The funding landscape


Like the weather the funding arena changes and it changes often. Charities and ‘not for profits’ are constantly told to aim for full cost recovery and sustainability. But in their core market how realistic is this without been at least reliant on some funding.

In my view the work of the VCS (Voluntary, Community Sector) contributes hugely to the UK in terms of community engagement and indeed addressing Society’s problems.

The small community groups operating in the most disengaged areas in the UK, miss out on funds and resources because they rely on been told about it through the relevant Council for voluntary services or workers operating on the ground.

Yes the funding world is fragmented and over – subscribed. As a bid writer the truth be told some of it is a little luck and the rest is making sure funding applications are supported by credible data to prove a need for the project and bespoke approach.

There are also a plethora of funders operating under the radar, missing out on the big funding newsletters, trusts and legacy funds with a range of thematic areas they fund. For a sample see some hand-picked funds I have rounded up here;

Nuffield Foundation

We have seven programmes that fund research and innovation in areas of social policy and education. These are all open to applications.

The programmes are: Children and Families, Early Years Education and Childcare, Economic Advantage and Disadvantage, Education, Finances of Ageing, Law in Society, and Open Door.


Clore Duffield Foundation

Applications are reviewed and rejected on an ongoing basis, although all successful grants can only be awarded at meetings of the Trustees. These are held twice a year, usually in June and December. Grants range from £10,000 to in excess of £1m, although larger grants are made infrequently. The majority of expenditure is for capital projects – only a small number of grants are made each year for programme funding.



The Rayne Foundation

Makes grants to charitable and not-for-profit organisations across the UK tackling a variety of issues.

As an independent funder, an important part of our role is to support work which is untried and which may have uncertain outcomes but which has clear objectives. We favour work which could change the way that we tackle issues in society and which could have lessons for others beyond the funded organisation.

The overall theme underpinning our work is bridge building that connects people and communities. We are interested in the arts, health and wellbeing, education – in its widest sense, and social issues. We also have a number of areas of special interest.


Charles Brotherton Trust

THE Charity was established in 1940 by Charles Brotherton, Chairman of the chemical maunfacturers BROTHERTON & CO.

He wished to provide benefit to the residents of the towns in which the Company had manufacturing plants. The Charity is principally directed to encourage young people to improve their own lives by taking advantage of educational opportunities and organised recreational activities. The Charity is also empowered to help improve the standard of living of the elderly and disabled people and relieve the suffering caused by illness.

The geographical areas to which support is given is restricted to:-

Bebington and the Wirral, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Wakefield and York


Green Giving

We are looking for green projects across the United Kingdom that we can fund and help support environmentally friendly projects like yours. We are offering grants of up to £1000 for green projects and organisations. So get inspired and let us know about your green project idea!

Prior to grants being considered by the trustees, we meet with key representatives of the organisation, often over an extended period of time, to ensure that the organisation and proposed project or programme meet certain criteria:


The WOHL Legacy Fund

The project falls within the established priorities of Wohl philanthropy

The organisation is a registered UK charity or recognised not-for-profit outside the UK in welfare, Medical science, education and employment.

The programme will make a key difference in its field, creating or building on a robust model of activity

The project is tightly aligned with the vision and mission of the organisation

There is proof of visionary leadership that can deliver the project

There is clear proof of strong financial stewardship and of a sustainable organisation or a plan towards sustainability and, where appropriate, a robust business plan

There is clear proof of strong organisational governance, clear objectives and transparent operations


The Sainsbury family charitable trust

Literacy – to help improve the effectiveness of literacy teaching in primary and secondary education for children with learning difficulties, including Dyslexia, and for ex-offenders or those at risk of offending.

Social and cultural change towards more sustainable lifestyles – creative approaches that visualise a sustainable future in positive ways, innovative enterprise and economic models that support sustainable lifestyles and the role of the media in communicating about sustainability.

Environment projects overseas, especially community-based agriculture initiatives, which aim to help people help themselves in an environmentally sustainable way

For tailored funding searches to fit your project use my online form to submit a search for me to use to filter funding sources for your project.


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