1. Is the fund open to applicants based in all four countries of the UK?
Yes. The eligibility criterion in relation to charity registration will be met if the applicant is registered with the Charity Commission of England & Wales, the Office the Scottish Charity Regulator, or the Charity Commission Northern Ireland.
2. Can exempt charities apply to the Community Justice Fund (e.g. universities, churches etc)?
Generally, no, as they would not be deemed to be eligible organisations.
3. Can larger organisation (e.g. housing associations) that provide specialist advice services through a defined, but not independent project, apply to the Community Justice Fund?
Yes, if it can be demonstrated that they are directly engaged in the actual delivery of specialist legal advice and representation services. In those circumstances, the applicant organisation must provide its overall financial accounts and cashflow for assessment.
4. We provide both generalist and specialist legal advice, can we apply?
Yes, but the specialist legal advice should be a significant portion of your work.
5. If we deliver legal advice at OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) level 1, but will be seeking accreditation at level 3 (enabling us to represent clients at immigration appeals) would we be deemed to be eligible?
No. The fact that you will be seeking accreditation to be able to provide a specialist legal advice service in the future, would not make you eligible for funding.
6. We work in partnership with other local organisations, can we apply as a consortium?
Yes, we welcome such applications provided that one of the organisations takes on the role of lead applicant, and the other organisations also meet the eligibility criteria.
7. If we were invited to apply, are we guaranteed funding?
This is a competitive process, with applicants judged against the eligibility criteria and priorities highlighted in the guidance.
8. In the guidance, it is stated that that you anticipate making grants in the range £25,000 - £75,000, but may be able to make larger grants in certain circumstances. Under what circumstances will larger grants be available? Also, will applications for less than £25,000 be considered?
We hope to support as many organisations as possible in a meaningful way and so the range stated in the guidance is indicative. You can apply for less than £25,000 if that is what is needed. You can also apply for more if needed; we may not be able to fund the request in total now, but might be able to revisit later subject to further fundraising (see ‘application funded in part’ under ‘outcome’).
9. Do we have to meet all of the seven priorities listed in the guidance?
No, you do not have to meet all the priorities, but you are encouraged to evidence thoroughly those you meet. All eligible applications are assessed against the priorities and resources allocated accordingly.
10. What do you mean by the phrase ‘flexible grants’? Does this mean we can consider them to be unrestricted?
The grant should be used in ways organisations feel will best meet their needs, with two requirements: the grant should help fulfil the aims of the fund and the grant must be used by 31 March 2021. Within this, the funds could be used for a range of costs including one-off purchases, salaries, sessional worker’s fees, the costs of local or temporary staff, promotion of partnership approaches or a general contribution of funding to help your cashflow.
11. Do you consider funding expenditure retrospectively (paying for items that we have already spent money on)?
Yes. You can apply to meet costs arising from the COVID-19 crisis which includes expenditure incurred since 23 March 2020.
12. We do not have a cashflow. Can we apply regardless?
We require all applicants to provide a cashflow for the coming 12 months. The cashflow must include the following: income and expenditure broken down by month or quarter, an opening balance, and a note on the organisation’s reserve policy. You are welcome to use our template. If you need more help, please contact us at email@example.com and we can refer you to a financial colleague. Applications without a cashflow will not be progressed until all the supporting documentation is received.
13. When it the deadline for applications?
We are operating on a rolling weekly basis as applications come in, with no fixed deadline. We encourage applicants to apply early in the week if they wish to be considered in the following week.
14. If the organisational need outstrips the funding awarded, can an organisation apply again in wave one?
We do not currently envisage accepting more than one application per wave. So applicants should consider their funding requirements during the period to the end of March 2021 and make a single application in wave one.
15. Can we apply in each of the two waves?
Organisations can only apply once to wave one but we will be aiming to keep in close touch with grantees both through our own programme staff and through umbrella bodies, (where organisations are a member of one), so we will be actively gathering information about new needs and new opportunities organisations may have.
16. If I cannot complete my application online, will you accept an email or postal submission of the completed MS word version of the form (which you have placed on the website) and the required supporting documents (cashflow, bank statement, annual accounts)?
No. Only online submissions will be accepted. The word version of the application form is only provided as a tool for you to save your answers before you complete and submit the online form on the website.
17. I could not download a copy of my application after sending it. Can you send me a copy?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your organisation.
18. When will we hear back on our application?
We aim to provide feedback within 10 working days for complete applications, regardless of the outcome. However, if we have been in touch sooner with any questions, this will inevitably delay the process.
19. Will the CJF provide feedback for unsuccessful applications? For example, will they be told which criteria they failed to meet?
Applicants which demonstrate a closer fit with the prioritisation criteria will be offered funding in preference. In these circumstances, unsuccessful applicants will only be advised that with the pressure on resources, other applications were assessed as better addressing the priorities of the fund. Due to limited resources, we are unable to provide specific, individual feedback.
20. We were notified that our application was funded in part, with the remainder placed in reserve. What do we need to do now?
If we cannot fund an application in full we will keep a note and be in touch if further funds become available. We are not able to put a timescale on this now because it will depend on future fundraising.
21. We were told we were placed on a reserve list, what does this mean, and can we update our application to increase our future chances of funding?
‘Reserve’ applicants will be reviewed again, approximately two-four weeks later. We will be in touch in due course with a pre-determined set of questions for you to answer. No other modifications of the application are expected.
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