The aim of this blog is to give an overview of the sources of funding available to voluntary and community groups. It is also about targeting appropriate funders for your group and project.
1: Researching and Targeting Funders
Firstly, think about going back to any past or existing funders. Did you spend the grant properly? Was the money used well? Did you get positive feedback from the funder about your achievements? If so, they may be happy to fund you again.
Next, use contacts. Ask management committee members, staff, volunteers or members if
they have had any contact with funders, or know of similar groups or projects that have been funded.
When you get direct information on a funder, or through a generated list from a funding
search of potential funders,
Always carefully read all the information you have about each funder, to see that you are
eligible, and meet the funding criteria. Some funders target very specific causes, others give
more generally, to all kinds of groups that deal with community or disadvantage. Target those
whose criteria you most closely meet first. List potential funders in order of priority. Think
about how much time and effort you can put into applications, and limit your list to the number
of funders you can deal with.
A golden rule: Quality not Quantity. It is better to work hard on a small number of bids, to find
the right funders and to show each funder how well you meet their aims.
2: Types of funders
Subject to your organisation’s constitution, and what you want the money for, the main types
of funding available to voluntary organisations are:
• Charitable Trusts
• Lottery Funding
• Company Giving
• Statutory Grants
Trusts (sometimes called Foundations) are set up by companies or individuals as a way of
giving money to certain causes. Many more are national, giving around the country.
Amounts can range from a couple of hundred pounds to tens of thousands, or more if you match their aims closely and can show a big impact. Applications to Trusts are often as simple as a two
page letter or basic application form. More details might be requested for larger requests.
The Lottery has various streams of funding, each of which has its own pot of money and
application criteria and process. For more information please visit the website on
For further information, help and sport contact 4Grants.