Community FLEX

THE SUPPORT YOU NEED TO IMPACT REAL LIVES

The Community FLEX programme is open to registered charities with an income of £500,000 or less, with a least one year of annual returns published on the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland’s website.

In line with the priorities of The Halifax Foundation, your charity must directly support people in greatest need. For example, supporting people living in poverty; those who are unemployed; those with disabilities or mental ill health. (This is not an exhaustive list – other areas of need will be considered.)

Community FLEX is a rolling programme, which means you can apply at any time.

FLEXIBILITY COMMITTMENT – We recognise that costs you need supported at the time of application may not be what you need throughout the lifetime of your grant. We encourage you to speak to your grants officer should things change and we will endeavour to be as flexible as possible. (Please note – you must receive confirmation of approval before changes are made.)

TYPES OF CHARITIES WE FUND

Social and Community Welfare

Community Services: Family centres, youth clubs, older peoples clubs, afterschool clubs, self-help groups, childcare provision, preschools and playgroups.

Advice Services: Homelessness, addictions, bereavement, family guidance, money advice, helplines, suicide awareness.

People with disabilities: Residences, day centres, transport, carers, information, advice and advocacy.

Promotion of health: Information and advice, mental health support, independent living, day care.

Civic Responsibility: Young people at risk, crime prevention, promotion of volunteering, victim support, mediation, rehabilitation of offenders.

Cultural Enrichment: Improving access to the arts and heritage for those in greatest need.

Education and Training

Employment: Employability skills, personal development support, interview and job coaching.

Training and Education: Accredited, vocational, personal development training, life skills.

*We have developed additional guidance for PTAs. Click here for further information.

EXAMPLES OF COSTS THAT MAY BE CONSIDERED

COMMUNITY FLEX - ELIGIBILITY CHECK

Your group needs to be a registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or other charity regulator within the UK or Ireland. Your application must support people residing in Northern Ireland.

We will not ask you to provide your accounts, as we can view then on the charity regulator website. 

 Your total charity income must be £500,000 or less as shown on your most recent set of signed and published accounts. 

Your charity can normally only hold one grant from the Foundation at any given time (exception made for COLLABORATE & 40INVEST where you can apply if you already hold a Community FLEX or IGINTE grant). If you currently hold a grant, you cannot be considered for another grant until the evaluation process of your current grant has been completed. 

If the outcome of your last application was 'unsuccessful', you must wait 12 months from the decision date before re-applying. If you are unsure, contact us at grants@halifaxfoundationni.org and we can check this for you.

If you have been awarded three grants over three consecutive years, you must leave a one year gap before re-applying. e.g. 2021, 2022, 2023 grant holders cannot return for funding until the relevant month in 2025.

In addition, you must follow the rules around the minimum number of Trustees/Board Members as set out in your governing document.

If you work with children, young people or vulnerable adults, you must have a safeguarding policy in place. For further information published by NSPCC, click here

You will not be able to submit an application if you do not have adequate insurance cover to run your charity and activities contained in your application. 

Your application must be for activities that fit within the objects of your charity. For guidance published by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, click here

We do not accept applications completed by a professional fundraising consultant. If you need support to complete this application, sign up for one of our pre-application support sessions at grants@halifaxfoundationni.org

WHAT WE DON'T FUND

BEFORE YOU START

You will need an electronic copy of the following documents to attach with your application:

  • Your governing document (signed by an office bearer)
  • A recent bank statement (within last 3 months) unredacted
  • We will check the Charity Commission Northern Ireland website for your accounts, so make sure they are up to date.

 

In the application form, we will ask you questions about:

  • Contact details of a main contact and your Chairperson
  • The activities of your charity
  • The funding you need, including details of your beneficiaries
  • The budget
  • Most recent financial information, including income, expenditure and reserves

JOURNEY OF AN APPLICATION

Scroll to the right to view the timeline.

Pre-application
We offer monthly pre-application sessions online as well as one to one pre-application calls. Contact us on grants@halifaxfoundationni.org to book in.
Application phase
Once your application is received, it is checked for completeness and an eligibility check is carried out. Should something be missing, we will email you and give you one week to send the outstanding information to us.
Assessment
A Grants Officer will be assigned to your application and will contact you to discuss your application further. The Grants Officer will produce a report on your application which is presented to the Grants Team. The team will agree a recommendation.
Decision
Your application will be presented to our Grants Committee who meet approximately every 7 weeks. The recommendations are sent to our Board of Trustees for final ratification. We ask that you give us 10 weeks from the date that you submitted to process your application, carry out the assessment and share the decision with you.
Acceptance
A Grant Acceptance email will be sent to you. Your chair must sign up to the terms & conditions of grant and send payment details. Once received, your grant payment (in full) will be made to your charity bank account.
Monitoring
You are expected to retain all information relating to the grant including financial records. For more information, see our Financial Management Factsheet You may be asked to provide us with progress reports.
Evaluation
When your funding comes to an end, you are required to complete an evaluation form, highlighting the impact of your grant and how you spent the grant. You may receive a visit from a member of the grants team to close off the grant. You may then be eligible to reapply for further support.
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If you are sure the COMMUNITY FLEX Programme is suitable for your organisation

If you are sure the COMMUNITY FLEX Programme is suitable

Other Grant Programmes

Open to groups who are recently set up (within last 2 years). Groups must be registered with Charity Commission NI. It provides funding to support a charity to get started

This programme is open to 2 or more registered charities with an income of £500,000 or under, who are coming together to tackle a social issue at a local level.

This programme is open to infrastructure charities, both regional and sub-regional who provide advice and support to voluntary and community organisations.

Open to registered charities with an income of £250,000 or under and who support those in greatest need.

In addition to our range of funding opportunities, we are proud to offer our grantees a range of additional support programmes in partnership with our funder Lloyds Banking Group.

If you are sure the COMMUNITY FLEX Programme is suitable