CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Grant funding agencies and trusts view of CICs

Dear all, I would be interested in hearing your experiences when approaching trust for support and funding. We had recently spoken to a representative from the Sainsbury's Trust and were clearly advised that although they were very impressed with what we do, they would not be able to support us in any way as we were not a charity.

Is it not possible for some CICs, if not all to have a recognised status under the Charities Foundation in order to be able to approach trusts for grants and be an accepted form of not for profit organisation.

We have the same problem with the Bank in that they will give us a no fee community account, but will not allow any kind of overdraft. This was the case with HSBC and despite being given evidence of a grant from central government, they would not allow any kind of overdraft in order for us to meet our cash flow requirements.

There are many trust and charities who do not know what a CIC is!

May be the CIC Association can help with clearing the fog?

Look forward to hearing from you.

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Comment by John Mulkerrin on February 25, 2013 at 22:27

Hi Simon

I was just discussing this subject with another member earlier today. Mostly, foundations etc say they will fund charitable Activity (which covers lots of CICs) but some do say they only fund Charities. Many also have different rules for different funds.

Foundations can choose to fund only Charities or organisations who do 'charitable activity'....or indeed only a type of charity or charitable activity, I have to say that overall the situation is improving daily but it'll never be a blanket situation.

Re the bank, do they offer any other community groups a no-fee account with an overdraft? CIC doesnt really make a difference, all finance agreed is underwritten on financial information only.

Have you considered Co-operative or Unity Trust? 

As for clearing the fog, its a journey rather a destination and I will be happy to engage as usual.

One thing though, taken from the  The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts website: 

'The trusts only fund registered charities or activities with clearly defined charitable purposes.' This suggests they consider non charity applications, there are 18 funds and they have different criteria but there may be perfectly acceptable reasons why the restrict their grants on some funds.

Dont know if your application was to one of their funds that only supports Charity, what would be wrong is if they consider it as a CIC and then decline because of that reason.

I have to say I have also come across situations where it has been said that is the reason but just because it is an easy get out, but im not suggesting that is the case here as I dont have the details.

That probably isnt as helpful as you would like Simon




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