Department of Rural and Community Development
Community Support Fund 2022 - Current Funding (Operating & Running Costs)
Community Enhancement Programme
Please read the following guidelines carefully before completing the application form.
The Community Support Fund (CSF) provides funding to support community groups across Ireland.
The CSF is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development (the Department) and administered by the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in each Local Authority area.
The Department provides funding to each Local Authority (LA) area and the LCDCs then administer this funding locally to ensure funding is targeted appropriately towards addressing disadvantage in the areas that need it most.
It is important to note that other agencies and departments also invest in disadvantaged areas1. The CSF will operate in a complementary manner to add value to other front-line schemes and programmes being operated in communities.
Please note If you have previously applied on behalf of an incorporated organisation (Company Limited by Guarantee or Co-operative) and/or a registered charity to Pobal under the Community and Voluntary Energy Support Scheme (CVESS) or any other scheme in respect of any energy costs for the applicable period that you are confirming on agreeing the declaration (Q44) that no support received under this or any other scheme will be used towards the same energy costs as claimed previously.
The Community Support Fund 2022 - Current Funding (Operating & Running Costs) will support groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas
With their non-pay running costs such as energy costs (electricity costs, refuse charges, heating charges) or other non-pay operating costs for e.g. rental/lease costs, insurance bills.
This funding will help communities, community groups and committees, allowing them to continue to provide valuable services to the people in their area, and in the process strengthen the bonds that tie communities together.
The Department has recommended that LCDCs ring-fence 30% funding to provide small grants of €1,000 or less. Ring-fencing funding at this level will allow a larger volume of those with limited resources to receive some funding, however applications will be accepted up to €3,500.
Applications can be made by Submit.com online by 5pm Friday 10th February 2023. Please ensure required documentation (receipts of operating & running costs) are submitted with your application.
2. Who is eligible to apply?
Any not-for-profit community or voluntary group can apply.
Commercial organisations and individuals are not eligible for funding.
3. What projects are eligible for funding?
3a. What costs are eligible for funding?
The following provides a non-exhaustive list of projects that could receive funding under the programme:
- Energy costs (electricity costs, refuse charges, heating charges)
- Operating costs (e.g. existing rental/lease costs, insurance bills)
- Website Maintenance
- Audit & Accountancy fees
To ensure appropriate monitoring and governance, the Department is stating that energy/operating/running costs incurred in the period 1st April 2022 – 31st March 2023 are eligible.
3b. What is not eligible for funding?
The following expenditure is not eligible for funding:
- Any project not in keeping with the ethos of the Programme
- Employment costs
- Legal fees
- Project management fees
- Purchase of lands or buildings
- Feasibility studies
- Private or commercial operations
- Costs which are being paid for by another funder or department
4. Requirements of the Programme
The following conditions apply to all projects. Depending on the nature of your project (and the group applying), there may be further requirements that must be met. The LCDC/LA will discuss this with you, if your application is successful.
The applicant group/organisation does not have to be registered for tax purposes.
Any applicant group/organisation that is registered for tax purposes must be tax compliant. In line with revised tax clearance procedures, which came into effect in January 2016, the Tax Clearance Access Number and Tax Reference number must be submitted for verification purposes.
Insurance - Written evidence of a valid insurance policy may be requested by the LCDC, where relevant, during the applications review process.
Acknowledgment of funding - Due to the value of some of these grants, it would not be cost-effective to require signage acknowledging the Department, Local Authority or LCDC. Other suitable acknowledgements will suffice e.g. on a group/organisation’s website or social media platforms. Where signage is developed it should acknowledge the contribution of the Department.
5. Selection Criteria
Applications will be evaluated by the LCDC to ensure eligibility and that they are targeted at addressing disadvantage as identified in its LECP. Projects must be in keeping with the ethos of the programme, which is to provide funding to communities across Ireland to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas.
Applications may also be judged having regard to how they:
- Support local groups and clubs, which serve their communities
- Invest to increase or extend the use of the facility, for example, to voluntary and community groups
- Reduce the annual running cost of a facility
Applications may also be judged having regard to additional criteria deemed appropriate by the LCDC which demonstrate the added value of the project or element of a project in suitably addressing the programme's aims in each Local Authority administrative area.
6. Corporate Governance
Grantees will be required to comply with the highest standard of transparency and accountability as documented in Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circular 13/2014 - Management of and Accountability for Grants from Exchequer Funds http://circulars.gov.ie/pdf/circular/per/2014/13.pdf
The overall principle is that there should be transparency and accountability in the management of public funds, in line with economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The circular outlines, for example, that grant recipients should not dispose of publicly funded assets without prior approval.
6b. The Code of Governance for Community and Voluntary organisations
The Department is encouraging funded bodies to adopt the Governance Code, a Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations, which will assist in achieving excellence in all areas of your work. The Governance Code asks organisations to agree to operate to key principles in order to run their organisation more effectively in areas such as leadership, transparency and accountability and behaving with integrity. Further information on the Code is available at www.governancecode.ie
7. Approval Procedures
All applications for funding under this programme received by each LCDC will be reviewed and assessed to ensure consistency with the relevant Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP).
In deciding the final allocations of funding to projects, the LCDC may take account of a number of factors including geographical balance and the desirability to fund a variety of different projects and the relative disadvantage of the area where the facility is located (or will serve).
Following the decision each approved project, subject to the completion of legal formalities and other requirements, will receive an offer in principle of grant-aid. This will be subject to compliance with the relevant conditions and subject to the satisfactory acceptance by the applicant of that offer.
The right is reserved to reassign the funds offered to another approved project if all requirements are not met within a reasonable period.
The Department and/or the Local Authority reserve the right to carry out an audit of expenditure or conduct inspections from time to time.
Requests for assistance usually exceed the funds available and it is important therefore that the process of evaluation is rigorous. The purpose of this process is to ensure that the best applications, taking all factors into account, emerge and receive support. It is Departmental policy to ensure that every application is treated fairly and impartially.
Offers of funding may be for a lesser amount than that sought by the applicant. Applicants should be aware that the Programme may be oversubscribed. Therefore, in such circumstances, all applications fulfilling the conditions may not be successful or may be for a lesser amount.
The LCDC in evaluating proposals received may seek advice and consult with other agencies, and may disclose information on projects under consideration to those experts and agencies.
The information provided in this document is intended to give applicants an understanding of the process by which applications for funding are assessed and approved and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.
Freedom of Information Act 2014
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2014, details contained in applications and supporting documents may, on request, be released to third parties. If there is information contained in your application which is sensitive or confidential in nature, please identify it and provide an explanation as to why it should not be disclosed. If a request to release sensitive information under the legislation is received, you will be consulted before a decision is made whether or not to release the information. However, in the absence of the identification of particular information as sensitive, it could be disclosed without any consultation with you.
The Department, Local Authority or LCDC may carry out unannounced site visits to verify compliance with Programme terms and conditions.
Further information may be requested
The LCDC reserves the right to request further information from you in order to assess your application if so required.
Usage of information
The information provided on the form will be utilised for the purposes of evaluating and administering the grant process, and to facilities audits and any site visits. When evaluating the applications received the LCDC may seek advice and consult with other agencies, and may disclose information on projects under consideration to those experts and agencies.
9. How to Apply
The application form is detailed and is designed to ensure that it has the necessary information to evaluate each proposal accurately and fairly. Please ensure that you complete this application form in full and that any documentation in support of your application is submitted with your application.
Only applications that meet the criteria outlined above will be considered eligible.
PLEASE NOTE THAT INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS OR LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
Submission of false or misleading information at any stage is treated very seriously. Any organisation that does not comply with the terms and conditions of the Programme may be subject to inspection, have their grant withdrawn, be required to repay all or part of a grant and/or be barred from making applications for a period of time. All serious breaches of the terms and conditions of the Programme will be notified to An Garda Síochána.
For any queries please email: LCDC@fingal.ie