Plan Your Funding
Learn About our Funding Process
At The Halifax Foundation of Northern Ireland, we use our resources to invest in local charities, empowering communities in times of greatest need to flourish. If you’re a registered charity, we have a range of grant programmes available to help you reach the people in your community that need your help most.
We also offer a wide range of support for grantees including mentoring, through our strong partnership with our funder Lloyds Banking Group.
To support you further, we offer organisations the chance to avail of one-to-one and group pre-application sessions with a member of our grants team. To book your session, get in touch with us at: email@example.com
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
We are committed to making our funding processes as user-friendly and flexible as possible for our applicants in a way that respects the organisations we fund. We have signed up to IVAR’s Open and Trusting Grant Making pledge (https://www.ivar.org.uk/flexible-funders).
We will give you an opportunity to discuss your needs pre-application through one-to-one and group sessions. We will ensure our funding criteria is clearly presented and we will ask you for feedback on how to improve.
We will keep our application forms as short as possible, only asking you questions that we need to help us reach a decision. We will continuously review this and make improvements where we can.
We recognise the financial challenges facing charities today. We will therefore not decline applications on the basis of low reserves if the applicant has a plan in place to support ongoing viability. We will give advance payments in order to facilitate cashflow for successful applicants.
We have reduced our decision-making time from 16 weeks to 10 weeks, with the average turnaround time from submission to decision currently around 6 weeks.
If during the assessment process we are sure that your project will not be funded, we will be honest with you straight away, rather than make you wait. We will give you an opportunity to withdraw your application and resubmit a new application immediately where we can. If we have to decline an application, we will tell you why and give you an opportunity to discuss this.
We will be open and honest with applicants and we will be flexible - we will give you the space to adapt by making it simple to reprofile budgets and extend budgets, where required. We will continue to provide applicants with the opportunity to apply for funding to cover core costs, overheads and/or salaries.
We will continue our endeavours to build personal relationships and maintain open communication channels throughout the application process, assessment, project delivery and evaluation stages, whereby all applicants/grantees feel empowered to raise queries or concerns.
We are committed to only asking questions that we need the answer to in order to make funding decisions and evaluate the impact of our support. We will continue to take a trusting and light touch approach to project monitoring and will seek applicant feedback on our reporting requirements.
We currently only accept applications from organisations that are registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or with another charity regulator in the UK or Ireland.
There are a number of reasons why we currently only support registered charities. Being registered with the Charity Commission tells us that your group has exclusively charitable purposes and exists for public benefit. It lets the public know that your group is legitimate and is being monitored by the charity regulator. It helps us to ensure that your organisation is well managed and helps us to manage the risk of releasing funding in advance. It allows us to keep our monitoring processes to a minimum, allowing you to dedicate more time to supporting people who need your help.
Further information on how to go about obtaining charitable status can be obtained from the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland www.charitycommissionni.org.uk/manage-your-charity/register-your-charity/. There are a number of helper groups who have volunteered to provide support to groups going through the registration process. The list of helper groups is available here - Helper groups | The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (charitycommissionni.org.uk)
Core funding is the everyday running costs that groups need to operate. We recognise that these costs are essential for charities to support people in greatest need and therefore we will consider core support on all of our grant programmes, provided these costs are not already covered by another funder. We also support projects where a full cost recovery model is applied. For more information on full cost recovery go to - https://www.ncvo.org.uk/help-and-guidance/running-a-charity/financial-management/planning-and-budgeting/project-budgeting-full-cost-recovery/full-cost-recovery/
Some of our grant programmes are rolling programmes, so you can submit an application at any time. However, some programmes will have an open/closing date. Visit the individual grant programme pages above for details on deadlines for each grant programme.
We ask that you give us 10 weeks from submission of your completed application for the assessment and decision making processes to take place. At the moment groups are waiting an average of 6 weeks.
We try our best to give applicants the full amount of funding they need to run their project, however this is not always possible due to budget restraints. If we cannot give you the full amount, we will be honest with you about this and work with you to ensure that your project is still viable should we be in a position to give you a reduced amount.
We are happy to consider applications which ask us to contribute to a project as one of a number of funders. We may offer you a conditional grant as you work on securing the balance from other funders.
Normally, we request a copy of your governing document, an unredacted bank statement and a job description (if applying for a salary). However, we may have different requirements depending on the grant programme that you are applying for. We are committed to only asking for information that we require in order to help us make good decisions.
If you receive funding from another source during the application/assessment stage, you may withdraw your application and resubmit a new application for another project at any time. We are a flexible funder and so if you receive other funding once funding has been awarded, we will work with you to reprofile your grant where we can.
We will ask your chairperson to sign the terms and conditions of our grant. The terms and conditions may be different for each grant programme. It is important that you read the terms and conditions carefully and be sure that you can commit to them as failure to do so can lead to our grant being withdrawn or a request for you to return our grant. To find our more view here - Sample Terms and Conditions of Grant
We are a flexible funder and want to work with you as much as we possibly can. If you speak with your assigned Grants Officer before you make any changes, we will support you to reprofile your grant or extend your grant period, where possible.
We require you to hold financial information relating to your grant spend should we need to see it. For more information, please see our Financial Management Factsheet.
Our Trustee and staff like to visit as many charities as possible - it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of our work. However, because we receive several hundred applications each year and have a very small team, it is simply not possible to visit all charities. We may visit you during the lifetime of your project, or at the end to hear more about the impact of your grant and to close off the project.