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Our council gives grants to community groups, sports groups etc as I'm sure most do.  I am aware that we cannot give grants to churches or pay the wages of anyone other than Council employees but are there any other restrictions? We are updating our policy and would like to ensure it's correct.

Secondly, we have just received a grant application and it does not sit well with me.  We have a community group called The Grub Club.  They meet  once a month for lunch,  so basically a social/networking meeting. They have decided to do a fundraiser in aid of the local food bank, which is of course very commendable. They have found a caterer who is doing the lunches at cost but they are selling the lunches at that price.  They have sent in a grant application for the cost of the lunches.  So basically the money raised will be what they get from their raffle.  To me, if someone is doing a fundraiser they should take their expenses from the money raised and donate what's left.  This group is asking our residents to fund a nice lunch for the people going, who will then say 'look what we raised for charity'. Is there any advice about supporting someone else's fundraiser? To be fair to my council I don't think this application will be supported, but I would like to put something in place to stop such applications if possible.
by (2.8k points)

1 Answer

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If you're relying on Section 137 as your power to award grants, the grants should "bring direct benefit to their area or any part of it or all or some of its inhabitants..." If the council considers the food bank to be worthy of financial support, it could make a donation rather than support the fundraiser. Some funders, including the National Lottery, state that they will not fund fundraising activities, as the grant must deliver a demonstrable benefit to an identified target group.

A council that has the GPoC may still include the concept and wording of S137 in its grant-making policy, even though 137 does not apply.

I note your comment about not paying the wages of anyone other than Council employees. There is no legislative restriction on this, as an unrestricted grant to a large charity may be used to contribute to the salaries of its staff.
by (54.1k points)
Thank you DavetheClerk. Very helpful and echos my thought that if we want to help the food bank we can simply give them a cheque,
Your comment about paying wages is interesting.  I was told by the previous Clerk that we could not pay wages. Didn't involve a charity donation though. The local Chamber of Trade & Tourism wanted to employ someone to help members with grant applications and wanted the Council to pay their wages via a grant.
I'm not aware of a specific prohibition, although somebody else may be able to point me towards one. There is, of course, an inherent risk in any longer-term arrangement such as your example and there are other publically-funded agencies providing grant application support, so this would have been an unnecessary duplication. Local councils have a specific power to encourage tourism, but funding support to seek funding, which might not be successful, is probably not the best way to demonstrate value for money!

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