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 possible about the funding body as you can. We've included some of the main grant giving organisations 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 will 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 below will guide you through the process of applying for funding:

Organisations offering support and advice

The following organisations provide support to voluntary and community groups on funding, capacity building and a range of other matters:

  • Voluntary Action Barnsley provides start up advice; recruitment of volunteers; HR management; accountancy and payroll; training.
  • South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau provides advice, information and training to help South Yorkshire organisations develop their fundraising knowledge, skills and confidence.
  • Barnsley Volunteer Centre is quality accredited by Volunteering England to offer brokerage services to the public who want to volunteer. They give advice and support to develop non-profit making organisations and charities wishing to involve volunteers.
  • Enterprising Barnsley works directly with local businesses to provide a range of services. These include HR; recruitment; financing; franchising; green energy; inward investment; business development.
  • Funding Central is a free website for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. It provides access to thousands of funding and finance opportunities. It also provides resources so you can develop sustainable income strategies appropriate to your needs.
  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations is the main organising body for the voluntary and community sector in England. 
  • National Association for Voluntary and Community Action provides information to support local voluntary and community action.
  • The Charity Commission registers and regulates charities in England and Wales.

How we can help

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

We can help your voluntary/community group find and apply for grants or other funding. We can also give you advice on setting up your project monitoring. 

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) Coalfields Regeneration Trust (grants to improve the qualify of life in former mining communities) European Social Fund (grants up to £15,000 to support activities that engage people in hard to reach communities) Lloyds TSB Foundation (community programme for investment and enabling)
Allen Lane Foundation (supports general charitable causes) Commission for Rural communities (funding for schemes to improve the environment) Foyle Foundation (grants for charities for projects supporting arts and learning) Nationwide Foundation (grants and social investments to help people with housing needs)
Arts Council England (funds art activities) Community Development Foundation (CDF) (leading national organisation in community development and engagement) Glass House Community Led Design (supports public involvement in designing the built environment) Prince's Trust - (England & Wales) (development grants to help people access learning, training or employment)
Awards for all (funds small, community-based projects) 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) Ron Pickering Memorial Fund (funding for sports groups and scholarships)
Barrow Cadbury (committed to bringing about socially just change) 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) SITA Trust (supports community and environmental improvements projects)
Big Lottery Fund (gives grants to organisations ranging from small local groups to major national charities) Energy Saving Trust (help for community schemes to set up community energy projects) Groundswell (homelessness and social exclusion grants) South Yorkshire Community Foundation (grants for groups that help to improve lives in communities)
Black Environment Network (provides grants to enable ethnic participation in communities) 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 Architectural Heritage Fund (funding for rescuing neglected buildings and using them as community resources)
British Council (grants for study, travel and work either abroad or in the UK) Ernest Cook Trust (grants for charities to benefit children and young people) Hilden Charitable Fund (homelessness, refugee and other community grants) The Cooperative Charitable Foundation (support for community groups and joint working to improve communities)
Britten Pear Foundation (grants for music) 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 Garfield Weston Foundation (supports charities with arts, youth, community, health and environment projects)
Cabinet Office (funding opportunities for groups and organisations) European Commission (funding for a range of projects) Kings Fund (funding for health care projects) The Royal Society (grants for science, education and industry)
Church Urban Fund (grants to reduce poverty and break down social barriers) 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) Tree Council (supports projects to get people involved in conservation)
Clore Duffield Foundation (funding for cultural learning, arts and heritage and social care) European Investment Fund (provides risk finance to small and medium sized enterprises) Lennox and Wyfold Foundation (grants for a wide range of charitable causes)  Voluntary Action Barnsley (helps with running a voluntary or community organisation)