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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 
     
  1. What is a URN?  
  2. What is a VCO?  
  3. Details of my voluntary/community group are not accessible on the web site?  
  4. I have forgotten my password to access the web site?  
  5. How do I apply for funding?  
  6. What defines a voluntary/community organisation?   
  7. What information will be required in support of an application?   
     
     
  1. What is a URN?  
     
  The URN is a “Unique Reference Number” assigned to organisations for facilitating the administration of grant applications. A census of the sector was completed in autumn 2002 to validate the details of voluntary and community organisations. URNs have now been assigned to all voluntary and community organisations. If information was not validated during the census, it will be necessary to validate this information before the relevant department can process your grant application. You can also use the URN, with a password, to retrieve information on your organisation and make amendments as required.  
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  2. What is a VCO?  
     
  A VCO is a voluntary/community organisation. Click here to find out what defines a VCO.  
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  3. Details of my voluntary/community group are not accessible on the web site?  
     
  This may be for a number of reasons:  
  a. you completed a census form in autumn 2002 but requested your organisational details not to be posted on the web-site – if these details can be made public please update your details using the on-line registration form.  
  b. you did not participate in the census of the sector – please complete the on-line registration form or download a registration form and return to VCD or contact VCD.  
  c. you are a new organisation - please complete the on-line registration or download a registration form and return to VCD or contact VCD.  
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  4. I have forgotten my password to access the web site?  
     
 

Click here to receive a copy of your password via email. Your VCO's email address and URN are required.

 
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  5. How do I apply for funding?  
     
 

Information is available on the web-site. Please contact the named contact point for details of application procedures if sufficient information is not available on the web-site.

 
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  6. What defines a voluntary/community organisation?  
     
 
  • Independence: an organisation must be constitutionally independent and not directly controlled by a for-profit organisation or the State. An organisation is recognised as being independent of the State where there is a majority of non-statutory bodies, appointees or representatives on its “board of trustees” and a majority of non-statutory members;
  • Self-governing: an organisation must have its own internal decision making processes;
  • Non profit distributing and primarily non-business: an organisation must make no payments (other than for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses or other payments allowed by the governing document e.g. for occasional professional services or for grants) to its members or trustees;
  • Voluntarism: an organisation must benefit from a meaningful degree of philanthropy such as gifts in kind or of time, including volunteers and non-paid trustees/committee members. For example, any organisation that has at least three trustees/committee members who give their time is considered to benefit to a meaningful level;
  • Public benefit: an organisation must be able to demonstrate that its objects and activities benefit the wider public and/or that it makes it benefits available to as wide a group of people as possible within its remit. Also, that it operates in ways that are open and inclusive rather than elitist and exclusive. Where a governing document exists, it should have a clause to this effect.
 
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  7. What information will be required in support of an application?  
     
 

This may vary for different funding programmes but the guidance notes will detail the required supporting information. Some examples are given below:

 
     
 
  • Copy of organisation’s constitution;
  • Copy of annual audited accounts;
  • Copy of organisation’s last annual report;
  • Progress on the past years objectives (if previously funded);
  • Most recent bank statement
  • Organisation staffing structure
  • List of office bearers; and
  • Copies of funding provided by other bodies where appropriate.
 
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Instructions for organisations adding key documents 1: Logging in: i. From the home page click on “register/log in” ii. Type in organisation unique reference number (number only) and password (these are in the letter received at registration) If you do not have these contact David Kelly at david.kelly@communities-ni.gov.uk for help. iii. If you have not logged in recently you will be asked to change your password. iv. Type in the old password in the top box and then type in your new password in the second box then repeat your new password in the third box. v. Click on change password. vi. Click on continue vii. You will return to the log in screen viii. Type in organisation unique reference number and new password ix. Click on Log in x. This will take you to the Organisation details screen 2: Key documents To add a new document i. Click on Edit Attached Organisation Documents ii. New document attachments page contains 2 tabs Key Documents and Archived Documents iii. Click on Add a new document. iv. , Click on drop down box and select key document title v. Click on browse to select the correct document from your files, double click on the chosen document – click on add– the key document will now be added vi. If a key document with the selected key document title already exists it will automatically be archived after the user clicks on the button. vii. Repeat these steps to add each document 3: To archive a document i. You can use this option to directly archive a key document. ii. You must first select a document by clicking on Select beside the chosen document iii. Click on the tab, you will be asked to confirm that you wish to archive the document, before it is archived. 4: Archived Documents i. This tab holds all archived documents, users cannot amend this list. 5: To return to the organisation detail screen i. Click on back to return to the Organisation detail screen ii. The documents added will now be visible on this screen iii. The documents can be viewed by clicking on the chosen document