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Spirit of Manchester Fund 2017 mini-grants programme

Spirit of Manchester Fund

Closed for applications

Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations are invited to bid for four £500 mini-grants that are now available. The mini-grants are intended to help improve the impact of VCSE organisations in the north of Manchester where VCSE activity is lowest in the city and to promote mutual support activity between organisations. To be eligible to apply, your mini-project must:

  • benefit north Manchester by raising VCSE activity levels in that area
  • take place at some point between the beginning of May and 1 September 2017
  • involve working with one other named VCSE organisation to deliver shared aims
  • be match-funded by volunteer hours at the rate of £8.45 per hour

Macc’s 2017 mini-grants programme is funded from £2,000 that was raised at the Spirit of Manchester awards ceremony held last October.

Spirit of Manchester Mini-Grant 2016 case study: Irish World Heritage Centre and Manchester Jewish Museum joint volunteer event.

Why partnering in north Manchester?
Macc wants the geographical focus of the mini-grants to be north Manchester. North Manchester has the lowest levels of VCSE activity when compared to central and southern areas of the city and the mini-grants are intended to help raise activity levels. This programme is most likely to support bids from applicants that are already working in north Manchester that propose to partner either with another north-based VCSE organisation or with perhaps a citywide VCSE organisation that wishes to engage more closely with local community groups in north Manchester.

If you’re interested, more information about the city’s VCSE activity-levels can be found in our State of the Sector report. Information about the sector’s strategic plans can be found in the Manchester Voluntary Sector Assembly strategy The Way Forward For the Voluntary and Community and Enterprise Sector in Manchester written by local organisations and launched in December 2015.

What do we mean by north Manchester?
For the purposes of the mini-grants programme, north Manchester comprises the following local authority wards: North Manchester map

  • Ancoats and Clayton
  • Bradford
  • Charlestown
  • Cheetham
  • City centre
  • Crumpsall
  • Harpurhey
  • Higher Blackley
  • Miles Platting and Newton Heath
  • Moston

The beneficiaries of successful mini-grant applications must be located within these wards.

Why Spirit of Manchester?
The mini-grants programme was newly created in 2016 as part of Macc’s annual Spirit of Manchester initiative. Macc is the city’s VCSE sector support organisation and over the last few years we have developed the Spirit of Manchester to highlight and celebrate all the excellent work being carried out by the sector that benefits our local communities.

The £2000 raised at last year’s Spirit of Manchester awards ceremony for the 2017 mini-grants programme is double the amount that was available in the 2016 programme.

What is a mini-project?
For the purposes of this programme, a mini-project must consist of a partnership between two VCSE organisations to deliver a new small-scale, short-term activity that meets the aims of both organisations and contributes to the development of VCSE activity levels in north Manchester.

Macc does not want to preclude any mini-project ideas that applicant organisations may have. However, we also recognise that because there is such a wide range of activities carried out by VCSE organisations in Manchester, it would help to provide at least some broad indicative examples of what could potentially be funded:

  • Purchase or hire of items of equipment, services or materials (e.g. IT equipment, tools, craft resources, cookery supplies, horticultural machines, cleaning machines, etc.)
  • Specific forms of assistance and/or emergency supplies for disadvantaged/vulnerable groups in your area of north Manchester
  • Awareness raising / promotional activities for VCSE issues and causes
  • Mentoring; peer evaluation; sharing practice; visits and placements
  • Partnership, client group or volunteer staffing development
  • Other promotional activity
  • Work planning
  • Training
  • Etc.

Mini-grants must be match-funded with an in-kind contribution of volunteer hours at the rate of £8.45 per hour.

We want to encourage the development of mini-projects that provide good-news stories and can provide a short report, video blog, case study, photograph(s), or participant feedback illustrating the impact this funding has had on your beneficiaries. If your mini-grant bid is successful we will discuss with you how best to produce your good-news story.

Timetable for mini-grant programme
Once submitted, you should receive an automated acknowledgement of your mini-grant application. If you do not receive an automated acknowledgement, this means we have not received your application and you should please contact us immediately. The deadline for Macc to receive completed bids is 4pm on 18 April. The online application form will cease to function at 4pm on that date, even if an application is only partly completed.

Successful applicants will be notified of their mini-grant award by 28 April, subject to basic due diligence checks being satisfactory (see section below). Once these checks have been completed, grant monies will be paid out no later than 5 May.

Successful applicants will then have until 1 September to deliver their projects and they will need to submit a short project report and their good-news story by 15 September. Our aim is to keep the process simple but still to follow good practice in making sure the money is well spent.

Good news stories generated by the mini-grants will be used at the Spirit of Manchester Awards in October 2017 and more widely to promote the sector’s work.

If you have any questions, please contact Oliver Cranfield, Grants Development Worker, on 0161 834 9823 or email: oliver@macc.org.uk

Due diligence
Please note that we will need to perform due diligence checks on successful applicants. This is so that we can verify your organisation exists, that you’re active in your local community and that you are financially solvent.

The following information will be requested from successful applicants which we will need to receive before we can pay out the mini-grant:

  • a copy of your organisation’s constitution/governing document
  • either your organisation’s latest annual accounts report or an up-to-date income and expenditure statement (if your application is successful we will clarify with you which of these you can provide)
  • bank statement covering the most recent three months of your organisation’s activities

Main conditions of receiving a mini-grant award

Click here to view the conditions of receiving a mini-grant award