We have reviewed how our grants work due to the continuing Covid crisis.  We will be running the grants under the current system until September 2022 when we will review the situation again.

What are the Small Grants and who can apply?

Our Small Grants are for any Knowle West resident/community group/organisation/school to complete a project that benefits the local community.

Why does the Alliance run the Small Grants programme?

The programme was designed to encourage local people to get more involved in and do something positive to benefit the community.  We want everyone to celebrate the great things that are happening in Knowle West, make links with other local people and be able to spread the word about their group/organisation and their project.

Who designed the process for the Small Grants?

The Small Grants process was designed by the Knowle West Alliance Working Group and the Alliance Community Development Worker at the beginning of 2019.  The Working Group is made up of local residents and representatives of local groups/organisations including from the 5 founding organisations (The Park, re:work, Filwood Community Centre, Knowle West Media Centre and Knowle West Health Park).

When can I apply?

You can apply at any time.  Information and the application form can be found on our website: https://knowlewestalliance.co.uk/grants/

How many times can I apply?

You can make one application in each financial year (April – March) – although different groups within an organisation may make separate applications for different projects eg. two classes within a school could apply to do separate projects.  Residents can be involved in more than one project or make more than one application in their name if they’re representing different groups/organisations.  If we receive a lot of applications and our current Small Grants pot of money has been used up, we will advertise this on our website and Facebook page.

What is the application process?

You will need to complete a simple one-page application form detailing your project and send/give it to the Knowle West Alliance Community Development Worker.  If you need help with the form or planning your project, our Community Development Worker will be happy to give you a hand.  You can apply for any amount up to the specified limits, but you must be able to complete your project with the amount of money applied for.  If your project will require more money, you can look for match funding (money from another source).

What are the criteria?

In order to meet the criteria, the application must be from someone who is based in Knowle West and for a project that benefits the Knowle West community.  It must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Making a safer place
  • Making a friendlier place
  • Making a greener place
  • Making a cleaner place
  • Making an active place

Depending on how our grant pots are funded, there may be other criteria. Check the Grant Information Sheet for more information.

Who decides if my application goes through and what happens next?

At a regular meeting, our Grants Panel made up of local residents and workers will look at any applications and decide if they meet the criteria.  If any member of the group feels that they have a conflict of interest with an application, they will not be involved in the decision on that application.  In some cases, we may get in touch to ask for some more information about your application.  If your project meets the criteria, you will be asked to send us a very short video about it.  When we receive this, we will send you information about how to claim your grant.  If you are match funding your project, you will need to have this funding in place before we will release the grant to you.

Why do I need to record a video about my project?

Ordinarily, Knowle West Alliance would run an event for grant applicants to share their projects.  Due to Covid, we have decided not to hold our usual grants events at the moment.  Instead, your video will be shared on our YouTube channel to show how we’re awarding our grant money; it’s also your opportunity to publicise your group/project to others in the community.  Your video doesn’t need to be professional and can be filmed on a smartphone.  If you don’t want to appear on video, another member of your group could do it instead or you can just talk about your project and film something related eg. the place where your project will take place.  We could even film it for you if you can’t do it yourself for any reason. For information and advice about how to record your video and what to include, download the guide: 

What happens when I’ve been awarded my grant?

You will be expected to start your project within three months. If there is a deadline for completing your project (due to funding requirements), this will be stated on our website.

Whatever your project, you will need to show that the funding came from Knowle West Alliance in any publicity or at any event (using our logo).  You will also need to keep us informed about how your project is going and make sure that there is evidence to show that it has happened.  This may be shared on our social media/website with your permission.  If you’re holding an event, someone from Knowle West Alliance may come along if appropriate.  After you’ve completed your project, someone from the Alliance will get in touch to talk about how your project went or you can complete our simple Grant Feedback Form.

What type of projects have been done before?

There have been many different types of projects that have received funding from Knowle West Alliance.  These include: trips and equipment for community groups, a school litter-pick, tree planting, art projects, local community events, gardening projects and courses. You can watch videos about projects that have been awarded money since 2020 on the Knowle West Alliance YouTube channel.

Why have £500 grants been offered before?

The £500 grants were offered through the Filwood Fantastic project based at Filwood Community Centre, but this was a temporary grants pot for the year 2020 – 2021.  Knowle West Alliance and Filwood Community Centre decided to work together to have one application process and event for both types of grant.  Knowle West Alliance may partner with a local organisation again in the future if appropriate.

What is match funding and where can I get other funding?

Match funding means getting part of the money you need for your project from another place.  This would normally be an amount more or less equal to the amount of our grant.  You may need match funding because the KWA grant isn’t enough to complete your project, or you may have money you’ve already raised towards your project before you apply to us.

It is a common practice among grant-giving organisations and we have recently decided to offer this opportunity for applicants so that we can be more flexible.  It gives people the chance to carry out projects that might cost a bit more and look into other ways to fundraise.

Below are some other sources of funding:

  • Traditional fundraising eg. sales (like cake or garage sales), sponsored activities, collecting donations
  • Crowd funding involves using an online platform to raise money.  You create your fundraising page and then share it online.  Some popular crowdfunding platforms include: GoFundMe, JustGiving, Crowdfunder and Kickstarter, but there are lots of others.
  • Corporate responsibility is about private companies supporting charity and community work.  Many companies such as Bristol Water, Greggs, Co-op Local Community Fund, Persimmon Homes, Asda Community Foundation, Tesco, The Screwfix Foundation, Bristol Myers Squibb and Warburtons offer grants for community projects.
  • Grant giving and charitable organisations offer grants for community projects.  These include Bristol Redistro, St Monica Trust, Age UK, Wesport Together Fund, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, The John James Bristol Foundation, Bristol Impact Fund, Power to Change, Quartet Community Foundation and The National Lottery.
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 is funding awarded by the council once a year for local community infrastructure projects such as dropped kerbs, new benches, tree planting, signage etc.  There are varying amounts of money available every year in each area.  Anyone can apply, but you will need to complete a detailed application form and have the appropriate insurances and policies in place so you may want to consider applying via a local organisation.  The process from initial application to receiving funding takes about 9 months and you would need to pass two stages of selection by councillors to be successful.  For more information, go to this webpage: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/people-communities/funding-local-projects

What happens if I’m unable to complete the project within the specified time or at all?

Knowle West Alliance will be as flexible as possible. Please let us know if you have any issues with your project as soon as you can so we can look at ways to support you to complete your project.

If your project cannot to go ahead for any reason, it may be possible to change your project idea or transfer your grant to another individual/group with the agreement of the Grants Panel. However, the funding we use for our grants must be used for grassroots projects and meet the specified criteria so, if it’s not possible to carry out a suitable project or transfer your grant, it will need to be returned to Knowle West Alliance so that another project can benefit from the money. This is standard practice for any grant giving body.