Where UK Charities Can Find Funding Grants

Where UK Charities Can Find Funding Grants
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Funding is critical for UK charities to carry out their work and achieve their goals. However, finding funding can be a challenge, especially in today's economic climate. Fortunately, there are many sources of funding grants available to UK charities, if you know where to look.

In this article, we will introduce you to 2 main areas you can look to find funding opportunities within the UK - government and charitable trusts. We’ll be giving you  a few examples of the organisations you can look to engage with in these sectors.

We will also end by providing you with some practical tips and advice on how to approach the funding application process.

1. Government Funding

One place to start looking for funding is with the UK government, which provides a range of funding opportunities for charities, including grants and contracts. Some of the key government departments that offer funding to charities include:

Specifically within the remit of DCMS, the Arts Council is a non-departmental public body which can be exceptionally worthwhile investigating further if your charity has a cultural output.

It’s also worth considering local government bodies such as councils and local enterprise partnerships which might offer funding to carry out various activities.

2. Charitable Trusts and Foundations

One of the largest funding sources for UK charities is charitable trusts. There are thousands of trusts and foundations in the UK, ranging from small community-based trusts to large national foundations. Some of them are also incredibly specialised in their remit, which can be perfect if your goals align with their focus.

Some of the key nationwide charitable trusts and foundations that offer funding to include:

The National Lottery Community Fund

Giving out grants worth over £600m a year in total, if you’ve not investigated the fund, then they should be a top priority. With numerous funding programmes, they generally divide them into grants under and over £10k. 

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

They offer grants up to £8k on their Funding Plus programme, though larger grants are also available. In 2021, the foundation distributed £51.6m in grants.

The Henry Smith Charity

Depending on what category you qualify for, you can apply for grants between £500 - £70k. Having a long heritage with its founding being back in 1628, they distributed £64.9m in grants in 2022.

The Garfield Weston Foundation

Another large funder, they give around £90m in grants each year. Their grants can range between £1k to £1m. Whether you’re looking for funds for a specific project or simply unrestricted funding to help you achieve your goals more broadly, they’re a worthwhile organisation to investigate.

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales

Slightly smaller than the others in the list, but £16.3m in grants in 2021 is still a notable amount given out. Its open programmes sometimes focus on more specific projects, but can still offer a significant cash injection if you are eligible.

Other Sources

Beyond this list, if you want to find even more charitable trusts and foundations that are more relevant to your charity, you can use online databases such as the Directory of Social Change or the Charity Commission's Register of Charities.

Some General Tips and Best Practices for Applying for Funding Grants

Before we end, we’ve got 5 general tips and best practices we’d like to share which you should keep in mind while applying for funding grants:

  1. Do Your Research - before applying for any funding grant, do your research to ensure that the funding opportunity is a good fit for your charity's goals and priorities.
  1. Follow Instructions - read the application guidelines carefully and follow them closely. Missing a key requirement or deadline could result in your application being rejected.
  1. Demonstrate Impact - when applying for funding grants, it's important to demonstrate the impact of your charity's work. Use data and evidence to show how your charity is making a difference.
  1. Build Relationships - building relationships with funders can help increase your chances of securing funding in the future. Attend networking events and engage with funders on social media to build your charity's profile.
  1. Be Prepared to Wait - it can take several months for funding decisions to be made, so be prepared to wait for a response. Use this time to continue building relationships with funders and exploring other funding opportunities.

If you follow these five simple tips you’ll be in a much stronger position to achieve your goals and gain access to those all important funds that could make all the difference to your organisation.


Hopefully some of the advice and organisations listed will give you a firm starting point of where to start looking for funding. This is also doubtless a topic we will return to again in the future to give you further tips on how to broaden your search. 

Even beyond government and charitable trusts, there is a whole world of crowdfunding and even corporate partnerships you might choose to explore. There are definitely significant opportunities out there, if you know where to look!

In the meantime, if you’d like to start looking into how you could put potential funding to good use and grow your charity, look no further than CiviPlus! The perfect digital toolkit that will help you keep track of all your applications and opportunities, it can even add pipeline predictions and probability trackers. You can get in touch here to find out more.

Howdy y’all,

We are delighted to announce a new integration of CiviCRM with Open Social, a community engagement platform.

CiviCRM is the number one open source CRM for not-for profits, used by more than 11,000 organisations worldwide, and Open Social is a leading community engagement platform, used by over 1000 organisations in a range of different industries from Charities to member organisations and companies also.

It’s exciting news for organisations using CiviCRM, who will now be able to combine the power of CiviCRM with the collaboration and community building that the Open Social platform provides.
If you’ve not heard of community platforms before, a community platform is a tool that allows your organisation to create your own branded and tailored social network. Users of the platform (normally your members or supporters) can interact, join groups to share knowledge and exchange ideas, publish and promote events and collaborate within a safe online curated space. With a community platform you can expand your digital offer and strengthen your relationship with your supporters.

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Open Social is open source (much like CiviCRM) and as such has no user licences fees. This means it can be deployed affordably to scale to even the largest of communities. It’s also flexible with a huge range of different add-on modules that can be integrated to enhance the platform.

Our new two-way integration between Open Social and CiviCRM syncs data between the two platforms allowing information about the groups and committees that members have joined to be seamlessly synced to CiviCRM. You can even create Open Social groups and manage their membership directly from within CiviCRM, which would be useful for managing private groups in the case of committees or working groups.

By combining the data of a community platform with that in your CiviCRM your organisation can obtain deep insights into your members' interests and behaviours. You can see which groups are popular and engage with your members on topical issues, automating communications and tailoring their experience.

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A great example is a recent implementation for the UN’s PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment). Their user community includes over 2,900 organisations with over 40,000 individuals spread across 6 continents. Their Community Platform now supports discussions between 24,000 users with over 750 online collaboration spaces. The data is seamlessly synced to their CRM allowing for deep insight guiding their policy engagements.

As Open Social partners, we would be delighted to help you start your journey with Open Social and help you build your online community. We can help you through both the implementation and the CiviCRM integration (or other CRM integration such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM).

Please contact us through our website https://www.compuco.io/ or by email at hello@compucorp.co.uk.

Further information about Open Social can be found at their website: https://www.getopensocial.com/

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