Funding for charities

Find grant funding, public sector funding and commissioning and procurement opportunities for charities and community groups in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Find funding for your charity

Search through the funding below to find opportunities for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations of all shapes and sizes across the city and county.

If you have funding opportunities you would like us to advertise on this page, please send them to helpline@valonline.org.uk.

Funding opportunities

Grants, awards and other sources of funding available to VCSE groups. Find out which opportunities your group may be able to apply for.

  • Virgin Media O2 Together Fund
    Clock IconDeadline 14/06/2021 12:00 am
    The deadline is midnight on Monday 14 June 2021 The “Together Fund” is a nationwide initiative designed to specifically support local charities that champion and celebrate community spirit, belonging and togetherness across the UK. Grants of £1,000 are available for environmental and community belonging projects, inspiring people across the UK to get together and create positive change for the causes they care most about. The fund will concentrate support to project and initiatives that aim to either: Reduce loneliness and isolation and promote a sense of community belonging, or Inspire positive action to enhance and protect nature and the local environment
  • 2021 Healthy Hearts Grants
    Clock IconDeadline 14/06/2021 5:00 pm
    Opens on 17 May 2021. Funding is available to charities and community organisations for new, original and innovative projects that: Actively promote a healthy heart and Help to prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease in your community. In response to the pandemic they are accepting applications for projects which can be delivered remotely or with social distancing measures in place. This year they will also be accepting applications for the funding of equipment only.
  • Learning through landscapes – round 2
    Clock IconDeadline 25/06/2021 12:00 am
    The grants are available in England, Wales and Scotland only. The grants are available to schools as well as early years providers, who must have at least 5 staff and a building – either stand alone or part of a school. The outdoor learning grant fund has two elements – a fully funded outdoor learning training for your staff, and £500 of equipment for outdoor learning. The training will take place at your own site. You will have a choice of topics/themes for the training. The training will be outdoors and interactive (our preference) or delivered remotely online due to lockdown restrictions. Up to 25 staff can take part.
  • The Elephant Trust 2021 second round
    Clock IconDeadline 27/06/2021 11:59 pm
    Documents available until 27/06/2021
    The main objective of the funding is to support new work. Given The Elephant Trust’s modest resources, grants have usually been limited to £2,000, but with the addition of the Shelagh Wakely Bequest some larger grants of up to £5,000 may be awarded. Priority is given to artists in the fine arts and small organisations and galleries who should submit well argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions. In addition there are a number of projects they won’t support such as charities organising community projects. Applicants are asked to consider the guidelines carefully, as well as the categories not supported, before applying, to be sure that their project falls within the remit of The Elephant Trust.
  • Stop Loan Sharks Community Fund
    Clock IconDeadline 30/06/2021 12:00 am
    Documents available until 30/06/2021
    The closing date for applications is 30 June 2021. The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) has funding available for groups that want to raise awareness of the issues of illegal money lending. They welcome funding bids from local residents, charities, community and voluntary groups, schools, and statutory agencies. You can apply for up to £5000. They encourage bids from multiple organisations working together who can each bid for £5000 to put towards a collective project.
  • Round 1 Reimagine Grants
    Clock IconDeadline 05/07/2021 12:00 am
    Round 1 deadline is Monday 5 July 2021 Their funding is available to formally constituted, not-for-profit organisations. An organisation’s activities must provide public benefit and align with Art Fund’s charitable objectives. They are happy to receive applications from UK public museums, galleries, historic houses, archives and libraries, agencies, and festivals. These new project grants aim to help organisations as they reimagine their activities following the pandemic.
  • Veterans’ Places, Pathways and People programme
    Clock IconDeadline 23/07/2021 12:00 am
    Submit intention to apply by 23 July 2021 - This programme will award 10 grants of up to £800,000 to portfolios of projects, which will work regionally to develop better, more joined up lasting support for local veterans with mental health needs. To be eligible for this funding, you must be a registered charity that specifically supports Armed Forces communities, that has been registered for at least three years at the time of your application. Specifically supporting Armed Forces communities means that your charitable objectives clearly state that you support people from Armed Forces communities. It is expected that a Portfolio Lead organisation would have the following. · Detailed knowledge of the needs of veterans in the country or region that their portfolio application is based on · Evidence of existing work with statutory and voluntary partners on veteran pathway development · Evidence of significant experience in delivering support to veterans with complex mental health needs. You can register to attend an optional webinar on 24 June 2021 to understand more about the portfolio lead aspect of the programme. As well as further information and intend to apply process.
  • Urban Tree Challenge Fund
    Clock IconDeadline 25/07/2021 11:59 pm
    Documents available until 25/07/2021
    Applications must be received by 23:59 on 25 July 2021. The Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) reopened on Monday 26 April 2021 as part of the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund, supporting the planting of 44,000 large ‘standard’ trees over a two-year period: 2021/22 to 2022/23. The UTCF is open to anyone who wants to plant trees in urban or peri-urban areas, as long as you have full management control or consent to use the land for the duration of your agreement and your planting location is within an urban area.
  • Magic Little Grants 2021
    Clock IconDeadline 31/10/2021 12:00 pm
    Grants of up to £500 are available for small charities and community groups thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. If you have been awarded a Magic Little Grant in previous years, you will need to have completed and returned your monitoring forms for those years before you can receive another grant. Each organisation may only apply for one Magic Little Grants 2021.
  • Key Fund loans and grants
    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.
  • 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. Bids in excess of £5000 will not be considered.
  • Lloyds Bank Foundation 2021 Funding
    Small and local charities helping people overcome complex social issues can now apply for two-year unrestricted grants of £50,000. At least 25% of all funding this year will be allocated to charities led by and for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, building on the Foundation’s commitment to racial equity as outlined in their strategy. The funding will be open year-round, meaning charities can apply at a time that suits them and will not be restricted by deadlines.
  • 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.
  • Morrisons Foundation: Grant Funding
    Morrisons grant funding supports charities delivering projects which help to improve people’s lives. Grants are available to fully fund projects up to £25,000.
  • 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 Police and Crime Commissioner’s Prevention Fund 2020/2021
    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. 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 projects.
  • 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.
  • Severn Trent Water: Community Fund
    On 1 June 2020 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 and £75,001 to £250k.
  • Sport England Return to play small grants fund
    The fund has been launched to give additional help to the sport and physical activity sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 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.
  • Sport England Return to play community asset fund
    The fund has been launched to give additional help to the sport and physical activity sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 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.
  • Sport England Return to play active together fund
    The fund has been launched to give additional help to the sport and physical activity sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 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.
  • Youth Futures Foundation: Development and Impact Grants
    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.
  • 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.
  • Game On funding
    The FA has come together with the Premier League, the government, and Sport England through the Football Foundation to launch “Game on,” three funds to get the country ready for the return of grassroots football at the end of March 2021.
  • Coronavirus Support Fund (National Emergency Trust)
    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. 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.
  • Clubs in Crisis Fund
    The fund opens on 12 April 2021 and there is no specific deadline. The sooner you apply the better because they expect high demand. The funding is for sport clubs or organisations working within the sport for development sector, which are able to demonstrate that the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected their organisation, either operationally or financially, and which require funding to save, resume, or adapt their activity.
  • DPD Eco Fund
    DPD are keen to fund educational facilities across the UK working on green projects with their students as well as start-up companies working on developing environmentally friendly products to apply. The Eco Fund is funded by their circular economy initiative to protect the environment. The plastic shrink wrap they use in their operation is broken down, and then recycled to create new plastic shrink wrap.
  • 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. 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.
  • Charity Link Small Grants Scheme
  • 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.
  • Lloyds Bank Foundation 2021 Funding
    Small and local charities helping people overcome complex social issues can now apply for two-year unrestricted grants of £50,000. At least 25% of all funding this year will be allocated to charities led by and for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, building on the Foundation’s commitment to racial equity as outlined in their strategy. The funding will be open year-round, meaning charities can apply at a time that suits them and will not be restricted by deadlines.
  • Leicester City Council 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.
  • 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. 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Hargreaves Foundation Grant Scheme
    The foundation registered as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) in January 2020 and has just launched its grant scheme. 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.
  • Hastings Direct: COVID-19 Community Grant Scheme
    Hastings Group 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.

Commissioning and Procurement Opportunities

Public sector contracts to deliver services to the community, suitable for larger groups, or smaller groups working in partnership.

  • 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.

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

  • How to bid for government contracts as a consortium guidance

    On 8 September 2020 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.

  • How to bid for government contracts as a small to medium enterprise (SME) effectively

    On 8 September 2020 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 2020 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 2020 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. 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.

  • 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. Find out more