Grant Making Policy

Alton Lions Club (CIO)
Registered Charity No: 1174502
Grant Making

1 Policies

It is the Club’s policy to apply funds in accordance with the terms of the Club’s Charitable Objects as defined in the Club’s CIO Constitution and to make grants to causes where the Club believes that its contribution will make a difference.  The Club will only make grants in furtherance of its charitable objects and will apply at least 95% of the funds per annum to local charitable needs with the remaining funds for national or international aid as the needs arise, except in specific cases of disaster appeals where the funds raised must go (through Lions Clubs International Foundation) to the detailed cause. (It is preferable that request for funds for national or international causes come from LCIF, MD105, or SC105 and that funds raised are returned through the appropriate LCIF, MD105, or SC105 accounts.)   

The club will not provide ‘cash’ directly to individuals but will pay the suppliers of goods and services invoices or through the bank accounts of third parties such as Citizens Advice, schools, agencies, local authorities, and charities. 

The Club would not normally support applications from large national charities (unless it is from and for the local branch use) or charities dedicated to issues deemed by the Club to be already well funded. 

The Club is prepared to work with other local charitable organisations to fund initiatives beyond the financial scope of a single local organisation.

The club receives requests for funds from many local organisations each year (schools, local charities, local authority departments etc) and it is the policy of the club that unless there are exceptional circumstances only those appeals made in advance of expenditure are to be considered.  

The Club will consider each application for support, whether from previous recipients of grants or from previously unsuccessful applicants, on its own merits and whilst the Club will have regard to the outcome of previous grants, any new application will not receive preferential or adverse consideration.

Funds raised for specific causes that are clearly stated in the event documentation (e.g., Treloar’s, Bushy Leaze, Cardiac Rehab, LCIF etc.) are classified as ‘restricted’ funds and must be donated to the cause for which it was raised.  It is usual for the club to ‘round up’ the donation to the nearest £10 if other ‘unrestricted’ funds are available, however, on occasion the club may wish to ‘round up’ the donation by a greater amount. This must be approved by the trustees, proposed, and seconded at a full club meeting and agreed by a quorum of members giving due regard to the availability of ‘unrestricted’ funds.  

When, the Club approves a grant, in some instances and for a variety of reasons the obligation is not taken up immediately by the intended recipient. It is the Club’s policy that the Service Committee (SC) regularly review outstanding obligations and if such obligations are not taken up by the intended recipient within twelve months of the date the obligation is made then the  SC may terminate the obligation without prejudice to future requests by the intended recipient.

It is The Club’s policy  to monitor at their discretion, all grants made.  Where the grant is for an extended period, project progress should be reported by the grant recipient on a regular basis.  

2 Definitions

Grant: A grant is a sum paid to an applicant and would usually be between £50 (Fifty pounds) and £2000 (Two thousand).

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF): Established in 1968 to support the efforts of Lions clubs and partners in serving communities locally and globally, giving hope and impacting lives through humanitarian service projects and grants. In particular,the Foundation addresses issues, on a worldwide basis, associated with sight, youth, disaster relief and humanitarian needs. LCIF does not provide funds into war zones.

International Aid: These are grants that may be made to charities that work internationally such as Water Aid & Dent Aid. (However, the preference is that overseas aid is directed through LCIF) 

Disaster Appeal: This is where the club responds rapidly to a natural disaster (flood, tsunami, earthquake, refugees etc) and initiates a collection from the public and the resulting funds are transferred to LCIF for use in Lions global causes.  

Specific Cause: An appeal usually in response to a request from LCIF to a natural disaster (e.g., flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption etc.). 

Local charities: Such as youth groups, groups working for the elderly, disabled, disadvantaged, residential and nursing homes, individual appeals etc.

Youth and children’s organisations:  Such as sport related groups or individuals, scouting and guiding, and other similar organisations, youth club activities, young people undertaking overseas assignments that offer benefit to others.

Community facilities: Such as, village hall projects, community group initiatives.

3. Implementation

The Club has an established Services Committee (SC), which meets once per month, and is responsible for the fair distribution of Alton Lions Club charitable aid and services to the local community and where appropriate Lions national and international programmes. Applications for support will be assessed at the monthly SC meeting, however if the need is more immediate, then electronic means of communication (e.g., email, zoom etc.) may be used by the SC Chairman. The SC may co-opt members temporarily to assist in grant assessment where deeper understanding of the need is necessary. Approved grant requests of more than £300 (including vat) must be authorised by the Board of Trustees and approved at a club meeting. 

The Chairman of SC will be a trustee of the club and will produce and maintain minutes of meetings and a list of requests and the resulting actions and decisions and provide copies to the trustees. 

Applications for grants should be made to The Secretary, Alton Lions Club, 4 Bennet Close, GU34 2EL, who will forward a copy to the Chairman of the SC. 

Should the initial application be forwarded through a club member, other than the secretary, the Chairman of the SC will forward a copy to the Secretary for the club records.

Applications for grants should include appropriate details from the following listing and reflect the level of the grant requested:

– The purpose of the application, details of the project, the way in which the grant will be used and how it will be managed effectively for its intended purpose.

– Provide adequate information regarding the identity and financial status of the applicant and/or of the status of the person(s) who will carry out the project/work.

– Demonstrate that the recipient (whether an organisation or an individual) has been and will be adequately insured both in relation to any equipment and facilities purchased by the grant in relation to any risk of injury by reason of the project or purpose for which the grant is awarded.

– All equipment purchased with the grant is owned by and remains the property of the grant recipient (whether an organisation or an individual).

– On receipt of the grant, either by cheque or through bank transfer, a written acknowledgement of the receipt is to be issued to the Alton Lions Club Secretary.

– To comply with the Data Protection, Act 1998, applicants are required to consent to the use of personal data supplied by them in the processing and review of their application.  This includes transfer to and use by such individuals and organisations, as the Club deem appropriate.  

– The Club requires the assurance of the applicant that personal data about any other individual is supplied to the Club with his/her consent.  At the point of applying, applicants are asked to confirm this consent and assurance.

The SC will consider applications for grants from local charities, communities, organisations, authorities and agencies and from individuals in need and will generally give priority to those within the Club’s operating area.

The assessment process will include an initial assessment to ensure that the application meets the Club’s charitable objects.  

A written response detailing the outcome of the application for funding will be provided to all applicants.

The Club will not be obliged to provide an explanation to the applicant should the application be unsuccessful, however the importance of feedback is recognised and where appropriate suitable comment will be provided to the applicant.

Applicants should note that the Club receives many applications and that even if a project satisfies the charitable objects of the Club and a detailed assessment has been made, the Club may be unable to provide the grant.

The SC is authorised to ‘commit’ up to £300 (including vat) to any individual appeal without prior notification to the Club, but must notify the Club at the next Trustee and Business meetings. All appeals in excess of £300 and recommended by the SC shall be notified to the club prior at the next Business meeting for consideration and proposed to the business meeting.

Successful applicants will be expected to send a letter of thanks and where possible provide feedback detailing progress and a final statement of how the grant monies have been invested. This may be in writing, or the recipient could take the opportunity to visit the Club to deliver a personal report or where appropriate allow Club representatives to visit the applicant to view the progress/success of the project.

The Club will seek applicant’s approval to the use of their information and project details for publicity purposes, including on-line, in print and otherwise.

The Chairman of the SCwill provide a verbal report to the Board of Trustees and at the Club night.

The Chairman of the SC will ensure that risk assessments are carried out in accordance with Section 3.5 of the Club Operating Manual for each of the community service projects every year. A file copy of each risk assessment is to be provided to the Club Secretary.

The Chairman of theSC will maintain records indicating club donations to local, national and international charities and activities.

4 Responsibilities

The SC Chairman is responsible for calling and chairing meetings of the SC, ensuring the assessing team adheres to the policies and procedures detailed in this document, producing minutes, keeping records, and delivering reports. 

The SC team (under the direction of the SC Chairman) is responsible for assessing applications in accordance with the policies and procedures detailed here.

The Club Secretary is responsible for receiving applications and for forwarding them to the SC and keeping records of the minutes and transactions.

The Club Treasurer is responsible for keeping financial records and for processing grant monies to applicants and providing the SC with appropriate financial information. 

The Club President is responsible for ensuring that the SC complies with the policies detailed in Section 1 of this document and for including the SC matters in the Club and Trustee meetings agendas.