Funding for charities during COVID-19

This page will cover funding opportunities, advice and guidance for voluntary sector organisations and social enterprises during the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic.

This page will be updated on a regular basis. Last updated: 12 January 2021

We have updated the funding available below to reflect funds that have been paused or closed

Commissioning and Procurement

  • Shaw Trust: Partnership opportunity

    Shaw Trust is a charity committed to working with a diverse network of suppliers to secure the best possible outcomes for their customers.

    Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service is launching a range of Activity Hubs (CFO4) part-funded through the European Social Fund. Shaw Trust is looking for partners who are interested in working with them to develop. Activity Hubs should provide a safe and inviting space where participants can engage voluntarily in a range of activities. They will help people to move away from offending behaviour by integrating a psycho-therapeutic approach with a range of engaging and character-building activities. They are looking for a range of partners who can help them deliver a range of activities, help offenders access mainstream services and become more integrated into their local communities.

    They are asking potential suppliers to visit thier partnership page which gives further details of how to register interest. If you have any queries about the opportunity, please contact the partnership team at partnerships@shaw-trust.org.uk

  • Good Things Foundation: Census Support Service update

    Previously we reported on the phase two application stage.  This is now the final stage of recruitment for the Census Support Service. VAL’s previous article explained that  Good Things Foundation has been contracted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to support the delivery of the next Census in England and Wales. That they are looking for partners to apply for funding to support the delivery of the 2021 census. The previous article can be found here.

    In Leicestershire they are still looking for providers in the following locations: Hinckley & Bosworth, North West Leicestershire, Oadby & Wigston and Blaby. Further details of requirements can be found here.

  • Draft Joint Commissioning Strategy for SEND

    The survey will be live from 10 December 2020 until 31 January 2021

    The strategy has been  developed by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Councils and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) for the area.

    The strategy contains a high-level vision for joint commissioning. They will work together across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to improve the outcomes for children and young people with SEND’ and a set of priorities for the focus of joint work in the coming 3 years.

    Views are being sought from anyone interested in the strategy and joint working around SEND, including children and young people, parents and carers, schools and colleges, early years settings and employers.

    They expect to have more conversations once this strategy is in place, asking people to help them shape and co-produce services as they work through their action plan.

    The draft strategy and how to share your views on the vision, the priorities and the actions necessary to take these forward can be found here.

    The Compact is a voluntary agreement that aims to foster strong, effective partnerships between public bodies and voluntary organisations. Its principles apply to all relationships between voluntary organisations and public bodies that are distributing funds on behalf of the government. Within the compact it usually explains what is expected of a consultation process.

    You may find this additional reading useful as you provide feedback on the consultation.

    Details of what a compact is can be found here: www.compactvoice.org.uk/about-compact

    Details of the local compact can be found here: www.moderngov.hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk/documents/s1159/CompactLeicsAppendix1.pdf

    Details of representatives responsible for the local agreement can be found here: www.compactvoice.org.uk/compacts-from-region/93

General funding advice

  • Covid-19 financial support from the government

    The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

    For more information visit gov.uk

  • Cabinet Office and Department for Education: How to bid for government contracts as a consortium guidance

    On 8 September the government published guidance on how organisations can bid for contracts as a consortium, including the relevant requirements set out in the invitation to tender (ITT). A consortium in this context is two or more suppliers coming together to bid during a procurement. There is no limit to the number of members that may be in a consortium and consortia bidding is welcome.
    The full guidance can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office and Department for Education: How to bid for government contracts as a small to medium enterprise (SME) effectively

    On 8 September the government published this guidance. It  provides steps SMEs can take when bidding for government contracts so they can compete with larger companies. The contents of the guidance covers: Where to find tender opportunities, What to plan before you bid, Writing your bid, Checking your bid, How the tender process works, After you bid and Further information.

    The guidance can be found here.

  • Crown Commercial Service: Simplified Bid Pack - Split Terms

    On 29 September the crown commercial service replaced its ‘Invitation to Tender’ pack with a simplified version. This may be of interest to VCSE organisations who bid for contracts from the crown commercial service or want to understand procurement processes generally. The guidance includes, Framework General Terms and Conditions, Framework Schedule templates, Call Off General Terms and Conditions and Call Off Schedule templates. See guidance here.

  • Cabinet Office and Crown Commercial Service: Public Procurement Review Service reports

    On 2 October the government updated its research and analysis to include the Public Procurement Review Service (PPRS) Progress Report for 2019-20. PPRS sits within the Cabinet Office and allows government suppliers and potential government suppliers to raise concerns anonymously  about potentially poor public sector procurement practice. The Progress Report highlights the main trends that the service has seen from 6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020. 154 cases were received in this financial year which represented a 41.4% decrease from 263 cases in 2018/19. The research and analysis report can be found here.

  • Crowdfunder: 100% free fundraising for those starting up a new business after being affected by coronavirus

    Crowdfunding is a different way to raise money for good ideas. The latest campaign by Crowdfunder says:

    “If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that nothing in life is certain. But sometimes, when you’re down – the only way is up. We have thousands of new business startups raising money and creating their crowd at the same time. Crowdfunding helps you validate your idea, build your customer base before you start and raise the funds you need to make that leap. You’re ready. We’re ready. Let’s make your startup happen.“

    Details of how crowdfunding works, startup stories, and the link to start your crowdfunding can be found here.

  • Funding to be a conversation host

    Engage Britain is looking for people across England, Scotland and Wales to host community conversations about health and care from January 2021.
    The charity has partnered with Just Ideas and WSA Community Consultants to recruit a diverse group of hosts from across the country. Further details can be found here:
    Engage Britain’s privacy policy can be accessed here.

Available funding

  • Alpkit Foundation: Grassroots funding support

    Alpkit as a charity normally help people Go Nice Places, Do Good Things. In their response to Covid-19 they have shifted their focus to funding projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those affected by the Covid-19.
    Visit the Alpkit foundation website

  • Angling Trust: Get Fishing fund

    On 1 December the Environment Agency and Angling Trust announced a new ‘Get Fishing Fund’ to encourage more people to give fishing a go for the first time. The fund’s aims also include encouraging more people to get back into angling after a break from the sport. Funded from rod licence sales, grants of up to £500 to benefit small-scale projects and up to £5,000 for larger projects will be available. Read press release here. The application forms can be accessed by registering with the Angling Trust. Apply for large project application here. Apply for small grant application here.

  • The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust: Armed Forces Covid-19 Impact Programme

    The Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund are administering the Ministry of Defence funding to ensure that people from armed forces communities can keep accessing important services, where resources for these services have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Armed forces charities and community interest companies can apply. Grants of up to £60,000 can be applied for. In exceptional circumstances, grants of up to £125,000 or more may be awarded.

    Organisations must be working in one of nine key areas:

    • Support to the elderly (including care homes)
    • Mental and physical health
    • Welfare
    • Domestic violence
    • Housing
    • Criminal Justice System
    • Service families (including childcare)
    • Bereavement
    • Employment

    Further information and details of how to apply are available here

  • Arts Council - Culture Recovery Fund: Grants Second Round

    Applications open Wednesday 6 January 2021 at midday and close at midday on Tuesday 26 January 2021. 

    Minimum grant amount you can apply for is £25,000.

    This investment is to support cultural organisations as they transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model during April-June 2021.   

    This programme has separate aims and different priorities from the first rounds of Culture Recovery Fund: Grants. Because of this, the application process, questions and criteria are different.

    If you have previously received a grant from Culture Recovery Fund: Grants, the maximum you can receive in total across rounds is £3,000,000

    If you have not previously received a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund: Grants programme, the maximum you can apply for is £3,000,000

    The eligibility guidance can be found here.

    You can apply for this fund if you are a cultural organisation (both profit and not for profit) based in England or can demonstrate that the majority of your work takes place in England.

    You also need to be properly constituted and registered with one of these three bodies

    • Companies House
    • Charity Commission
    • Financial Conduct Authority

    Further details can be found here, including the applicant profile for validation: www.artscouncil.org.uk/CRFgrants

  • Business support grant funding

    New lockdown grants announced on 5 January HM Treasury published a new story explaining that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000. The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties. Read news story here. Find out more about the Business support grant funding from Leicester City Council’s website here.

  • Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund

    The closing date for applications is 5:00pm on Thursday 11 February 2021.

    On 10 December 2020 Ofgem Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme launched its new Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund. Those interested in applying are encouraged to register by Thursday 14 January 2021. The fund will support charity initiatives that reduce the climate change impact associated with energy use.In line with Ofgem’s strategic approach, this fund looks to meet the challenge of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

    The fund awards grants between £50,000 and £500,000 to projects that meet the following criteria:

    • Demonstrate measurable and lasting reductions in the carbon intensity of energy end use and accelerate the transition to net zero carbon
    • Show a realistic prospect of delivering broadly replicable benefits to existing and/or future energy consumers
    • Proved to be efficiently managed throughout the project.

    The application pack can be found here:www.energyredress.org.uk/application-pack

    Further details can be found here.

    Coincidentally the release of this fund come at the same time period when a Coroner has  concluded that air pollution played a role in the tragic death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in 2013.

    You may find the statement of Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London about this of interest as you consider the opportunity of this new fund here.

  • Changing Futures Programme

    Deadline for expressions of interest is 21 January 2021
    On 10 December the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government published the prospectus and expression of interest. At the 2019 Spending Review, the government announced a new Shared Outcomes Fund to test innovative ways of bringing together the public sector to address cross-cutting issues and drive the modernisation of public services. Read more

  • Charity Link and The LeicestershireLive There With You Fund
  • Choose How You Move - Business Grant

    Funded by the Department for Transport, grants of up to £5000 are available to help boost the levels of active and sustainable travel amongst your staff.

    They are match funded and designed to help you overcome barriers to active travel, for instance by funding cycle parking, lockers or showers. In addition they have, Travel clinics, Cycle courses, Support with Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition Scheme) and Business Engagement Scheme. Every business is different, their team are happy to talk through how they can help your workplace. Get in touch at choosehowyoumove@leics.gov.uk or call 0116 3057233 or follow them on LinkedIn. Find out more here.

  • Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund

    The Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery & Resilience Fund is an interim replacement for the Coalfields Community Investment Programme (CCIP) and is now open for new enquiries.

    The trustees of the fund recognise the incredible response the coalfield communities have had to the COVID-19 crisis, and have allowed them to alter the funding support they offer to better support the delivery and sustainability of key services. The eligible wards can be found here. The eligibility guidance and eligibility survey can be found here.

  • The Coalfields Regeneration Trust and partners: The Coalfields Food Insecurity Response Fund

    The Coalfields Food Insecurity Response Fund is a new fund to tackle food poverty. They  have seen a significant rise over recent years in the coalfields of the number of projects providing food to those who cannot afford it. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this problem with more people being referred to food banks, and tens of thousands of children skipping meals due to family income being too low. This is a rolling application process, with no application deadline. The programme will close when all of our funds have been allocated. Please apply early to avoid disappointment. Details of the eligible wards can be found here. The eligibility guidance notes can be found here. Further information and FAQs can be found here.

  • Community shares booster programme: Pathways

    The programme is a funding scheme to support community share offers.
    There are three pathways of support to choose from: Pathway one: Preparing the offer. Pathway two : Investment ready and Pathway three: Live offers. Applicants for the pathway will need to have utilised the step by step tool.
    The Community Shares Step-by-Step online tool enables you to work towards launching a community share offer. It is designed to help anyone considering raising community shares at any stage of development, from those investigating the idea for the very first time, to those who are on the verge of issuing an offer.

    The guidance document for the pathways can be found here.
    The application process for the pathways can be found here.

  • Coronavirus Support Fund (National Emergency Trust) - LLR Community Foundation

    This is a new fund to help those who live and work locally and who are struggling as a result of the pandemic. The money comes from The National Emergency Trust Fund and donations from local companies, individuals or families.

    Visit LLRC Community Foundation

    6/11/20 Update:

    The Coronavirus Support Fund continues to be open for applications, and has had a small injection of funding added to it from the Co-Op Foundation. Grant sizes are between £500 and £5,000 – Details of the fund can be found here.

  • LLR community foundation: Coronavirus Emergency Fund

    In June the LLR community foundation had already given out 100 grants to help with the support the VCSE is providing during the pandemic.

    This grant scheme still remains available especially as VCSE organisations provide additional help during the local lockdown.
    Details of the scheme can be found here.

  • Community Radio Fund - Emergency Funding

    Deadline: Applications close at 5pm on 14 January 2021.
    Community radio stations are being given a third chance to apply for emergency funding to help them through the Covid-19 crisis. This funding round is to support community radio stations which are taking steps to tackle loneliness and isolation within their communities. View guidance notes here. View application form find out more here.

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for SMEs

    The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank. There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

    Visit the British Business Bank website

  • Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage second round

    The fund will be open for applications from 7 January 2021 and you can apply any time from then until 26 January 2021.

    This second round will offer grants of between £10,000 and £3m to support organisations to make the transition towards full reopening. The fund is looking forward to Spring and early summer 2021 when it is expected that cultural organisations will be able to operate with fewer restrictions. Find out more

  • Elton John Foundation: UK Social Impact Bond

    The Foundation, Lambeth Council, The National Lottery Community Fund, ViiV Healthcare, Comic Relief, and Big Issue have come together to implement the world’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB) focused on HIV treatment and care. Hospitals in the programme have set up universal HIV testing in their A&E departments, so that all adults with blood drawn have the option to be tested for HIV. The programme has been funded by a social impact bond leading to costs savings for the NHS. Read more

  • Energy Saving Trust: Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme

    Energy Saving Trust has been appointed by Ofgem to distribute payments from energy companies who may have breached rules.

    Registered charities can apply for funds to deliver energy related projects that meet the scheme priorities and benefit people in England Scotland and Wales. Read more

  • Esmee Fairburn Foundation: New strategy launched

    Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the UK’s largest independent funders. Their new strategy will focus their funding on three interdependent aims. The three interdependent aims are, Improving Our Natural World, Tackling injustice to deliver A Fairer Future and Nurturing Creative, Confident Communities. Work outside of these aims will no longer be funded. Under the new strategy, they will be providing larger and longer-term grants as well as strategic support to organisations or initiatives with brilliant ideas working towards these aims. Read news article about their new strategy here. The application process, which consists of six steps can be found here.

  • FA - The Football Association: Pitch Preparation Fund

    Alongside the Football Association, The Premier League, the Government and Sport England have collaborated through their Football Foundation to launch the new ‘Pitch Preparation Fund’.

    The fund is here to try and support as many clubs and organisations as possible to be ready for when football returns. Every applicant must be a club or organisation with a minimum of 12 months’ security of tenure over the pitches they wish to improve by freehold, leasehold or licence, and have the legal responsibility for maintaining them.

    It can be used for such things as : grass cutting, line marking and weed killing etc. For 3G pitches it can be used for deep cleaning etc.  Any work that has been completed since The FA suspended football on the 16 March 2020 is eligible to be funded.

    Details of the full criteria and eligibility can be found here

  • The Hargreaves Foundation: New funder

    The foundation registered as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) in January 2020 and has just launched its grant scheme. It is not covid-19 specific.

    Registered Charities or Charitable Incorporated Organisations can apply. The funding is not available for social enterprises.

    The Foundation’s objectives are underpinned by the desire to give those under the age of 18, and living with a mental health problem, physical disability, or growing up in poverty, the opportunity to fulfil their potential whilst improving wellbeing, self-esteem and independence.

    Details of the new foundation can be found here.
    The further information document can be found here.
    Here is a link to the funding application form.

  • Hastings Direct: COVID-19 Community Grant Scheme

    Hastings Group describe themselves as one of the leading general insurance providers to the UK market. They are providing financial support to local charities that are helping their communities with coronavirus related projects and schemes.

    The community grant fund is for local registered charities. The application process involves sending an email to: Community@hastingsdirect.com

    The email must include a letter on headed paper stating what the funding need is. Include details of the charity’s bank account, sort code and charity number.

    The local charities need to be based or supporting communities within a 20 mile radius of St George’s Way Leicester office.

  • Homelessness Prevention Grant for 2021 to 2022

    On 21 December the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government published the Homelessness Prevention Grant: 2021 to 2022 guidance.

    Homelessness Prevention Grant combines and increases what was previously the Flexible Homelessness Support Grant and Homelessness Reduction Grant. The government feels that this will give local authorities more control and flexibility in managing homelessness pressures and supporting those who at risk of homelessness. Further details of this new funding allocated to local authorities can be found here.

  • Key Fund: Celebrating 20 years of experience in backing social businesses.

    They know a thing or two about the right finance support for you and your business. That’s two decades of growing enterprise in communities across the Midlands and the North of England. Key Fund can support a range of activities, from restoring a derelict building to buying equipment or meeting start-up costs.
    If you’re an existing enterprise that needs to adapt and shift its focus or create a new service, they can help with immediate cash-flow problems or working capital until you’re on your feet.Details of their approach can be found here.

  • Leicester City Council: The Innovation Fund

    Any organisation or services that work with children, young people and families across Leicester City can apply for this fund. It is available to any group working with families who believe that they can improve lives with some targeted financial assistance. The applicant must demonstrate how the funded improvements will enhance the wellbeing for the families and children and young people you work with and how impact / evaluation will be evidenced. Bids in excess of £5000 will not be considered. The funding can only be used to support families residing in Leicester City only. Read more

  • LGBT+ Futures: National Emergencies Trust Fund

    The funding is available to address the additional needs of LGBT+ people and communities most adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and to support and strengthen LGBT+ organisations that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    There are no deadlines for this fund. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all the funding has been awarded.

    Grants are for short-term work only and all funds awarded through the programme must be fully spent by 31 May 2021.

    Organisations applying must have Objects in their constitution specifically outlining their support of LGBT+ communities and/or be clear in their public facing materials (e.g. website) that their existing work proactively engages LGBT+ people or communities.

    The application guidance can be found here.

    This application form is for applications up to £5000 – https://www.consortium.lgbt/small-grant-application-form/

    This application form is for applications above £5000 – https://www.consortium.lgbt/main-grant-application-form/

  • Leicester City Council: Administering the government’s coronavirus business support grant funding for Leicester city based organisations

    There are currently two grants available with the addition of a small business discretionary grant which will be available soon. Some are available for the VCSE if you meet the criteria.  Leicester City Council are contacting all businesses who are eligible and who have not yet claimed.

    To be eligible for the small business grant of £10,000 your business must receive small business rate relief as of 11 March 2020; and occupy a property with a rateable value of less than £15,000.

    To be eligible for the retail, hospitality and leisure grant your business or charity must:be based in Leicester; and be in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector; and receive or be eligible to a business rate reduction under the Government’s expanded retail discount scheme; and have occupied a property as at 11 March 2020 that is wholly or mainly used as hospitality, retail, or leisure venue, with a rateable value of less than £51,000. Find out more

    For any grant application enquiries, please contact: businessratesgrantscheme@leicester.gov.uk.

  • Leicester City Council: Crowdfund Leicester

    If you have an idea that will make your local area better, create your project today and start to make it a reality with CrowdFund Leicester. You need to submit your project and pitch before the 30 September deadline. Leicester City Council are receiving pitches for up to £10k to help crowdfund local community-led ideas.

    There’s also ward funding available that can be matched with this. You need to submit your idea using this form. Once submitted Spacehive will feed back with tips and guidance on how to get started!

  • Leicestershire County Council: Communities Fund Round 3

    Deadline: for applications is 22 January 2021
    A third round of funding has been agreed by Leicestershire County Council to enable charities, community groups and social enterprises to respond to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding can also be used for community-based organisations to develop new and innovative ways of working, to help deliver services for vulnerable people more effectively now and in the future.

    The maximum amount of funding available to any one organisation through this grant round is £15,000. The application form and further details can be found here.

  • Leicestershire County Council and partner: The Leicestershire Business Recovery Fund

    The Leicestershire Business Recovery Fund is managed by the Economic Growth Team at Leicestershire County Council and funded through the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Business Rate Pool.
    The fund provides support for rural businesses (including tourism, agriculture and creative industries) and independent retail businesses, to enable them to overcome the impacts they may have faced or are still facing, as a result of COVID-19. Closing dates for applications: 1st June 2021

    The guidance notes can be found here and  The application form and further details can be found here.

  • Leicester City Council: Discretionary grant

    Leicester city council is administering part of the government’s Covid-19 support to the sector in Leicester city. Whilst the application process and criteria is still being worked on, you can express an interest in accessing the grant.

    This grant is to support small businesses and charities, that are not eligible for the small business grant or retail, hospitality and leisure grant. Details of which you can find here.

    The grant is for organisations that have ongoing fixed property related costs and have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis. Details of the government’s guidance to local authorities about this grant can be found here.

    We recommend that you read this before completing the intention to claim form.The intention to claim form can be found here:

    Once the discretionary grant is released, we will provide a further update.

  • Leicester City Council: Funding to support community mobilisation

    A new fund has been set up to allow local councillors to support community groups that are helping vulnerable people in their wards.

    The city major announced the fund on 20 March. VAL has been advised by a city council colleague that the application process is for VCSE organisations to contact their relevant ward councillor directly who will consider their request.

    Find your ward councillor

  • Leicester City Council:Local restrictions support grant (for businesses closed due to the four week national lockdown)

    This grant is to support businesses that were trading and providing direct, in-person services from their premises but were required to close for 28 days between 5 November and 2 December 2020, due to the national restrictions imposed by the government. Your business must be registered for business rate. This includes businesses closed nationally since March 2020. (You can find further details here.)

    The application form can be found here. The policy around this funding is described in this document.

  • Leicester Employment Hub: Apply for an apprenticeship levy transfer

    Leicester City Council is working  in partnership with ASDA to support local businesses including the local VCSE sector. The Apprenticeship Levy is a levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeship.  The levy is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill. The levy helps to deliver new apprenticeships and it supports quality training by putting employers at the centre of the system.

    £100,000 of Asda’s levy will be transferred. You can apply to fund the learning for existing staff or new apprentices. You can apply for levy transfer funding before recruiting your apprentice, however, they will not transfer the funds until the start of the apprenticeship programme. Find out more here.

  • Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation (LRCF): Update on funding available

    Previously we have reported on the funding available from the foundation. This is a round-up of what funding is still open and deadlines related to them.  

    The “New Normal” Fund:

    This will close for applications on Friday 28 August at 5pm.

    Enabling Social Distance Fund (PPE):

    No deadline at present

    Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund:

    No deadline at present

    Read more

  • Leicestershire County Council: SHIRE Environment Grant

    Leicestershire County Council is committed to improving the local environment through waste prevention and reuse to minimise the amount of thrown away, reducing carbon and improving biodiversity. In order to help eligible community based organisations achieve this, the Council is offering up to £3,000 in the form of SHIRE Environment Grants.

    There are three rounds of application deadlines:
    Friday 31 July 2020 , Friday 30 October 2020 & Friday 26 February 2021

    They are particularly interested in funding new and innovative projects that will meet one or more of the grant scheme outcomes:

    • To reduce the amount of household waste produced in Leicestershire
    • To reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions within communities
    • To improve biodiversity and support the creation, protection, enhancement and management of sustainable green spaces
    • To raise awareness and understanding on the above outcomes as well as providing necessary training and skills to manage and support projects.

    They are keen to support projects that can maintain or build on some of the positive environmental benefits that have arisen from the current Covid 19 situation, such as; reduced carbon emissions, increased biodiversity, improved air quality, greater appreciation of nature and green spaces, reductions in waste etc. They hope such projects could help support the Council in providing a ‘green recovery’ from Covid 19.

    The guidelines can be found here.
    The application forms can be found here and further details. There is a  simplified application process for small grants up to £300.

  • Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation: Coronavirus Emergency Fund

    The community foundation have adapted the criteria of their Coronavirus Emergency Fund in response to need and feedback.

    The fund is now split into ‘Immediate Emergency Relief’ and ‘General Coronavirus Support’. Immediate emergency relief is still the main priority and where the largest % of funds are available. Some funds are available for a smaller number of important projects that will support individuals to prevent them from moving into one of the emergency groups.

    Larger organisations, with an annual income of £50,000 or more,  delivering immediate emergency relief on a larger scale can now apply for up to £10,000.
    They are also accepting repeat applications from previously funded groups following successful review and monitoring. Visit their website to find out more 

    You can email them with any queries – grants@llrcommunityfoundation.org.uk

  • Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation: The Mercia Park Community Fund round 2

    Deadline: 8 February 2021

    The fund is managed by the foundation.  The fund is about helping strengthen local communities and improving the natural environment. You can apply for up to £2,000 to £5,000 for a 12-month project.

    Decisions will be made via a panel meeting and grants funded: 8 weeks thereafter. Read more

  • Masonic Charitable Foundation: Hospice Grants 2020-Widening Access-Improving Equality and Diversity in Hospice Care

    The deadline for applications is  5pm on 8 February 2021.

    The grant programme is seeking to facilitate sustainable change in hospice care. The funder states that access to hospice and palliative care in the UK is currently inequitable.  There is evidence that different parts of our communities experience different levels of access to services.  Among the groups of particular concern are people over the age of 85, people from black and minority ethnic communities, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people from socially deprived communities. Grants of up to £35,000 are available to support projects running over a period of 18 months. Download application form here. Application guidance can be downloaded here.

  • The Mercia Park Community Fund

    Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation: Update on funding opportunities

    Deadline: 8 February 2021.

    They are a charity who helps local individuals and companies to give money, in a tax efficient way, directly to local needs.

    The Mercia Park Community Fund is open for groups delivering in North west Leicestershire.  The fund opened in October and closes on 8 February 2021.

    Grants of £2,000 to £5,000 are available and must be spent within a year – Details of the fund can be found here.

  • Media Trust - Free advice from media and creative industry professionals

    The deadline for applications is Monday 25 January 2021 at 9am.

    If your charity supports women, girls or those who identify as female, and is looking to reach new audiences, develop a campaign or raise awareness about your cause, then you can apply for a place at Media Trust’s Women’s Voices, in celebration of International Women’s Day. Each successful charity will be matched with a team of two to four media and creative volunteers who have the expertise and skillset to work on your specific communications challenge.
    View application form here. Find out more here

  • The Ministry of Defence: Armed Forces Day funding

    Armed Forces Day is on Saturday 26 June 2021. Grants of up to £10,000 can be applied for. The funding can be used to pay for:
    Road closures required to hold an event, including to allow for parades and marches, Decorations, flags and banners, Newspaper and radio advertisements to promote the event, Marshalling, security and first aid arrangements for the event, Insurance and PA & communications systems. Before you apply for the funding, you need to register your event here. Further details can be found here.

  • Ministry of Justice: The Community Justice Fund

    The community justice fund is hosted by The Access to Justice Foundation. The Fund is made up of contributions from a range of sources, including the government.

    The fund will help providers of  housing, debt, discrimination, and employment advice the support they need to boost remote capability and help as many people as possible during these challenging times. The fund is restricted to specialist providers of legal advice and your organisation must  be registered with the Charity Commission.

    Grants will be funded in two waves: Wave one is open now and can be used for costs backdated from 1 April 2020.
    They anticipate making grants in the range £25,000 – £75,000, but may be able to make larger grants in certain circumstances.

    The government’s news story on this can be found here
    The funding guidance can be found here
    Click here to view FAQs

    Click here to apply online

  • Morrisons Foundation: COVID-19 Homeless Support Fund

    The Morrisons Foundation supports charities making a positive difference in local communities. Homelessness charities are raising concerns that if someone is sleeping rough or in a crowded night shelter, it’s impossible to self-isolate and maintain social distance so help is needed more than ever before. Homeless Support Fund, is designed to support charities caring for the homeless during the coronavirus outbreak and ensure help gets to those who need it most.

    Visit the Morrisons Foundation website

  • Morrisons Foundation: Grant Funding

    We previously reported on their covid-19 homeless support fund. Unlike other funders it seems their general grant scheme is also open. Their grant funding supports charities delivering projects which help to improve people’s lives. Grants are available to fully fund projects up to £25,000.

    Their grant guidance can be found here.
    The application has to be made online using this link.

  • The National Lottery Community Fund and partners: Covid-19 Digital Response Fund

    The Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response Fund is a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund and Centre for The Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST), with support from the Catalyst network. The  fund is aimed at organisations in England whose work has been affected by Covid-19 and who need emergency funding to continue to deliver essential services. Read More

  • National Lottery Grants for Heritage: Phase one

    As part of their continued response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, they have reopened their National Lottery Grants for Heritage to support organisations working with heritage to adapt and respond to the changing environment they are now operating in. They expect to make decisions on a rolling basis during January and February 2021. Grants from £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000 for projects are available. Read more

  • The National Lottery: Local Connections Fund

    This first round open on 5 Jan 2021 & close on 26 Jan 2021.
    The fund will help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities. The fund launches on 5 January 2021, find out more here.
    Grants from the first round of funding will strengthen and develop small and micro organisations that connect communities together and reduce loneliness. The second round of funding will be launched in summer 2021. Find out more

  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation: Ideas and Pioneers Fund

    Grants of up to £15,000 to support people with a vision of a better society to explore their ideas for change. They are open to applications all year round and the process is simple – just a short form and a two-minute video. You do not have to have a registered organisation to apply to the Fund. However, the proposed idea must have clear public benefit or charitable purpose. The application form can be found here. Further details can be found here.

  • The Plunkett Foundation and partners : More than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme

    More than a Pub programme re-opened on Wednesday 19 August. This means that once again the Plunkett Foundation will be able to support groups at all stages of their community pub journey, from an idea through to opening and trading.

    The More than a Pub programme provides business development support to enable the community control of pubs in both rural and urban communities across England.

    Funded by Power to Change and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and led by the Plunkett Foundation.

    Community pubs are owned by members (sometimes known as shareholders) and are run democratically on the basis of one-member-one-vote. Membership is voluntary, affordable, and open to all in a community, and is the mechanism for ensuring the community has a genuine say in how the business is run. Community pubs are thriving where private enterprise has failed

    For all community pubs enquiries please contact info@plunkett.co.uk, call 01993 810730 or use their online enquiry form.

    Details of the community  More than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme

  • The Police and Crime Commissioner's Prevention Fund 2020/2021: Emergency funding to support Covid-19 response

    The Police and Crime Commissioner has expanded the Prevention Fund to include applications which can support communities to cope with the impact of Covid-19 and channel emergency help to where it is needed most. In addition to the existing purpose of the fund.  

    There are 2 levels of funding: Up to £9,999 pa and £10,000 to £25,000 pa. However, these will be awarded only for exceptional project. The commissioner is interested in supporting projects that mobilise resources and react positively to the challenges posed by Covid-19 but can also show a demonstrable link and positive impact on the priorities of the commissioner’s priorities.

    The priorities are described in the police and crime plan, which can be found here

    The application form and guidance notes can be found here

  • Power to Change - Community Business Renewal Fund Round Two

    Round two opened at 10am on Tuesday 12 January 2021 and closes at 4pm on Tuesday 19 January 2021.
    The Community Business Renewal Fund provides grants to community businesses in England affected by the Covid-19 crisis to adapt, renew and rebuild their business so they can remain financially viable. An unrestricted grant between £10,000 and £20,000 can be used to support your organisation to adapt and evolve to the changing circumstances. Read more

  • Procurement Policy Note 11/20 published

    On 15 December the cabinet office published a policy paper titled Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20: Reserving below threshold procurements. This procurement policy note set out the options that may be considered by Contracting Authorities when procuring contracts for goods, services and works with a value below the applicable thresholds. Read more

  • The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) now available

    Deadline: Applications close at 11.59pm on Wednesday 31 March 2021. 
    The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is a new fund for social enterprises and charities that are improving people’s lives across the UK who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19.
    The fund is intended for those organisations who face a problem because expected income and activity has been delayed or disrupted. A loan may help with this, providing working capital until normal business can commence again. Read more

  • The Screwfix Foundation

    The Screwfix Foundation is a registered charity set up in 2013. They have a clear purpose of raising funds to support projects that will fix, repair, maintain and improve properties and community facilities for those in need throughout the UK.

    All applications are reviewed individually by their team on a quarterly basis, the review dates are in February, May, August and November. They offer local registered charities and not for profit organisations funding of up to £5,000.
    You can apply online here.

  • Severn Trent Water: Community Fund

    On 1 June Severn Trent re-opened their community fund, whose aims are about community wellbeing. This funding is not a specific covid-19 fund response.

    The proposed  project must be in the Severn Trent region  and the community it is benefitting must be Severn Trent customers.  Funding is available in 3 categories:

    • £2k to £10k
    • £10,001 to £75k
    • £75,001 to £250k

    For applications above £10k you must be a registered charity or a business registered with companies house, or a local authority.  Their funding priority of community wellbeing centres on 3 things:

    • People : Projects that help people to lead a healthier life and gain new skills
    • Places: Projects that help to create better places to live in and use
    • Environment: Projects that will help look after our natural environment, give people greater access to that environment or help look after water.

    Details of the fund, who to contact if you have a query,  and the application process can be found here.

  • Smallwood Trust: The Women’s Sector Resilience Fund

    The fund has been created with the support of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to safeguard the vital frontline jobs and support services of women’s organisations that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in England. Applications will be assessed on an ongoing basis. Please apply as soon as possible. Organisations can apply for grants of between £20,000 – £30,000.
    Areas of benefit : East Midlands including rural Leicestershire and Derbyshire – Read guidance here. The online application form can be found here.

  • Social Investment Business: Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund

    The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is a new fund for social enterprises and charities who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19. RRLF is intended for those organisations who face a problem because expected income and activity has been delayed or disrupted. A loan may help with this, providing working capital until normal business can commence again.

    Visit the Social Investment Business website

  • Spacehive: Crowdfund Leicester

    CrowdFund Leicester is all about connecting people, communities, businesses and resources to ideas that will make Leicester City an even better place to live, visit, and study.

    Alongside this online fundraising platform, is the City Mayor’s Community Engagement Fund. The City Mayor’s Community Engagement Fund may pledge up to £ 10,000 towards your project. VAL has been discussing with Spacehive how that pledge process is working during this period. They have explained that the Mayor’s team can assess projects early if they are covid-19 related, as they control the Community Engagement Fund which is only available through the online platform.

    It’s not a covid specific fund but can be used where there is an overlap in the criteria to support covid-19 ideas. The city council community mobilisation fund is aligned to the crowdfunding programme but managed separately.   The mobilisation funding is often used to support crowdfunding campaigns.

    To set up a Leicester crowdfunding campaign use the link below:
    https://www.spacehive.com/create

    To access the mobilisation fund contact the ward councillors click here

  • Sport England: Return to play fund

    The fund has been launched to give additional help to the sport and physical activity sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

    There are 3 strands to the fund:


    The Return to Play: Small Grants will provide grants of between £300 and £10,000. It will help community sport respond to the challenges posed, such as having to deliver in smaller groups, having the correct hygiene and safety equipment and giving training to club volunteers. Find out more here.


    The Return to Play: Community Asset Fund will provide grants ranging in value from £10,001 to £50,000 to help local sports clubs and organisations to adapt and open important places and spaces that can help them welcome back their local community safely. Find out more here.


    The Return to Play: Active Together is a crowdfunding initiative which will help sports clubs and organisations set up their own campaigns to help sustain them through the crisis. Find out more here.

  • Superhighways online funding platforms - choosing the best fit for your charity:   

    As the opportunity to have a stall at a local fete doesn’t seem likely this summer, your charity may need to look at other fundraising options.

    Superhighways  describe their organisation as using technology and digital tools to help more people fund your work and reach more supporters.  They have an online fundraising factsheet. They have researched a selection of some of the more well-known platforms, and put together further information to help you make the right choice for your organisation – Read here.

  • UFI VocTech Trust 2021 funding round

    Deadline: Apply between 21 January 2021 to 11 February 2021
    VocTech Seed provides grants of between £15,000 and £50,000 for innovative digital vocational learning projects lasting from 3 to 12 months.
    A number of funding call application workshops are being held by the Trust. One being on 29 January at 10am. To book your place click here. Find out more about the fund here.

  • 2021 Weston Charity Awards

    Deadline: Applications close at 5pm on 8 January 2021.
    The Awards help charities to plan for sustainability, development and growth through a year-long programme. Winners will be selected based on their willingness to benefit from the Pilotlight programme.Pilotlight is an established UK charity whose business mentors have diverse experiences in the business sector. They coach and mentor charities through a carefully facilitated process to help the charities think and plan strategically. View guidance notes here. Find out more and how to apply here.

  • Youth Futures Foundation: Development and impact grants

    Previously we reported on the emergency covid-19 funding which is no longer available. However, the foundation has a rolling grants programme designed to find, fund, support and evaluate promising practice. Funding will go to organisations working with young people aged 14-24 to help them overcome barriers to finding meaningful work. They are looking for approaches that can be tested, evaluated and, where proven to be effective, expanded to reach more young people.

    There are two types of grants available:

    • Development Grants with level of financial support being between £30,000 -£150,000pa for delivery and development over a 1-2 year duration.
    • Impact Grants with the level of financial support being £100,000 – £1.2m pa for delivery over a 1-5 year duration

    Details of the grants can be found here.

    The grants prospectus can be found here:

    The FAQs can be found here.

  • UFI Voc Tech Trust: VocTech Seed 2021

    Deadline: The fund closes at midday on Friday 8 January 2021.
    Prior to the funding stream being launched a set of preparatory workshops are being launched. The fund will open on 21 January 2021 and close on 11 February 2021. The funding call  will provide grants of £15,000 to £50,000 for projects lasting 3 to 12 months. They are looking for proposals that are at a relatively early stage, helping to prototype ideas and work out the next steps necessary on the journey to long-term success. Read more

  • Windrush community fund now open

    The closing date for Phase 1 applications is 12 February 2021.
    The Windrush Community Fund  is available to charity, community or grassroots organisations across the UK to fund projects which raise awareness of the Windrush Scheme (documentation), the Windrush Compensation Scheme or both. Awards will range from a minimum of £2,500 to a maximum of £25,000. Find out more

  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs: Zoo Animals Fund

    Deadline: Fund will remain open for applications until 29 January 2021
    On 13 November the government extended the deadline for this fund.It will provide funding until the end of March 2021. Zoos and aquariums can apply for the fund at any time ahead of this deadline. The fund provides funding for zoos and aquariums which need additional support in caring for their animals following a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. View news story here. For more information click here.

Help with applying

If you would like help with applying for these funds such as a read and review, please submit a request using the online contact form. Please select the ‘support for your voluntary organisation’ in the contact drop down list using the link below:

Contact us

Leicestershire Funding Toolkit

Register for free and search a comprehensive database of funding opportunities across Leicester and Leicestershire.

Search for funding

Sign up to receive weekly updates

We're sending out a weekly newsletter update for charities and community groups. To receive these updates, follow the link below and sign up for our Voluntary Sector Support newsletter.

Sign up now