Participants at the Farm Ability project watching eggs come out of a sorter
OCF general application

Using our OCF general application form, you are accessing grants from a large number of private funders. We now have two options: a shorter, simpler form for small grants, and a more comprehensive form for larger grants.

We use an online application process that walks you through entering the details of your charity project. Our grants panels will review all applications at their next meeting, and will award grants from the best source of funding for each successful application.

Closing dates can be found towards the bottom of this page.

Amounts available

The OCF general application is for grants up to £5,000 and groups with an income up to £1 million a year. There are two forms: a small one for grants up to £1,500, and a general one for grants between £1,500 and £5,000. If you are applying for £1,500, please use the small form.

We would strongly advise applicants to apply for the amount their project requires, rather than necessarily applying for the largest amount available. OCF does not have infinite resources so looks to fund a range of well thought through, clearly budgeted projects that can provide compelling evidence for the need for the work being proposed.

Before you apply

Before embarking on an application, please have a look at our grants overview page. This will help you decide between different application streams, which vary according to the amount you are applying for and the type of project you have planned. It also gives specific guidance about key eligibility criteria.

If you are unsure whether your organisation or project would be eligible for a grant from us, please feel free to contact us – we’d be happy to help.

Tips and hints about your OCF general application

Both application forms (small and general) are completed online. Once we receive your application, it is assessed to ensure that it is eligible. If your application does not meet the criteria listed on our grants overview page, it will be immediately rejected.

Applications are then evaluated by our independent grants panel, which is composed of volunteers with extensive experience from the charitable and community sector.

The panel will assess more favourably applications where:

  • The group has a small annual income and our funding will form a significant part of the project
  • The group has not received funding from OCF recently
  • The project is in an area of deprivation
  • There is evidence of stability and good governance
  • The outcomes are clear
  • The budget is well thought through and itemised
  • Other funding has been secured
  • Volunteers are being used to deliver impact
  • The group is collaborating with other organisations and stakeholders
  • There is no other provider of the work.
Preparing for your application

If you want to make a start collecting information for your application, we would recommend that you gather electronic versions of the following:

  • A bank statement dated within the last three months, which must clearly show the name of the organisation, the sort code and the account number
  • Signed Child Protection Policy and/or Vulnerable Adults Policy (if applicable)
  • Most recent signed annual report and accounts (if applicable) OR proof of income and expenditure covering a 12-month period
  • Your organisation’s signed set of rules, terms of reference or constitution
  • Contact details for all trustees and/or management committee members, with cheque/bank signatories identified, who must not be family members (address, e-mail and phone number).

You will also need to supply a referee who has a professional or public position, is completely independent of your organisation but knows its work well, and is not a relative, friend, partner, another member of the group, or anyone who would benefit from a grant being awarded to your project.

Finally, note that we appreciate brevity in your grant application – so we love it when you can get to the point within 150 words for each of the free-text answers!

OCF general application closing dates
Closing date Month the grant will be awarded
Thursday 5th January 2017 February 2017
Monday 13th March 2017 May 2017
Monday 8th May 2017 July 2017
Monday 10th July 2017 September 2017
Monday 28th August 2017 October 2017
Monday 16th October 2017 December 2017
Other funding sources managed by OCF

OCF often works in partnership with others to enable them to distribute their own funding or to pilot a new fund. The following are examples of this, and they do have a separate application process:

  • Step Change Fund
    This fund awards larger, more strategic grants. Find out more
  • Comic Relief and Sport Relief
    OCF manages grant-making for Comic Relief and Sport Relief in Oxfordshire. Find out more
What we supportAbout usStep Change FundOxfordshire UncoveredGrant evaluation
Illustration showing that UK community foundations support over 20,000 local charities and groups
  • “The grant increased morale, encouraged more fundraising and increased activity ranges.”

    Olivia Bloomfield
    Olivia Bloomfield
    The Pump House Project
  • “The support shown by OCF – with trustee Prof. Ann Buchanan gracing the event with her presence – really helped make the event a huge success.”

    Kanta Gopal
    Kanta Gopal
    Oxford Mela
  • “Your grant will boost our fund to the point that we now confidently commission the work.”

    Kay Alty of New Yatt Riding for the Disabled Association, giving a treat to a fleabitten grey horse
    Kay Alty
    New Yatt Riding for the Disabled
  • “It’s so good to think about the bigger picture aside from the week working at the coalface. It keeps me focused about what messages we needed to get across about ourselves as a charity.”

    Alice Walters, Strategic Development Manager at
    Alice Walters
    Strategic Development Manager, Thrive
  • “The overriding aim of LYP is to bring hope for the future to young people, some of whom have given up on expecting anything positive out of life.”

    Richard Colebrook, founder of the Leys Youth Programme
    Richard Colbrook
    Project Leader, Leys Youth Programme
  • “I am constantly astonished how much time and energy and commitment hundreds of people around Oxfordshire give to the community
    every week, often every day of their lives.”

    Tim Stevenson, OCF's president, wearing his Lord Lieutenant's uniform
    Tim Stevenson
    Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and OCF President
  • “I am incredibly grateful to be part of OCF. The phenomenal support we’ve had has meant we can keep going; reach more vulnerable and distressed people and pay for our magical herd of horses.”

    Jo Corfield of Hopethruhorses
    Jo Corfield
    Founder, Hopethruhorses
  • “Wow! Thank you so much. Please send our thanks to your committee. The grant will make a huge difference to the club including lots of children and parents and to the coaching staff. Absolutely amazing!”

    Lee Wyatt-Buchan
    Lee Wyatt-Buchan
    Wychwood Football Club
  • “OCF have been a pleasure to deal with: efficient, effective, and prompt in their communications, and understanding when problems or delays have impeded our progress, for which we are very grateful. The work they are doing in our county is first-class, reaching into all areas of the community.”

    Helen Johns
    Helen Johns
    Thame Players Theatre Company
  • “A BIG THANK YOU to the community foundation for your support. The valuable work and support the foundation provides to many organisations and groups is fundamental to the delivery of vital services supporting vulnerable families, children , young people… Your support for our project is very much valued and appreciated.”

    Carol Richards on the canal
    Carol Richards
    Children & Families Services Manager at Dovecote Children's Centre
  • “Many thanks indeed. This sum will make a significant difference to the project. We appreciate enormously the support for Falcon from OCF and from Comic Relief. Please pass on our thanks and best wishes to your colleagues.”

    Roger Tritton
    Roger Tritton
    Falcon Rowing and Canoe Club
  • “Personally I would just like to say a massive thank you for your wonderful donation towards our wheelchairs. Without it it would have taken much longer to get this project off the ground. For that I will be eternally grateful for your wonderful support.”

    Keeley Bond
    Keeley Bond
    Faringdon Community College PTA

Eve Women’s Wellbeing Project

Funding from OCF has helped Eve support survivors of domestic abuse in overcoming emotional difficulties and move on to more rewarding times in their lives.

Leys Youth Programme

A grant from OCF has helped Leys Youth provide clubs and vital mentoring for young people in areas of educational under-achievement and social exclusion.

Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine runs projects across Oxfordshire for young people with learning disabilities and autism. In 2014 they received a grant from OCF.