This page provides links and information about potential sources of funding available for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations including funding through social finance, community shares and crowd funding. It includes links to:
Sources of funding.
Websites providing current information on a range of grants and other types of social investment.
Community shares and crowd funding platforms.
Please note the information provided is only intended as a guide and may not cover all the sources of funding available. The page was updated on 8/12/15. Whilst we aim to review and update this information regularly, it may still be subject to change as the status of organisations in the funding sector and criteria for granting funding can often change.
Sources of Funding
National Lottery money is given out by 13 independent organisations, each with specialist knowledge of their sectors. Applicants select the type of project that they want funding for, (for example disabled people), and the search engine brings up organisations that have funds available.
The Power to Change is a new, independent charitable trust with a £150 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund to help community enterprises. Funding and support will be available to organisations at each stage of their journey to becoming a sustainable community business. Support ranges from inspiring and nurturing ideas to scaling up and expansion.
‘Awards for All’ provides a quick and easy way to apply for small lottery grants of between £300 and £10,000:
- England – Applicants can apply for between £300 and £10,000
- Scotland – Applicants can apply for between £500 and £10,000
- Wales – Applicants can apply for between £500 and £5,000
- Northern Ireland – Applicants can apply for between £500 and £10,000
Reaching Communities has two strands of Lottery funding that can be for new or existing projects:
- Revenue and small capital – funding from £10,000 to £500,000 for service delivery projects and/or smaller capital projects up to £50,000.– This applies to projects that will be delivered anywhere within England.
- Buildings – funding of between £100,000 and £500,000 for large capital projects. This strand is targeted geographically and the eligibility checker on the website can show whether a particular organisation would be able to apply.
Further information on these funding strands can be found at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/
Access works to bridge the gap in the social investment market so that suitable finance and support is available to social enterprises and charities which are new to social investment when they need it. Available is a Growth Fund designed to provide the finance that charities and social enterprises need when they are at early stages of growth or diversifying their business models.
Allia is a charity that supports social venture organisations. They provide business support, work space and finance solutions to help social ventures start up and grow. Access to funding is limited to charities UK-wide. Business support is available for social enterprises, voluntary and community organisations in the East of England.
Charity Bank finances social enterprises, charities and community organisations, with the support of depositors and investors who want to use their money to facilitate social change.
Community Development Finance Association (CDFIs) lend money to businesses, social enterprises and individuals who struggle to get finance from high street banks and loan companies. They help deprived communities by offering loans and support at an affordable rate to people who cannot access credit elsewhere.
Community builders have a funding pot of £2.5 million. They invest in promising examples of sustainable, community regeneration projects in England.
DM Thomas Foundation focuses on children and young people, the foundation works to improve the quality of education and the provision of health care to relieve suffering and equip individuals. Through targeted grant allocation the foundation supports the smaller charities that might otherwise be overlooked.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. Their aim is to improve the quality of life for people and communities in the UK both now and in the future. They do this by supporting organisations that do charitable work in the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change.
Football Foundation provides grants and funding, to deliver programmes for new and improved community sports facilities in towns and cities across the country. The foundation also funds projects that increase participation in football and other sports and address key issues such as social inclusion, health, educations and equalities.
Heritage Lottery Fund provides grants to help sustain the country’s heritage – from museums and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions.
Lloyds TSB Foundation focuses on funding core work that helps disadvantaged people to play a fuller role in the community. The funding that the foundation provides, primarily supports core costs and is designed to fund issues that affect individuals as well as communities.
Social Investment Business is made up of the charity, Adventure Capital Fund, and its social enterprise, The Social Investment Business. They deliver a number of national and local grant funding and social investment programmes.
The Tudor Trust is an independent grant making trust supporting both voluntary and community groups working in the UK. They support smaller, community-led organisations which work directly with people who are at the margins of society.
Triodos is a bank which aims to make money work for positive, social, environment and cultural change supporting a range of organisations.
UK Community Foundations award grants to support work where there is clear evidence of a sustained beneficial impact on the lives of people who are excluded or disadvantaged through low income, rural or social isolation, age, disability, race, sexuality or gender. There are two programmes, These are:
- Local Communities (grants of £1000 to £10,000 a year).
- Community Cash.
The funds are managed by local Community Foundations. Details of your local one can be found on the website.
The Premier League Fans Fund is a three-year commitment from the Premier League to fund projects and organisations which improve the relationship between fans and their clubs, the way football supporters engage with each other and fans’ experience of the game. The Fans Fund Small Grants Scheme offers grants of up to £20,000 for projects that look to address the aims of the scheme. The three aims of the scheme are to:
- Improve the relationship between fans and their clubs
- Improve the way football supporters engage with each other
- Improve fans’ experience of the game.
Further information can be found on the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) website at www.fsif.co.uk/about-fsif/, or you can email them at: email@example.com
Crawley Borough Council Community Grants – Voluntary and community organisations in Crawley can now apply for grants from Crawley Borough Council’s pot of more than £622,000. The voluntary and community sector has an important role to play in improving the quality of life for people in the town and the council has identified key funding priorities including:
- Supporting volunteering and community involvement
- Promoting social inclusion, community cohesion and integration
- Community development and neighbourhood action
- Preventing homelessness and tackling the cost of living crisis
- Promoting cultural development, the arts and heritage
- Improving wellbeing and community safety
- Enabling voluntary youth action.
Any groups in Crawley interested in applying for a grant should contact Craig Downs, Funding and Commissioning Officer at Crawley Borough Council, on 01293 438763, or by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Websites with information on sources of funding
Company Giving provides access to a wide range of funders through a pay-to-register website with a database of companies giving grants and other support.
Funding Central is a useful online guide to over 4,000 grants, contracts and loans.
Grantfinder is a database carrying over 6000 UK and EU funding programmes. Users need to register to search for funding opportunities. To note – there is a potential cost to subscribe to this website but they do carry out a ‘no-obligation and free of charge assessment of your funding requirements’.
Grants Online is a comprehensive funding information service. It provides information on grant funding opportunities from the European Union, UK Government Agencies, the Lottery as well as Grant making Trusts and Foundations. This site operates on a subscription basis.
J4BGrants is a free-to-register website with a database of European, UK Government and other sources of grant funding
Trustfunding is run by the Directory of Social Change and reports on funding sources from the European Community and UK Government – including Government departments, Local Authorities, charitable trusts and corporate sponsors. It reports information on grants, loans, venture capital and advisory programmes. The annual subscription rate is £285 + VAT, and there are 4,500 trusts and foundations on line under various categories.
Community Shares and Crowdfunding Platform
The Community Shares Unit supports community organizations that want to run community share offers to help raise investment.
Microgenius is an online crowdfunding platform specialising in enterprises that are raising finance through community shares. Free support is on offer to help with business plans and developing share offer documents.
Buzzbnk is an online crowdfunding platform where organisations can pitch their projects and attract donations and investment from the public.
Crowdfunder is an online crowdfunding donation based platform. Enterprises can pitch projects to attract donation. The organisation offers support to help develop and market initiatives.
Ethex is an online crowdfunding platform – where enterprises can pitch projects to the crowd to attract loans and investment from the public.