Guidance on our standard application process, how to get help, and what to expect after an application is submitted

Application form
Most of our Funds use a standard application process which requires you to complete an online form – if you are unable to apply online, please contact us and we will help you apply by other means.

Our online application aims to be simple and easy to use – there are help notes throughout (click on the ‘i’ icons next to the questions) and you can save your work as you go.  You can attach as many documents/ files as you need to the online form to support your application – if you prefer to send by post or email, you are welcome to do so.   If you have any general or technical questions about the form please do get in touch.

We are making every effort to reduce paper in our grants process, so you can help us by sending as much information electronically as you can – we appreciate it!

Fund deadlines
The full application should be submitted to Norfolk Community Foundation by 5pm on the deadline date stated for the fund you are applying to – this includes the supporting evidence as well as the application form itself, so please ensure you have all the documents you need ready.

We may not be able to accept late applications, or those that are incomplete at the deadline, so give yourself plenty of time to send everything in.

Some Funds are open on a rolling basis and can accept applications at any time – your application will be presented at the next opportunity 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.


  • What makes a good application?

    Make sure your group and your project are eligible for our funding, and that we have a suitable grant for you – it is often a competitive process so if your work is not a good fit, your application is unlikely to be successful.


    Bear in mind that not everyone who reads your application will know what it’s like in your area, and what the issues are for local people, so please give us some good background that explains how you developed your idea. In short, don’t just tell us your group needs a computer, tell us why you need it and what difference it will make to your group. Completing the form as fully as you can will help us to understand why your project is important. Give yourself plenty of time to get together the information you need, and don’t rush it. Above all, don’t miss the deadline!


    We expect you to have looked properly into the cost of what you are proposing, and may ask to see evidence of the cost of things you wish to buy, or services you wish to book.


    It will help you make the case for a grant if you have done some work to find out if local people are interested in your project, and are keen to get involved.


    As part of your application we ask you to think about how you will be able to tell if your project is a success – this will help us monitor your grant if you are successful. You can read more about this in the Planning and Reporting on Your Project section.

  • Which Fund should we apply to?

    NCF offers a range of Funds, and opportunities can vary throughout the year. You can view the Funds that are currently calling for applications here. To help you find a suitable fund, you can filter the list by area, size of grant etc.


    If you need help to choose a Fund, the Grants Team will be happy to advise you. If we don’t have a suitable opportunity for your project, we may be able to suggest other alternatives

  • Can we discuss our project before applying?

    We welcome the chance to discuss your plans and can help at any stage of the process – please contact the Grants Team on 01603 623958 or email

  • What happens after we submit an application?

    An initial check for completeness and eligibility will be carried out and you will be contacted to provide any missing documents or information – please forward any additional information quickly as incomplete applications cannot be presented to the panel for a decision.


    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. Panel decisions are final.

  • How quickly will we get a decision?

    If we cannot consider your application, we aim to tell you as soon as we can. For eligible applications, we aim to give you a decision with 6 weeks of the application deadline. For rolling programmes where deadlines do not apply, we aim to give a decision within 8 weeks. Please take these timescales into account when planning an application as your grant cannot be used to refund costs that you have already covered.

  • How will I know if my application has been successful?

    We aim to let all applicants know their outcome within a week of the panel meeting date (typically around 6 weeks after the deadline). Successful applicants will receive a pack setting out the terms of the grant offer, including any special conditions and monitoring requirements. See the Planning and Reporting on your Project section to learn more about how we monitor grants.

  • What if our project changes, or can’t go ahead?

    Please let the Grants Team know as soon as possible – we understand that these things happen and in some circumstances we may be able to approve a change in the use of the funding. If the project cannot go ahead, the grant will need to be returned to Norfolk Community Foundation.

  • What if my application is unsuccessful?

    We will let you know as soon as possible if your application has been unsuccessful. Where possible, we will share useful feedback from the panel, though please note that sometimes there is simply not sufficient funding available to cover all requests.
    In some circumstances we may be able to present your application to a further panel for consideration – we will let you know if this is the case.