East and occasionally in other parts of England. When this is the case, there will always be a call for applications stating the area which is eligible.
What sort of support is available?
Through our grants to groups, we are interested in supporting: Services and activities that work – helping groups maintain, expand or provide services to support people experiencing homelessness, those at risk of becoming homeless, young people requiring educational support, and people in poverty, with an emphasis on quality and effectiveness. General grants are usually for amounts under £2500.
They can be towards running costs (including salaries), projects, equipment or capital developments. The work can be new, continuing or a one-off initiative. Some funds and programmes offer larger grants. When this is the case, there will always be a call for applications stating the amounts available.
We will not fund requests to support: Contributions to general appeals or circulars; Religious activity which is not for wider public benefit; Public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations; Activities which solely support animal welfare; Activities which have already taken place. Grant making by other organisations Privately owned and profit-distributing companies or limited partnerships.
When will I get a decision?
We take up to twelve weeks to make a decision. We will let you know if you have been awarded a grant or not. If we think your application might be suitable for a particular fund but this will take more than twelve weeks we will contact you.
APPENDIX 2: EXPLANATION OF TERMS USED IN THIS POLICY
Discretionary fund: a collective term for funds where decision-making is at the Board’s discretion but where the donor, partner or trustees have specified a field-of-interest.
Donor advised: a type of named fund where the donor or a fund advisor may nominate groups to receive grants or make recommendations from shortlists prepared by CEO Sleepout UK in line with their wishes.
Field of interest: a type of named fund where the revenue supports a donor’s preferred causes, localities or approaches with grant-making at the Board’s discretion.
Fund advisor: a person over 18 with privileges in relation to a fund which may include setting and reviewing criteria, making recommendations on grants and agreeing succession arrangements. The role has no formal part in either the governance or management of CEO Sleepout UK as a whole or of its funds.
Named funds: annual or endowment funds set up by donors at CEO Sleepout UK.
Panel member: an individual over 18 who is nominated by fund advisors or the Board to be involved in making recommendations on grants from a fund.
Panel advised: a fund where the donor or the Board wishes a panel or committee to recommend grants on their behalf.
Restricted fund: a legal and accounting term describing a fund which CEO Sleepout UK must use for certain specific purposes defined by the donor.
Theme and affinity funds: a type of named fund founded and/or supported by gifts from a number of donors who share a common interest. Unrestricted fund: a legal and accounting term for funds which CEO Sleepout UK may use at its discretion to support its charitable purposes.
Vital Funds: the main unrestricted funds held by CEO Sleepout UK used at its discretion to support its charitable purpose