Frequently Asked Questions

Have you got a question?

Applying for support can be a daunting task and we are often asked similar questions.  We have tried to provide a selection of these below to assist you in your dealings with us.  If your question is not covered below, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01642 260860 and speak to one of our team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for a Grant

Who is eligible to apply for funding to Tees Valley Community Foundation?

You must be a local community or voluntary organisation operating in and benefiting the communities of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland or Stockton-on-Tees. You do not have to be a registered charity, but your organisation must be for the benefit of the community.  Applications will be considered from Community Interest Companies but only if three or more Directors are involved.

Can we apply for a grant if we are a new group?

We are keen to support new groups. However, you will need to be constituted and have a bank account for your group. 

How much money can we apply for and how many times can we apply?

The Foundation manages a number of different grant programmes and the amounts available / frequency of applications varies according to each programme, as stated in our Summary of Grants Programme Lists. Please visit the 'apply for a grant' section for full details of our funds.

Do we need to have a set of rules to apply?

Yes. Your governing document (which can be a set of rules, Constitution or Memorandum and Articles of Association) shows us that you are a formally established group and that you were set up for the benefit of the community.  A sample of a model constitution can be found in our resources section.

What do you fund?

Each fund that Tees Valley Foundation manages has its own criteria and full details can be found in the 'Apply for a Grant' section of this site. 

How do I apply?

Visit the section 'apply for a grant' and complete an application form.  Please make sure you complete every question and also read the guidance notes for the fund you are applying to.

What are common mistakes?

There are several common mistakes that can be made when sending us a grant application form, we have listed these below:
  • Ineligible request - the project your are seeking funding for is ineligible for support, please ensure you read our guidelines fully before completing an application.
  • Incomplete supporting documents - please ensure that you send us all of the supporting documents required for the fund you are applying to, make sure these are signed.
  • Inconsistent Group name: Please ensure that the group name stated on the Application Form is the same name that is stated on all your supporting documents and is the name of your Bank Account.
  • Inadequate cheque signatories - please ensure that you have at least two unrelated signatories on your bank account.

Who makes the decisions?

A detailed report on all projects is produced by one of the Foundation’s assessors and is circulated to members of an independent Advisory Panel (made up of a cross section of the local community, voluntary and public sector) who meet to consider the requests and reach decisions. The panel includes representation from the Foundation and may also include representative(s) from the donor.

How long will it take before we hear a decision?

We aim to assess all applications as quickly as possible and have introduced tiered grant giving, applications under £1,000 will be assessed monthly, those up to £500 every six weeks and those up to £5,000 within three months.  Once a decision has been made, we will send a letter to the address you supply on the application form.

What can I do if I disagree with a decision?

If you disagree with a grant decision (i.e. there is a perceived inaccuracy of assessment or failure to take account of all information), an appeal can be made in writing to the Chief Executive who will reconsider the application, taking any further information or remarks into consideration.

The appeal must include supporting evidence and cannot be made because the decision is not favourable.

Why does my application need to be submitted to the Foundation several weeks before decisions are made?

In order for us to present the best case to the decision making panel we need to prepare a written assessment, this includes a check of your eligibility, who you are and how you will spend the money and evidence that this cannot be funding in another way.  In order to do this we will usually ring the named contact on the applicaiton form and complete a full assessment of your application.  Incomplete applications cannot be presented to a decision making panel so PLEASE ensure ALL relevant sections of your application are complete and that ALL supporting documents have been enclosed.

General Enquiries

Do I need an appointment to call in?

Yes, if you require the time of one of our team then please do make an appointment as this allows us to dedicate time accordingly.  However, if you are simply dropping in an application and don't require anyone to look through this just drop by during our office hours.

What are your opening hours?

The Foundation is open from 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Thursday.  All information about our giving can be found on our website or alternatively you can email

Donating Money

I would like to make a donation to the Foundation. Can I have any input into how the money is spent?

Yes.  We offer a bespoke service to all our donors and this will depend on the size and nature of the fund. 

If you create a named endowment or revenue fund you can have as little or as much input into the management of your fund as you like.  You can also have input into the awards made out of your fund under our "donor advised" model.  Alternatively you can leave all the work to us and we will report to you once every six months on the progress of your fund.  We will be pleased to discuss and tailor the management of your fund with you on a face to face basis.

If you donate a smaller amount to us you can specify how you wuld like the donation spent and we will allocate the funding into one of our general funds that meets the crilteria you have specified.

If I donate to the Foundation what publicity opportunities are there?

If you establish a named endowment fund with the Foundation or if you donate revenue funds of over £20,000 we will include you on our list of donors under "Who's involved" showing your logo and a brief description about your company, your fund and its objectives.  We will also include a link to your website should you wish.  Donations will be acknowledged in our news feed when received and this will automatically update our social networking sites.  Please let us know if you do not want this to happen.

Smaller capital/revenue donations will be acknowledged in our news feed when received and this will automatically update our social networking sites.  Please let us know if you do not want this to happen.

Will I get feedback on my investment and the grants awarded out of my fund?

Yes.  If you have a capital endowment fund you will receive statements every 6 months showing the value of your investment, the return made over the period and the grants awarded out of your fund.  We are available to discuss the running of your fund at any time.