Funding for non-profits



Norfolk Community Foundation aims to make it as easy as possible for community and voluntary groups in Norfolk to access funding.  We seek to support genuinely good ideas that will make a real difference to the lives of local people, and most Funds will consider a range of project/ activity costs.   Most of our Funds are only open to groups based in or clearly benefitting Norfolk, though some funds will also accept applications from other areas – this is specified in the criteria where applicable.

How do our Funds work?
As Norfolk Community Foundation offers a wide range of different Funds, grants are available all year round.  Most Funds are able to offer grants of up to £5,000, though smaller and larger grants are available – go to Find a fund to find out more.  This function will enable you to browse or filter our Funds, to help you select a Fund that matches the type of project you are planning, your location, and the size of grant needed.  Funds that are currently open for applications are also advertised on the home page of the website.  Please read the guidance carefully and apply by the advertised deadline (where applicable).

The Grants Team provides independent assessment of all applications received, and funding decisions are made by panels formed by donors and/or their representatives. Each fund has a different panel.

Typically grants are available for 12 months from the payment of the grant. Grants will not be awarded in retrospect so please do not commit to any expenditure until you have received a grant offer letter and met any special grant conditions.

Who can apply
Constituted organisations or groups that have been established for charitable purposes and offer wide community benefit can apply, provided there is a formal structure – typically evidenced by:

  • A constitution
  • A management committee of at least 3 persons unrelated by birth, marriage or civil partnership
  • Annual accounts
  • A bank account in the name of the group, with min. 2 unrelated cheque signatories
  • An equal opportunities statement or policy (this may form part of the constitution)
  • If relevant, safeguarding policies for children and vulnerable adults, and DBS (formerly CRB) checks

Our Funding FAQs provide further information on eligibility, including exclusions.


How to apply
Once you have chosen a Fund to apply to, details of how to apply can be found on the Fund web page – this is usually in the form of a link to the online application process – go to Find a fund to get started.  Please ensure you complete the right form for the Fund you wish to apply to, as the process can vary and incorrect forms may not be accepted. 

Applying online
The online application system enables applicants to complete the process entirely online if they wish.  If you have any problems at all using the system please contact the Grants Team for support.

If you are using an old version of eg. Internet Explorer you may find it helpful to download a copy of Google Chrome to ensure you have the best experience – this browser is free to download here 

Independent reference: Please note, we no longer require applicants to provide an independent reference with every application. For most applications you will instead be asked to provide contact details for a referee within the online application form and we will contact the referee where we feel this will be helpful, for example if your organisation hasn’t applied previously to the Foundation.  

Please see our FAQs for guidance on choosing an independent referee.

Step 1 – Begin an online application form by clicking on the link ‘Click here to begin an online application’ which you will see at the bottom of each Fund webpage.  You will be prompted to enter your email address, and a unique link to the form will be emailed to you –this normally happens fairly quickly, so if you have concerns please check that you entered your email address correctly, and check your email Junk folders.  If it does not appear please contact the Grants Team for assistance.  You (and/ or your colleagues) can use your unique link to return to the form at any point until it is submitted.  Your changes can be saved. 

The application process enables you to upload various pieces of supporting information to complete your application – the documents required are shown on the checklist within the application form. You can still send some or all of your supporting information separately by email or by post if you wish.

You will be prompted to check the information you have entered before submitting.  If the system finds an error, it will highlight the section for your attention.  If you are unsure what the problem is, please contact the Grants Administrator on 01603 623958 for assistance.

Once you are ready, submit the application.  You will receive an email acknowledgement when the application has been submitted successfully.


Step 2 – Ensure that Norfolk Community Foundation receives your online form, all supporting information and the Independent Reference Form by 5pm on the deadline date.  Please note late applications may be not accepted.

Some funds are open on a rolling basis and can accept applications at any time – your application will be presented to the next appropriate panel where this is the case.  Where deadlines do not apply, you should ensure that all the documents required to complete your application are received no later than 14 days after completion of the online form.  We reserve the right to reject incomplete applications after 14 days.

If you need assistance with any aspect of making an application, or are unable to fill in an online form, please contact the Grants Team on 01603 623958 or email and we will be happy to advise you.

  • Ready to apply?  Go to Find a fund to help identify a Fund suitable for your project and apply
  • Need more information?  Read the Funding FAQs to find out more about our requirements or contact the Grants Team for advice