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Our community fund

The Saffron Community Fund was established 12 years ago to give something back to the communities we operate in. We recognise the vital work that charities and organisations do and welcome applications wherever they may be located in the east of England. We pride ourselves in ensuring our fund can support a huge variety of requirements, from funding towards large projects, new and updated software, renovations, equipment and essential running costs.

The fund is run independently, in partnership with Essex Community Foundation, who perform all the due diligence on behalf of Saffron Building Society ensuring the fund is managed in a fair and transparent way. The Saffron Community Fund Team, made up of Saffron colleagues and members review the requests received alongside ECF. Each grant application is assessed on its own merit and the panel have a round table discussion and agree as a team who receives funding. The grant applications open every 6 months with two opportunities per year to be awarded a grant. Both opening and deadlines for the applications will be communicated online and in branches. The grant recipients will then be informed if their application has been successful.

We are looking forward to receiving the next set of grant applications, so if you represent a charity, community group or volunteer organisations that is interested in applying please read the information below.

Could your charity or community group apply?

Of course. The fund is there for our community, and we are keen to continue to support groups in the local areas to our branches in Essex, Suffolk, and Hertfordshire. 

How can you apply? 

The process is simple, with applications being taken by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), on behalf of the Saffron Community Fund. Please see our step-by-step guide below.

Step One: Find out if you qualify

To qualify for a grant from the Saffron Community Fund, you will need to either be a registered charity, community or volunteer group based not only in either Essex, but we also accept application from Suffolk and Hertfordshire, where are branches are located. Your group or charity must focus on the people within our community. Why not take the Grant Eligibility test on the ECF website.

Step Two: Apply for a Grant

If you qualify for a grant, it is simple to apply via ECF. There is a simple application form, which can be completed here. If you have any questions when completing the application, you can find the email address, contact form and phone number on the ECF website. When completing your application, make sure to let them know that you are applying for Saffron Community Fund.

Step Three: The decision process

Once you have submitted your grant request the decision process begins. The ECF team meet with the Saffron Community Fund Team, made up of Saffron colleagues and members, to review the requests received. Each grant application is assessed on its own merit and the panel have a round table discussion and agree as a team who receives funding.

Step Four: Grant recipients informed

All successful applicants will receive an update from ECF to inform them of the funding that has been awarded from Saffron Community Fund. On some occasions, if the Saffron Community Fund cannot provide all the funding requested, you may find that another funding source may make up the total. 

Step Five: Meeting our Community Business Partner

Following the award of the grant, we will arrange to come and meet with you and your team, to get to know more about your group. Our Community Business Partner, often joined by a member of the community team, will spend a short time with you, take photos, and engage with users – if appropriate. This helps build a strong relationship between us, and lets you find out more about Saffron Building Society.

Step Six: Exposure through our PR and marketing

We want to spread the word about the great work happening in the community, as such, all of our recipients are announced as part of our media outreach for the fund. We also feature the groups on our consumer communications channels, for example; in branch, on our website and social media. At Saffron, we are always keen to help you to raise the profile of your group so if there are specific PR/marketing initiatives you wish to partner on we’d like to discuss those opportunities with you.

Claire Hunnable, Saffron's Community Business Partner

"The Saffron Community Fund is a vital resource for many charities across the east of England. Every year we receive so many wonderful entries. We also realise that so many community groups and charities are unaware that such funding might be available. If you know a group that could benefit from this, please tell them about the grants and send them here to find out more.”

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In association with the launch of our new Green products; our Enviro Saver and Retro Fit Mortgage, we have created an eco-focused space to help us all become a little more environmentally conscious.

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