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Funding opportunities

Jargon buster

The language used when discussing sources of funding and factors which must be considered when applying is not always self explanatory. Below are straightforward definitions of terms which you will come across when seeking for the right funding for your project.


If you feel that something is missing from this list, or would like us to answer a specific question, please contact us.


The financial plan for your project. Funders will usually want to know exactly how you plan to spend the money that you are bidding for. They may also be interested in seeing the accounts of your organisation to check that its financially stable and well run.

Capacity Building 

Developing skills and knowledge that enable a community to take action in areas that concern them. Providing support that enables community groups to become independent and achieve their goals.


Funding which is spent on buildings, equipment or other property. It is important to understand the difference between capital and revenue funding, as some funders can only provide capital funding, others only revenue.

Charitable Aims 

If an organisation is not registered as a charity, but still does charitable work, it can be said to have 'charitable aims'

Charitable Status 

An organisation that is registered with the Charities Commission has charitable status

Community Empowerment 

Helping communities to gain the confidence and skills to enable them to influence decisions that affect the places they live and the services that they use.

Community Groups 

Groups made up of members of the local community, for example Residents Associations.

Community Interest Company

A new type of company introduced in 2005 designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good.


An agreement which sets out how public bodies (such as the council), charities and community groups should behave when working in partnership with one another.

Company Limited by Guarantee

An incorporated firm without share capital, in which the liability of its members is limited by the amount each one of them undertakes to contribute at the time the firm is wound up, usually £1. 


Where two or more organisations have joined together under a formal agreement that effectively binds them into a single organisation (a single legal entity).


A document that sets out the aims and objectives of a community organisation, and how it will be run. Many funders will only consider making grants to an organisation that has one in place. If you would like advice on setting up a constitution, Voluntary Action Coventry can help.

Co-operative Society

A commercial enterprise owned and managed by, and for the benefit of, customers or workers.

Core Costs

Your organisation's overheads. These may include: rent, rates, utilities, insurance premiums and costs associated with staff who work for the whole organisation.

Employer's Liability

An employer has duties towards their employers. If they fail to meet any of these duties, the employee may claim compensation. The term is usually used for a type of insurance employers must have to make sure that employees can claim compensation if this applies.

Exit Strategy 

What you plan to do when the funding that you are applying for runs out. Often funders will want their money to kick-start a project that will then be able to maintain itself after initial funding has been spent.

Expression of Interest 

An initial application for funding. If you are applying for a large amount of money, the application may be in several stages. The first stage is often a very brief statement of your intention to apply and what you will do with the money, known as an 'expression of interest'.

External Funding 

Funding which is obtained from a source outside your organisation, for example Lottery Funding, or a grant from a charitable trust.

Friendly Society

A mutual organisation, composed of a body of people who join together for a common financial or social purpose.

Full Cost Recovery 

Recovering or funding the full costs of a project or service. For example the full cost would include costs directly related to the project (such as staff and equipment) but would have other support costs such as finance, human resources, management and IT systems.


An organisation to which you can apply for funding. For example, the BIG Lottery Fund or the Heart of England Community Foundation.

Funding Agreement

A written agreement, signed by representatives of both the funder and the organisation, including payments, how disputes will be resolved, the services to be delivered and how their success will be measured.

Funding Bid

An application for a grant.

Funding Streams 

Different sources of funding which are available. 

Governance Documents

Documents that state how an organisation manages itself, for example a constitution.


Making funding available with certain conditions and criteria.

Helper Agencies 

Organisations who can help you with your funding applications, or provide advice on where to apply. For example, the Community Development Service could be considered to be a helper agency.


What is measured to gauge the performance of an organisation.

Local Authority 

Coventry City Council is the local authority for Coventry.

Lottery Funding 

Funding made available to good causes raised by ticket sales from the National Lottery.

Match Funding 

Funding which is used to 'match' another source of money. Some funders will not fund a project entirely, and one of the criteria will be that you find match funding from elsewhere. Other funders prefer to fund entire projects and will not allow their grants to be used as match funding.

Memorandum of Association

Rules for managing the external affairs of an organisation. Together with the articles of association, this makes up the constitution of a legally incorporated organisation.


Measuring whether an organisation is providing the services agreed in the funding agreement.

Not-for-Profit Organisation

A business that charges for its services, but does not seek to make a profit can be described as 'not-for-profit'. Not-for-profit groups can include community interest companies, companies limited by guarantee, co-operative societies, friendly societies, social enterprises and unincorporated associations. 


An outcome is what you would like to achieve.  It is the results, changes or impact of outputs that make a difference to people's lives.


An output is what is done to achieve an outcome. For example, an outcome would be 'the improvement of community facilities' and the output would be 'the building of a new community centre'


Two or more distinct groups who work together to provide either the same service or similar services in two different areas

Private Sector 

Privately owned businesses which are run for a profit.

Professional Indemnity

Insurance taken out by organisations which give advice. The aim is to help protect them against claims for compensation for providing poor or incorrect advice


The activity for which are seeking funding. Very few funders are willing to fund an organisation's general running costs. Most are looking for to fund a specific activity that will happen over a set time, have a fixed budget, and aim to achieve goals that are clearly set out before the activity begins.

Public Liability

Insurance taken out be organisations to protect them against claims from the public for compensation after an accident, for instance, or anything else where the organisation may be held responsible. If members of the public have access to these organisations, then the organisation must have this insurance.

Public Sector 

Organisations owned and run by central or local government.

Quality Assurance Standards

Awards that indicate that your services are of the type and quality needed.

Registered Charity

An organisation registered with the Charity Commission

Retrospective Funding 

Funding for a project which has already taken place. Many funders will not consider retrospective funding.


Money which is spent on salaries, training costs, room hire or heating and lighting bills etc. It is important to know the different between revenue and capital as many funders make this distinction.

Service Specification

Description of the service that will be provided, its outcomes, outputs, target groups and location.

SMART Indicators

Indicators that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.

Social Enterprise 

Businesses set up to tackle a social or environmental issue. Social Enterprises trade goods and service, but any profit made is reinvested back into the business rather than used to benefit individuals or investors.


A statutory body is an organisation funded by the government. For example, Coventry City Council is a statutory body.


Part of the application process for many sources of funding is looking at how your project could continue after the grant funding is spent. Projects which will still be viable after initial grant funding has been used are particularly attractive to many funders. 

Target Group

The group that are the main, but not always the only, beneficiaries of your project or services.


Measurements that an organisation aims for when gauging its performance.

Third Sector 

Community groups, voluntary groups and charities make up the third sector. The public and the private sectors are the other two.


The person who is responsible for the money, bank accounts, annual accounts and other financial matters of your organisation.

Unincorporated Associations

Where a number of individuals come together for a common purpose. An organisation with no separate legal identity.


Organisations that are staffed by unpaid volunteers. 


Community Development team


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