Grant Panel – Terms Of Reference (TOR)
The Grant Panel is a Committee of the Board of Trustees, which has delegated responsibility to approve expenditure in the form of grants from charitable funds to ensure their effective and strategic distribution for community benefit on behalf of the Trust.
All Trustees of the Trust are entitled to be members of the Grants Panel. In addition, where it is deemed necessary or desirable by the Trust, other non Trustees (who have relevant expertise and experience of the local Area of Benefit and the social needs that the Trust may identify as priorities) may also be invited to become a Grant Panel member.
The Chair of the Trust is an ex-officio member of the Grant Panel. The quorum for Grant Panel meetings is four members, two of whom must be Trustees. Approval of all decisions requires a majority. In the event of equality of votes, the Chair of the Grant Panel shall have the casting vote.
The Chair of the Grant Panel must be a trustee of the Trust and will be appointed by the Trust for a term of three years. The Chair will present an annual plan of the Trust’s grant-making for Board approval, which will identify:
- Intended community benefit and impact of activities
- How the plan supports the Trust’s strategic objectives
- Any significant changes to current eligibility or assessment process
- Funds available for distribution for the year
The Grant Panel will discuss and review all applications to the Trust’s three funding streams.
1 Applications for a Fixed Grant of £250
Applications for fixed grants will be dealt with on a rolling basis. Resolutions may be decided by email.
2 Applications for Small Grants (under £1000)
Applications for Small Grants will be dealt with on a rolling basis. Resolutions may be decided by email.
Where a grant application is to be decided by email the Fund Administrator will:
- Send a copy of the grant assessment for each application to all panel members
- Express a closing date by which all votes by panel members must be received (not less than 14 days from date of Fund Administrator’s email). Panel members must ensure that votes are received by the Fund Administrator by 5 pm on the closing date advised
- Collect and advise panel members of any questions/observations raised by individual panel members
- Count qualifying votes and advise panel members of decision within 7 days of closing dates for votes
Applications of £1000 decided by email vote shall be passed on the basis of an absolute majority of those panel members voting (provided that at least 4 votes are received and at least 2 of those votes are by Board members). In the event of equality of votes, the Chair of the Grant Panel shall have the casting vote.
3 Applications for a Large Grant £1000 and over.
Applications for a Large Grant. The Grant Panel will meet a minimum of four times a year but has discretion to increase the number of meetings, depending on need.
Where the Trust enters into agreement with a named fund holder (e.g. Cornwall Council and CERC), distribution of funds will be in line with eligibility criteria as set out in any Funding Agreement signed by the Chair of the Trust. The Grant Panel therefore has responsibility to distribute charitable funds in accordance with both the Trust’s own objectives and any restrictions imposed by fund holders.
The distribution of funds will be either a grant made payable to another eligible body (e.g. local community group) or the settlement of an invoice or direct fund expense incurred (by the Trust itself) to support activities that are for public benefit and are in line with the Trust’s mission, strategic objectives and Funding Criteria.
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