As the largest grant-giving organization in Wiltshire and Swindon, we award around £2 million in grants each year to help local people thrive.

We provide funding to grassroots voluntary and community groups to tackle pressing local issues and build stronger communities. Additionally, we give individual grants to young people to support their development, education, and future employment.

We offer a variety of events, training workshops, and advice sessions for the voluntary and community sector to build skills, knowledge, capacity, and networks.

We run various grants programs throughout the year. Each programme has its own themes and funding priorities, so please read the full criteria on each programme’s individual webpage and make sure you are eligible before making an application.

We know that applying for funding can be daunting, so we try to make it as straightforward as possible. Please read this page carefully before starting an application. If you have any questions or need support through any part of the application process, please get in touch.

Our approach to grant-making

We want to fund groups or individuals regardless of their experience in making grant applications and actively help all applicants. You don’t have to be experienced at writing applications to get a grant from us.

Our friendly team will help you if you need extra support, have any accessibility requirements or if English isn’t your first language. You can also contact us if you have any questions, or can’t use our online forms.

Our end of grant reporting aims to be simple and useful to grantees.

Our processes are informed by the “open and trusting grant-making” approach developed by IVAR in early 2021 which seeks to minimise the information required from applicants before and after a grant and to build strong relationships between funder and funded.

Grant application success rates

The success rate for applications to Wiltshire Community Foundation is between 60-70%. Please note, this is an average across programmes and may vary slightly year to year depending on what funds we have available.

This figure also includes those that were withdrawn before going to panel. Reasons for this include ineligibility for the programme, a change in plans by the applicant, further assessments concluding that there was not a strong enough fit to the programme priorities or concerns regarding governance or sustainability. Applications that are not successful at the panel stage are often due to insufficient funds available and the successful applications having a stronger fit to programme priorities.

Step one - Check our open grant programmes

Our Individual and Group grants pages list which applications are open now and when others will be opening. Each programme has a dedicated page with information including 

  • funding priorities
  • specific eligibility criteria
  • who we do and don't fund
  • what we do and don’t fund 
  • timelines.

Some pages have additional downloadable guidelines or link to our Meet the Funder videos where we talk through the programmes in more detail.

Step two - Making an application

Once you’ve found a programme that you’d like to apply for, you’ll need to complete an online application. This is your chance to tell us more about yourself/group/or activity and how it is, or you are a good fit for the programme.

Application forms are specific to each programme. Some of our pages include a copy of the applications questions and give you an idea of the kind of detail you need to include. The form itself also provides advice on what to include.

You’ll also need to attach supporting documents to your application depending on the programme and these are detailed on each programme webpage or on the application form.

You do not have to complete the application form in one go. If you wish to leave the form and come back to it at another time, press the ‘save my progress and resume later’ button at the bottom of the form. You will be asked to enter your email and a password so you can login at another. This will also be emailed to you.

There are no ‘right’ answers or the ‘rightsort of words. Try to complete the form as fully as possible but do not be overly concerned about ‘getting it right’ as we will arrange a call to talk through your application.

We are also happy to discuss alternative formats for your application to support your accessibility requirements such as word documents and videos. Please contact us by telephone 01380 738985 or email so we can discuss the best options for you to apply using an alternative format.

Step three - Review

Each application is initially checked to ensure it has been fully completed and that all necessary information and paperwork has been submitted. Applicants might be contacted at this point to check details if anything is missing.

All applications are then reviewed by one of our grants assessors and most applicants receive a call to discuss the application in more detail. The purpose of this call is make sure that the Grants Panel, who will make the decision, fully understands you/your group/your project and the details of your application. It is a further opportunity for you to explain to us why you are applying for a grant from us.

Step four - Decisions

All applications for a programme are taken to a Grants Panel who decide which applications to fund. Panel members read your application form and a report from the assessor before reaching their decision together. Membership of independent Grants Panels varies according to the focus of each grants programme and usually includes people with relevant expertise and lived experience of the issues being addressed by the programme.

The panel will usually meet around 8-10 weeks after the programme’s application closing date.

Step five - Notification

You will receive an email with the outcome of your application around 10-12 weeks after the programme’s application closing date. The exception to this is our University Bursary Programme and applicants are notified at the beginning of August.

If your application is successful, we will email you with:

  • a link to Terms and Conditions that need to be signed and returned to us
  • details of the amount of funding awarded and over how long
  • reporting requirements and due date(s) (groups only)
  • information on communicating about your grant and branding requirements (groups only)

If your application is unsuccessful, you will receive an email with any feedback that has been provided by the panel members. We often receive more applications than we can fund, so an unsuccessful application could simply be due to lack of available funding.

Successful applicants will receive their funding a month after return of their signed Terms and Conditions.

Step six - Reporting, evaluation and learning – Groups only

You’ll need to complete a report at the end of your grant, and some programmes also have interim reporting. If you don’t complete your report, then it may affect payment of multi-year grants.

As a funder, we are keen to learn about the outcomes and impact that your grant funding has facilitated. Reporting also offers an opportunity for you as an organisation to reflect on the period of the grant and evaluate your successes and learning for the future.

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