Community grants

Voluntary and community groups rely on grant funding to help them provide services that make a difference to communities and people's lives.

You don't need to be registered as a charity to apply for funding, but you must be a not-for-profit organisation.  

Applying for a grant

Before you apply for a grant it's important that you've done some business planning.

Whatever the size of your organisation you'll need to identify the funding you need and what you need it for. You might need the money to sustain your organisation, grow and develop it, or to run a specific project.

You'll need to be able to demonstrate to funding bodies how the money will help your organisation to develop. You'll also need to show how you'll sustain your business once the grant runs out. This is often called an 'exit strategy'.

Key stages in applying for funding

  • Preparation: drawing up your strategy.

  • Application: there's more to this than filling in a form. Find out as much as you can about the funding body. Some of the main grant-giving organisations are listed below. Look at the kind of projects they've funded recently.

  • Receipt: once you've sent your application you'll usually get a letter telling you what the funding body expects in return for the grant. It'll include any conditions attached to the grant.

  • Project delivery: most funders will want to monitor how you spend the grant. Make sure you factor spend monitoring into your project so you can provide the information they need. We can help you do this. 

Guidance from South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau

The South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau information sheets can help you with the process of applying for funding.

Getting support and advice

There are over 8,000 grant-giving bodies in the UK and working out which funding to apply for can seem like a daunting process.

We can help your voluntary or community group find and apply for grants or other funding, as well as giving you advice on setting up your project monitoring. Fill in our online form to get in touch us.

Barnsley CVS also provide support to voluntary and community groups on funding, capacity building and recruiting volunteers, as well as a range of other matters.

Grant giving organisations

These organisations provide support and grants to voluntary and community groups. Visit Funding Central to search for other funders.

Organisations offering grants and support

Alcohol Education and Research Council (tackles alcohol related harm by funding community projects) Commission for Rural communities (funding for schemes to improve the environment) Glass House Community Led Design (supports public involvement in designing the built environment) Ron Pickering Memorial Fund (funding for sports groups and scholarships)
Allen Lane Foundation (supports general charitable causes) Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation (small grants and awards for arts) Government Funding (funding finder; searches 16 central government departments as well as European and regional sources) SUEZ Communities Trust (supports community and environmental improvements projects)
Arts Council England (funds art activities) East Peak Innovation Partnership (covers Penistone, North Sheffield and Denby Dale; offers grants for community-led rural development) Green Flag Award (Keep Britain Tidy grants for projects) South Yorkshire Community Foundation (grants for groups that help to improve lives in communities)
Barrow Cadbury (committed to bringing about socially just change) Energy Saving Trust (help for community schemes to set up community energy projects) Groundswell (homelessness and social exclusion grants) The Architectural Heritage Fund (funding for rescuing neglected buildings and using them as community resources)
Big Lottery Fund (gives grants to organisations ranging from small local groups to major national charities) English Heritage (find a volunteering opportunity at a site near you) Henry Smith Charity (grants for groups supporting carers, vulnerable adults and disadvantaged groups) The Cooperative Charitable Foundation (support for community groups and joint working to improve communities)
Black Environment Network (provides grants to enable ethnic participation in communities) Ernest Cook Trust (grants for charities to benefit children and young people) Hilden Charitable Fund (homelessness, refugee and other community grants) The Garfield Weston Foundation (supports charities with arts, youth, community, health and environment projects)
British Council (grants for study, travel and work either abroad or in the UK) Esmee Fairbairn Foundation (social investments and grants for arts and projects for young people) Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (a Quaker Trust funding charitable work on equality and justice) The Royal Society (grants for science, education and industry)
Britten Pear Foundation (grants for music) European Commission (funding for a range of projects) Kings Fund (funding for health care projects) Tree Council (supports projects to get people involved in conservation)
Cabinet Office (funding opportunities for groups and organisations) European Cultural Foundation (grants to maximise the impact of culture) Lankelly Chase Foundation (grants for projects on homelessness, substance misuse, mental illness or domestic abuse) Barnsley CVS (helps with running a voluntary or community organisation)
Church Urban Fund (grants to reduce poverty and break down social barriers) European Investment Fund (provides risk finance to small and medium sized enterprises) Lloyds TSB Foundation (community programme for investment and enabling)  
Clore Duffield Foundation (funding for cultural learning, arts and heritage and social care) European Structural and Investment Fund (grants up to £15,000 to support activities that engage people in hard to reach communities) Nationwide Foundation (grants and social investments to help people with housing needs)  
Coalfields Regeneration Trust (grants to improve the qualify of life in former mining communities) Foyle Foundation (grants for charities for projects supporting arts and learning) Prince's Trust - (England & Wales) (development grants to help people access learning, training or employment)