Eligibility – what we do and do not fund

The aim of the Community Foundation for Surrey is to award grants to community and voluntary groups that make a genuine difference to the lives of people in Surrey.

To be eligible you need; 

  • A management committee (the people who are responsible and make decisions – Trustees or Directors) of a minimum of three unrelated people
  • A signed constitution (or set of rules)
  • A bank account in the name of your group which requires two signatories / dual authorisation.
  • A Financial Policy (a document which lays out how you manage money and payments)
  • A Safeguarding Policy – we recommend that all organisations should have a safeguarding policy and if you work with children, young people, or vulnerable adults you must have a Safeguarding Policy
  • For Social Enterprise such as CIC in addition to meeting our general eligibility criteria you will need to demonstrate that;
    • you have a minimum of three Directors the majority of whom are not paid employees
    • there are no Persons with Significant Control
    • that the salaries and benefits of any paid Directors are approved by a majority of non-executive Directors and are reasonable and proportionate to the work they do and the financial position of the organisation.

Please see our Help with your Application document for further information.

Types of organisations we support;

  • Registered charities
  • CIO – Charitable Incorporated Organisations
  • Charitable Trusts – other than educational establishments
  • Voluntary and community groups
  • Faith groups, where the project clearly benefits the wider community and is open to people of all faiths or none
  • Educational establishments for exceptional projects that fall outside statutory support and benefit school communities facing particular disadvantage
  • Organisations with a potential national reach, and who reflect local benefit and our priorities (listed further down this page)
  • Community Benefit Societies with charitable status
  • CASC (Community Amateur Sports Club)
  • Not for profit organisations such as CICs with a clear social purpose, for their charitable activities
  • Newly established organisations in any of the above categories
  • Small and newly formed groups which are not constituted or cannot meet the eligibility criteria may apply under the umbrella of another group which will act as a fund holder for the grant. Grant holders could be CVS or other infrastructure groups, charities, churches or parish councils For more information see our Help to Apply page.

Types of organisations we do not support;

  • For profit businesses
  • Faith groups where the project is exclusively for the benefit of members or for proselytising
  • CICs limited by Shares
  • County or Borough Councils
  • Other public/statutory organisations
  • Housing Associations which are not registered charities
  • General Practice surgeries or other NHS entities including hospital trusts
  • Animal welfare charities (we can consider charities utilising animals for therapeutic support for people)
  • Individuals – other than through specific programmes. See Guidance for individuals further down the page. 

What we fund;

  • Charitable activities and projects
  • Core costs / essential running costs
  • New projects
  • Pilot projects
  • Existing projects
  • Repeat/continuation funding for projects
  • Staff costs
  • We encourage full cost recovery to cover the overheads which relate to projects
  • Small capital costs (typically items under £10,000 such as specialist equipment, tools and materials, IT kit etc.)
  • If applying on behalf of a Food Bank, Baby Bank or other similar organisation, please note that we would prefer to fund projects designed to improve the long-term sustainability of the organisation rather than simply funding donations (i.e. food or other supplies). Projects of this nature might include purchase and fitting of new shelving or storage, or staff costs such as a volunteer coordinator or volunteer training.
  • Emergency funding requests for organisations which have been previously funded by the foundation which can demonstrate a solid plan towards sustainability.

What we do not fund;

  • Projects without a specific benefit to Surrey residents
  • Projects which have already taken place or items purchased prior to or during a grant application
  • General appeals and fundraising events
  • Costs for social business (e.g. CICs) which are not directly linked to charitable activity
  • Requests to build reserves
  • Commercial sponsorship
  • Building projects including renovation and repair
  • Camping equipment
  • Delivery of services which are statutory obligations
  • Political activities
  • Events – unless the lasting difference the event will make to participants can be demonstrated
  • Residential trips unless they form part of a clear programme which involves interventions before and after the trip to embed impact.
  • Emergency requests from organisations not previously known to the Foundation.

Our priorities

  • Projects which particularly support Communities in Surrey facing disadvantage
  • Local and small grassroots organisations (income under £100,000) serving the Surrey community
  • Medium sized local Surrey-based organisations which typically lack the capacity to attract support from national funders (turnover to £1M)
  • Larger local organisations are encouraged to apply where they are providing particular capability or services for the community in Surrey
  • We particularly welcome applications from organisations which can demonstrate that lived experience of their potential beneficiaries is reflected in the management and/or governance of the organisation or in the development of the planned service delivery
  • We particularly welcome applications from under-represented groups in our community


  • The Community Foundation for Surrey supports the 11 Boroughs/Districts which are covered Surrey County Council.
    The London Boroughs such as Croydon, Sutton, and Kingston, which may have historical references to Surrey are no longer part of Surrey. If you are unsure, clarity can be found via the Surrey County Council interactive map.
  • Organisations which hold a high level of free reserves (typically more than one year running costs) are generally not funded however, we review requests on a case by case basis.
  • Where there are possible external requirements, such as planning permission, please ensure that you have checked what is required needed prior to submitting the application and if planning
    permission is needed, that you have commenced the process of obtaining permission.
  • We encourage full cost recovery to cover the overheads which relate to projects.