Guidance on the different types of organisation that are able to apply for NCF funds

We make grants to a wide range of constituted voluntary and community organisations. You don’t have to be a registered charity, but your group and the work you want us to fund must be charitable in purpose.

Your group must have a governing document (a constitution, rules, articles of association etc.), a governing body of at least 3 unconnected individuals, and a bank account in the group’s name with at least two unconnected signatories required to authorise payments.  By unconnected, we mean not a relation by blood, marriage, in a long-term relationship or people living together at the same address.  We will expect groups to have appropriate policies for equalities and safeguarding.

We will ask you to show that these requirements have been met when you apply.

New groups are welcome to apply – but please note all appropriate structures and policies should be in place beforehand. It is understood that newly formed groups will not be able to present annual accounts, however you should provide as much information as possible about your financial position and plans for sustainability.

Community Interest Companies (CICs) or other social enterprises that are not charities can apply if you can send us a business plan showing realistic plans for income generation (other than through charitable grants) and a community interest statement. We can then consider funding the charitable costs of your start-up or expansion. We will not normally fund your continuing services, which should be financed by selling goods and services in line with your chosen governance model.

We will consider applications from Parish/ Town Councils where the project is clearly of wide community benefit, such as a play area or community centre.  Parish Councils will be asked to consider their ability to cover the cost through their precept, and will generally be expected to make a contribution to the project cost.

We will also consider applications from Faith Organisations towards inclusive community activities that do not promote religious beliefs.

Typically, schools (including organisations delivering National Curriculum/ government funded education) and other statutory organisations are not eligible to apply to our funds.  We occasionally have limited opportunities where schools can apply – you can search our available Funds to see if there are any current opportunities, or contact us to check.

If you are a charitable organisation wishing to deliver your work in schools the What costs can a grant from NCF cover section will provide further guidance.

If you are unsure whether your group or activity is eligible please contact us for advice before you begin an application.


  • Does my group need to be based in Norfolk?

    Most of our Funds are only open to groups based in or clearly benefitting Norfolk, though some Funds will also accept applications from other nearby areas – this is specified in the criteria where applicable.

    We don’t usually fund large national charities unless they already have strong connections in our area and the work will make a big difference to our communities.

  • Is our income too high to be able to apply?

    Most of our Funds will accept an application whatever your income, but please note some of our funds have more specific requirements about the size and type of groups eligible – this is clearly stated in the Fund criteria where applicable.

    If your group has significant free reserves (or savings) in relation to annual running costs, that will be taken into account when considering your application.

  • Can we re-apply?

    If you applied to us and were successful, you can apply again so long as you have sent us any outstanding reports from previous grants. If your most recent application to us was unsuccessful, you may be able to apply again but we might suggest things that you need to change or get advice about before you do.