Updated Frequently Asked Questions(Summer 2012)

Neighbourhood Match Fund

* Community First grant awards must be between £250-£2,500.

* Grants are for one year’s funding. Groups will need to reapply for funding for future years activity.

* Each Organisation/group can apply for one grant per year. Not multiple grants adding up to £2,500.

* Projects must not last longer than 1 year.

* Non constituted groups can apply for funding. But they need to agree to develop governing documents. It is recommended that their members should sign some form of written agreement (such as a term of reference document) to cover the activity of the project.

* All grants must be matched with cash, in-kind services or volunteer time (calculated at £11.09 per hour).

* Government money cannot be used as a cash match. It is considered double funding. This includes funding from local government (local councils) or central government (government departments).

* Public sector organisations cannot apply for funding, nor can they hold any of the funding on behalf of other organisations.

* In-kind services. These can include use of facilities free of charge (where normally there would be a hire fee), and use of equipment free of charge (where normally there would be a hire or purchase fee).
Government Communications Budget Freeze
We have previously highlighted the restrictions around the funding, due to the government’s freeze on communication costs. However we have been able to revisit this restriction, and to make the following clarifications, which the panel can now use when assessing projects:-

* Part of a grant budget may now be used to pay for flyers/leaflets/posters to raise awareness of the particular activity/event being funded.

* Projects that are purely based around marketing /communications such as newsletter projects or advertising campaigns are INELIGIBLE.

* Using the grant to pay for advertising, such as newspaper or web based, remains INELIGIBLE.

Role of Panel Partners

* The Panel Partner role was developed to undertake two main activities:-

a) To validate the newly formed panel.

b) To hold and pay out travel expenses, to enable panel members to attend panel meetings over the course of the programme.

* Any further support that Panel Partner Organisations can offer to panels is at their discretion. And it is recommended that the responsibility of running the programme locally is not placed on them alone but, where possible, is shared equitably around the whole panel.

* Similarly, it is the panel and the individuals who sit on it, rather than the Panel Partner organisation, which should be considered the ‘lead agency’ for Community First in their ward.

* Because Panel Partners are asked to validate the local panel it has been necessary to ensure that the person validating is not the same person who has set up the panel. In those cases we have asked for another senior manager from the Panel Partner organisation to validate the panel.

Monitoring requirements

* Funded groups have two monitoring requirements:-

a) To submit a final online monitoring form to CDF upon completion of their project. This essentially captures final costs, confirms the final amount of matched elements, and provides a judgement on whether the project achieved its outcomes.

b) To provide information to the panel to go on the panel website. This could take the form of a description of the project, or photos of the project taking place or upon completion.

* The grant agreement is between CDF and the funded groups. Funded groups report back to CDF. However if panels have any concerns on how funding is being spent by a project they should contact CDF.

Payment Process

* Decisions on funding are made by local panels, not CDF. CDF simply checks all funding recommendations to ensure they are eligible.

* If there are any queries related to a recommendation CDF will go back to the panel with a query, otherwise we will process all recommendations.

* It normally takes CDF no more than two weeks to write to funded groups once we have received a funding recommendation from a panel. However during periods of high activity this processing time can increase. We expect this to happen at the end of June, the deadline for Year One submissions.

* Upon return of the grant acceptances CDF authorises payments to be made to the funded groups. Remittance notices are sent out and payment confirmation letters (containing monitoring requirements) are sent out. Payments are normally made within 10 working days of receipt of the grant acceptance form.

* It is recommended to inform funded groups of the above timescales in order to manage their expectations.

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