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Managing Your Grant
If you have been awarded a grant from Cheshire Community Foundation – well done! We receive many more applications than we can fund, and we’re delighted you have got this far.

This page contains lots of information that we hope you will find useful about managing your grant. Please read it carefully.

If you have any unanswered questions take a look at our FAQ’s page, or get in touch

You will have received an email telling you your application has been successful. This email contains the following:

Grant offer confirming the amount of money you have been awarded, what you can spend it on, and any conditions you have to meet. Some of our grants programmes will have a set of Terms & Conditions of your grant to sign and return. For others you may have accepted the terms during the application process (embedded in the application form) please check which type of grant you have received.

It’s very important that you keep copies of these documents and re-familiarise yourself with them. You may need to refer to these documents throughout your grant.

It’s also important to keep good records after your grant has started. We might ask you to show us proof of:

  • The number of people/volunteers/groups you have worked with. The difference you have made
  • What you have spent on staff
  • HR and employment records.
  • Receipts for any items you have spent £250 or more on.

Proof of your bank account. You will have normally provided a bank statement when you applied but if this was not available at the time of applying (i.e you were setting up a new account – or your bank account has changed since applying), we cannot pay any grant money until we have this proof. We accept any of the following:

  • Original bank statement (please note we cannot accept print-outs from online banking or photocopies of original statements)
  • Original paying-in slip.
  • Original letter on your bank’s headed paper. It must show the account name, account number and sort code. It must be signed by an appropriate employee of the bank (you can ask your bank for this; see an example of a bank confirmation letter).
  • We will have included anything else which is listed as a condition of your grant in your Grant offer email. Usually, we will not pay you any money until we have proof you have met these conditions. Sometimes, we may pay a small amount of your grant but won’t pay any more, until the conditions have been met.

You may receive a call or email from us at the start of your grant to talk about your project.

You can contact us at any time to discuss your project, either by phone 01606 330607 or at grants@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk. It’s especially important to do this if you are making changes to your project.

Under normal non-social distancing circumstances, lots of projects will receive a visit from us and/or our donor(s) at some point during the life of the project. Some projects may also be selected for random, spot checks as part of our audit process, where we may want to see receipts and invoices retained, demonstrating spend of the grant as well as discussing the project and its success.

Many of the grants we fund are for the salaries of staff. We need the following documents at the start of these grants:

  • If the job description and/or person specification has changed since you applied for your grant, you must send us a final copy.
  • A letter/e-mail confirming the employee’s: Name; Job title; Salary; Start date.
  • If this is a new post, it must be advertised externally. You must provide a copy of the job advert. We will accept photocopies of printed adverts (e.g. in newspapers) or screenshots of online adverts. The advert should state ‘This post is supported by Cheshire Community Foundation”. If you would like to use our logo you can find guidelines here.

If you would like advice or guidance on recruitment or other HR issues, ACAS provides lots of useful information.

Effective marketing and promotion can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful project. The first thing you may need to consider is a flier or poster describing your event or project and inviting members of the community to come along and participate. It is best if you can create one that you can distribute digitally, via email or by posting on a website or social media platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter).

There are also internet ‘gateways’ and forums that can help you to share information around the voluntary and charitable sector in Cheshire and Warrington such as Warrington Voluntary Action, Cheshire East CVS and Cheshire West Voluntary Action.

You must tell a member of our grants team, email grants@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk, of any changes to your project. If possible, you must do this before those changes take place. In most cases we are able to agree to changes quickly and easily.

Changes you should tell us about could include:

  • Change of staff working on the project.
  • Changing the activities or services provided. You don’t need to tell us about every small change, but if in doubt, it’s best to let us know.
  • Changing your budget (i.e. if you want to spend some of the grant money differently, or if you are likely to have an underspend).
  • Changing what you report back to us about or the outcomes being delivered.

It’s important to start measuring the outcomes you make as early as possible in your grant. Here are some examples of outcomes and how you might evidence those outcomes but equally you may have other outcomes that are more relevant to your project.

Outcomes Qualitative and Quantitative indicators
Improved access to services and support Number of people reporting better access to services or support.
Improved aspirations for the future Number of people reporting an increase in personal aspirations and goals.
Number of people reporting increased self-esteem and confidence.
Improved mental health and wellbeing Number of people reporting improved mental health or wellbeing.
Number of people reporting a reduction of stress, anxiety and/or symptoms of depression.
Number of people reporting increased resilience and/or self-care.
Number of people reporting increased self-esteem and confidence.
Number of people undertaking treatment/therapy to meet their needs.
Number of people for whom the treatment/programme was successful or likely to be successful.
Improved physical health and wellbeing Number of people reporting improved physical health or wellbeing.
Number of people participating in sport, exercise and leisure activities.
Number of people reporting that they are more physically active.
Number of people undertaking treatment/therapy to meet their needs.
Number of people reporting improvements in their diet, to be healthier and more balanced.
Number of people for whom the treatment/programme was successful or likely to be successful.
Improved social networks Number of people reporting improved social networks.
Number of people reporting that they feel less lonely.
Number of people reporting that they feel an increased sense of belonging in their community.
Increased interpersonal skills
(social, communication and relationship skills)
Number of people reporting increased interpersonal (social, communication and relationship) skills.
Number of people reporting improved social networks.
Number of people reporting that they feel less lonely.
Reduced social isolation Number of people attending activity sessions.
Number of hours of community activity provided.
Number of people reporting improved social networks.
Reduced levels of loneliness for individual people Number of people reporting that they feel less lonely.
Number of people reporting improved social networks.
Number of people reporting improved mental health or wellbeing.

Top tips when measuring outcomes

Ensure that they are

  • Clear – Do not over complicate them. Keep them simple. Try to write a single statement about how you will change people’s lives for the better. Avoid joining multiple differences together with words like ‘and’. Use language which shows change. A strong difference often revolves around words like ‘improved’, ‘reduced’, ‘increased’, ‘less’, ‘strengthened’ etc.
  • Measurable – Think about how you will measure your differences. Will it be possible to tell if you have succeeded? Keep them focussed. Think about what each difference would mean to a person.
  • Realistic – It is important to make sure your differences can be achieved. Even the smallest changes can often make a huge impact.
  • Relevant – Make sure you focus on the people you work with and not the bigger picture. It is also important to consider if your differences can be achieved within the length of your project.

We believe that everyone has the right to protected from harm. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard all children and young people and vulnerable adults we work with.

Cheshire Community Foundation is not an expert in safeguarding or child/vulnerable adult protection, but we work alongside the NSPCC and other leading organisations to promote best practice in safeguarding. Good child/vulnerable adult protection and safeguarding is achieved through establishing a positive organisational culture and a number of procedures and checks.

For more information, see NSPCC or Thinkuknow
or for safeguarding adults The Ann Craft Trust

We are interested in learning from all our funded projects about the difference they make. We ask you to measure and evaluate your project and report back to us every year of the grant award.

The main thing we will want to know about are the differences you have made in the lives of the people you have worked with. There will also be questions about your spend of budget, any challenges or learning with the project

The online End of Grant Report Form

Within the grant offer email there will be a link to your End of Grant Monitoring Form – you will be able to enter and save information into this form throughout the grant, if desired or complete the report at the end.

Successful organisations will generally be required to complete just one formal online End of Grant monitoring report at the end of the grant term (occasionally , depending on conditions of grant and length of award we may asked for an interim report in our grant offer). We will be asking you how the grant was spent, as well as the difference the project has made (above and beyond measuring attendance and behaviour), what was achieved, any key issues and lessons learnt.

Before beginning the project, we suggest successful organisations take the time to read the End of Grant monitoring forms shared, so that necessary information can be recorded from the outset. This should include:

  • Sharing the evaluation form with staff in the organisation.
  • Discussing and deciding specific goals based on the application.
  • Deciding who will write the report.
  • Collecting data from the outset.
  • Quantitative data (numbers) – how many people are taking part or using the service, achieved goals (e.g., employment, improved health).
  • Qualitative data (stories) – feedback from users and volunteers, observed increase in skills, confidence etc.
  • Learning – feedback from project participants, what went well, what would you do differently etc.
  • Build in time to complete the form.

The best way to judge whether your efforts have been successful is to collect information as you go, from the people who participate. This evidence should also be recorded because it can be used to help your organisation to secure additional funds later on, as you will be able to present this, to demonstrate that you have the experience and skill to run a successful and effective project. Plus, it is very important to collect stories of people’s experiences of your projects – why did they seek them out, what did they think of the project or event, what kind of difference has or will it make to them in their lives?

By completing an application form to Cheshire Community Foundation, we will use the personal data about you and other individuals named in your application to assess and administer your grant Personal data about your Board or management committee may also be used for identification.

When necessary, personal data collected through the application process will be shared with Cheshire Community Foundation, programme assessors and with other third parties, where the law permits or requires it.

Any photographs and commentary provided to support your application may include personal data relating to individuals supported by your project. These photos, logos and details may be used in promotional material created in relation to your application and may appear on our website and literature.

We will only use your information where we have a legal basis to do so, for example, to carry out our legitimate business interests to manage and promote our grants or to meet our legal or contractual obligations. By providing any personal data about another person, you are confirming that they understand how their data may be used and shared.

You have certain rights when it comes to your personal information. This includes rights to access and correct your information, and to erase, transfer, object to, restrict or take away consent around how we use your information. Please contact Cheshire Community Foundation if you or anyone named in your application has any concerns with the information being used publicly or if you wish to exercise any of these rights.

Please also see our Privacy Policy

Cheshire Community Foundation are proud to be supporting your organisation. As a new project, you may wish to announce your funding award to local media, and on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

This is a great way to raise awareness of your project and the difference you are making to people’s lives. It’s also a way to show our donors where the money they raise goes, and the impact it has. Please remember to always tag us into your posts (Facebook @cheshireCommunityFoundation, Twitter @CheshireCF, LinkedIn Cheshire Community Foundation).

Using our helpful hints and press release template, you will have the tools to spread the word and announce your grant. This template will allow you to input information on your project before you reach out to press contacts.

Acknowledge the charity

  • Please always use our full title: Cheshire Community Foundation and the name of the grants programme
  • Use our correct logo (here)

Local press

  • you might want to use our template press release, simply fill in the details of your funding award, and share it with our communications team for sign off amy@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk
  • Identify which media titles to share the release with; you can always phone the news desk to ask whether the story would be of interest, and who the best person would be to share the release with.
  • Use photography to bring your project to life! If you have images which have full permissions in place and consent has been secured for all parties featured in the images, share them with journalists alongside the press release.
  • Once you have everything ready and signed off, you can start emailing your local press contacts.
  • Don’t forget to add in Notes to Editors. This provides additional and background information to aid in understanding the story. The press release copy before the notes to editors must be stand alone and understandable but the copy in ‘notes to editors’ might provide broader information and context. Examples of information for notes to editors include a short description of the organisation (called the ‘boilerplate’) and its website link.

Twitter

Shout to your followers about your new grant; follow us on twitter and include us in your tweet @CheshireCF. Where possible we will aim to retweet your celebratory tweet to our own followers.

Facebook

Tell your Facebook supporters about your new grant and tag Cheshire Community Foundation into the message by typing @CheshireCommunityFoundation (it should automatically suggest us if you’ve already liked our page).

Remember that every time you upload or use an image you need to get the right permissions and consent from all parties.

Any Problems with press and PR?

If you have any questions please contact us by email: amy@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk

By acknowledging Cheshire Community Foundation, you help us raise awareness about charitable giving, promote community initiatives and encourage more support and funding for projects like yours in the years to come.

For further information go to Frequently Asked Questions