Here’s how it works. We have three main rounds of grant-giving each year. The deadline for applications (unless specified otherwise) for the next four is 5:00pm (1700 hours) as follows

  • Friday 12th January 2018 (Round 3 2017-18)
  • Friday 4th May 2018 (Round 1 2018-19)
  • Friday 14th September 2018 (Round 2 2018-19)
  • Friday 11th January 2019 (Round 3 2018-19)

Our grants programme is made up of a range of funds which help to address disadvantage and deprivation and build resilience in Sussex communities. We are particularly keen to support grassroots community groups and small-to-medium sized voluntary organisations.

The types of work we support includes:

  • Youth club activities
  • Lunch clubs for older people
  • Health and well-being initiatives
  • Community transport
  • Community gardens
  • Projects addressing homelessness
  • Community advice and support
  • Food banks
  • Projects addressing drug and alcohol misuse.

Your grant can cover costs such as:

  • Equipment and materials
  • Staffing
  • Training and skills development
  • Rent or hire
  • Marketing
  • Organisational development, eg. help with business planning or fundraising strategies
  • Volunteer expenses.

You can see more of the sort of work and projects we fund here.

Am I eligible to apply?

Most of our grants are awarded to not-for-profit organisations, working for the benefit of the people of Sussex, whose annual income does not exceed £1 million.

Your organisation does not have to be a charity but it does need to have:

  • its own bank account
  • a constitution or set of governing rules
  • accounts or records of expenditure
  • relevant policies (such as child protection, vulnerable adults, health and safety etc).

Social enterprises, CICs and companies limited by guarantee

We are able to accept applications from social enterprises, CICs and companies limited by guarantee carrying out charitable activities. However, these organisations must have:

  • demonstrable public benefit and clear protection against private benefit;
  • a minimum of three directors, the majority of whom are not paid either as directors or for delivering the activities of the organisation;
  • a majority of non-executive directors approving the salaries and benefit of any paid directors, which should be reasonable and proportionate to the work they do and the financial position of the organisation;
  • an asset lock body (in the case of CICs) with objectives which are charitable and similar to the CIC.

Such organisations must confirm that they meet these conditions at the time of applying and, in any case, no later than the closing date.

Sussex Community Foundation does not support requests from or for:

  • Organisations or activities which don’t benefit communities in Sussex
  • Organisations that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, disability, age, or sexual orientation
  • Organisations where the service provided is used as a vehicle or means to promote religious beliefs
  • Political activities
  • Small contributions to major capital appeals or campaigns
  • Grants which will be used to make awards to a third party
  • Projects which only benefit animals
  • Organisations who have not returned monitoring from previous SCF awards
  • Retrospective funding for activities or projects that have already taken place.

How to apply

Please read the general guidance notes before applying.

Please note that generally you may only make one grant application per round and only be in receipt of one grant at a time. Please contact the Grants Team if you would like to discuss applying for an additional grant.

Application forms

In most cases, you do not need to specify which of our funds you want to apply for (but see ‘please note’ below). Make an application on our general application form online and we will put your application to the funder we think is most likely to fund you. A sample application form is available here so you can see the information we need. If you are unable to apply online, please call our Grants Team on 01273 409440  or email our Grants Team for a copy of the application form.

Please note: occasionally funds will have separate application forms. The funds in question are listed a little further down this page in the ‘See Deadline for our Current Round’ section, where you can also access the relevant application forms and guidance notes. 

Using our online application form 

Access our online application form by following this link and follow the on-screen instructions. You can save and return to your application as many times as you like before you submit it. If you wish to save your application in draft please use the ‘Submit as Draft’ button right at the end of the form.  You can then return to your work via the unique link to the form which you will already have been sent. 

Our online form allows you to submit your supporting documents as electronic attachments at the same time as the application form. Once you have submitted the form, you will receive an acknowledgement of your application, together with a copy for your records.

By completing our online form you will be agreeing to the Terms and Conditions detailed within. The form will also ask you to provide details for the bank account into which, should your application be successful, you would like the grant to be paid.

Deadline for our current round

Round 3 2017/2018  – deadline Friday 12th January 2018, 5pm (unless stated otherwise)

Some of the funds open this round have criteria outside our General Awards and/or a special application form or a different deadline. Some are listed below – more will be added.  A full list of funds is available to download here.

  • Cragwood Fund – large grant programme supports charities and community groups of all sizes which support homeless and/or vulnerably housed people in West Sussex, especially new or extended programmes of work in: preparing for work and the cultivation of skills for employment; training and support around money, health and well-being and the practical skills associated with independent living; social reintegration and resilience in preparation for independent living. One grant of up to £20,000 per year for a period of three years. Separate guidance but please apply using the standard Sussex Community Foundation application form.

  •  East Brighton Trust Fund supports charities, community and voluntary groups undertaking projects or events that benefit people who live in East Brighton. Grants up to £500. This fund has its own guidance and online application form. If you are unable to apply online, please call our Grants Team on 01273 409440 or email our Grants Team for a copy of the application form. Deadline: Friday 12th January 2018.

  • Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm Fund supports Sussex charities and community groups who operate within ten miles of the wind farm which lies seven miles west of Lydd on Romney Marsh.  Grants of between £500 and £5,000 support environmental, educational, community and charitable activities. This fund has its own guidance and online application form Deadline: Friday 16th February 2018.

  • The Rampion Fund supports projects that benefit the broad community, in particular those with links to environment and ecology, climate change and energy, and improved community facilities. There are a number of strands to this fund – more details here. This fund has its own guidance and application form. Deadline: Friday 12 January 2018. 
  • Westdene Fund gives grants of up to £800 to individual young people (aged 16-25 years) in Sussex with outstanding musical talent. This fund has its own guidance and application form. Deadline: Friday 12th January.

For information on or to apply to the Shoreham Air Show Fund, please call our Programmes Manager, Hannah Clay on 01273 409440 or email Hannah Clay.

Supporting documents

All applications received must be accompanied by copies of the required supporting documents (including signed copies of your constitution and accounts) by the relevant deadline.

Here is a checklist of the documents you will need to provide:

  • a signed copy of your latest annual accounts
  • a signed copy of your constitution or set of rules (if you are a CIC, please also supply your CIC 34 report). 
  • if applying for a grant to purchase equipment, please send copies of written estimates or catalogue pages
  • a photocopy of one bank statement from the last three months
  • the names and addresses of all management committee members, with cheque signatories identified.

Depending on the nature of the project or activity, we will need you to send us the following, where relevant:

  • child protection or vulnerable adult protection policy (if you are working with these groups)
  • health and safety policy
  • equal opportunities statement.

If you have made a recent application for a grant, you may not need to re-send your supporting documents. Please call to check or make a note of this on your application. We will contact you to confirm we have received your application and if we need any further information.

You should hear whether your application has been successful around 8 weeks after the deadline.

What happens once we receive your application?

Once the applications are received, they are assessed against our general criteria. We then present them to the various donors and fund panels for consideration. Our own Grants Panel then meets to consider all the applications and to allocate any further funds.  This process takes about eight weeks and we will let you know the outcome of your application very shortly afterwards.


When your project is finished, you are asked to complete a SCF monitoring form online. We will send you a link to this when you are awarded your grant but, if you would like to preview the form, you can view it here. If you are unable to complete the form online, please get in contact with the office using the details below. You can download copies of the monitoring form for Hastings & Rother Reducing Health Inequalities Fund R1 standard grants here (for those awarded grants in Round 1/2015),  R2 standard grants here (for those awarded grant in Round 2/2016) and all fasttrack grants here.

If you have any queries, please call the Grants Team on 01273 409440 or email us  – we’ll be happy to help. 


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