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.

  • Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation – The William Colton Youth Sports Fund
    Clock IconDeadline 30/09/2021 12:00 am
    This fund is to support sports clubs, societies or groups that deliver sporting activities that benefit the physical and mental health of young people between the ages of 5 and 21. Grants available from £1,000 to £3,000 Sports Group and Organisations delivering sporting activities in areas of deprivation both urban and rural. Smaller organisations that have limited access to larger funds. Sports Group and Organisations delivering sporting activities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, with priority given to applications delivering in the borough of Charnwood. Deadline:  30th September 2021 (subject to early close if oversubscribed)
  • Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity – Life Changing Transitions
    Clock IconDeadline 30/09/2021 12:00 am
    All projects should focus on building financial capability skills for those who need it most and address the theme for that particular round. A limited number of grants are available, up to £7,500 to not-for-profit organisations in the UK for projects that relate to the delivery of financial skills to different defined groups. The theme for the September 2021 grant round is ‘Life Changing Transitions’. Projects should assist groups who support bereavement, redundancy, retirement, relationship breakdown, homelessness, offenders, and resettlement.
  • Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage – Emergency Resource Support third round
    Clock IconDeadline 30/09/2021 12:00 pm
    Documents available until 30/09/2021
    This grant is for organisations: That owns, works with or manages heritage based in England, At imminent risk of failure due to COVID-19, Would be applying for their first Culture Recovery Fund grant and those who Require a grant between £10,000 and £1million. This round of funding is one of two strands.
  • Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation – Wesleyan Foundation Large Grants *Now Open*
    Clock IconDeadline 19/10/2021 12:00 am
    Grants available from £2,000 - £10,000 for Education, Health, Social and Other Priorities. Deadline 19 October 2021 Wesleyan look for projects that resonate with their values.  This section will help you to understand types of projects Wesleyan has a focus on funding, as well as the outcomes they wish to achieve: Education – projects that address positive social mobility, disadvantage and raising Initiatives that develop individuals’ skills and employability are also of high importance. Health – projects that address mental and physical wellbeing and create opportunities for (please note that this fund prefers to fund higher level issues rather than preventative / lower level interventions) Social – Wesleyan wish to champion projects that develop conscious inclusion, so will prioritise projects that bring the community together. Other priorities – Projects that can demonstrate an ongoing sustainability, both from a financial and an environment perspective. In addition, projects which build in an element to help reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint.
  • SHIRE Community Grants Programme 2021-22 – Round 2 Open for applications
    Clock IconDeadline 27/10/2021 12:00 am
    Round 2 Opens: Weds 1st September 2021. Deadline for Round 2 Applications: Weds 27th October (5.00pm) Decisions to be made and communicated to applicants: November 2021 Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector organisations, along with Town & Parish Councils, will be able to apply for a range of grants for community based projects and activities that are specifically focused on improving the lives, health and wellbeing of vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities in Leicestershire. Eligible organisations can apply for one of five different types of SHIRE Community Grants in 2021-22: Small Grants (maximum £3,000) Large Grants (minimum £3,001; maximum £10,000) Capital Grants (minimum £1,000; maximum £10,000) Match Funding (minimum £3,000; maximum £10,000) Partnership Grants (minimum £5,000; maximum £25,000) The timescales for Round 2 of the SHIRE Community Grant programme for 2021-22 are as follows: If you think your organisation may be eligible for a SHIRE Community Grant in 2021-22, please email the Grants Team to discuss your application for funding in more detail, prior to applying. Further information about the SHIRE Community Grants programme for 2021-22, including detailed Guidance Notes, and online application forms can be seen on the Leicestershire Communities website.
  • Thomas Wall Trust – Now accepting applications
    Clock IconDeadline 29/10/2021 12:00 am
    Grants up to £5,000 available for UK registered charities for specific projects or core activities that equip disadvantaged people aged 18 and over with the necessary communication skills for employment. Proposals are particularly welcome which target people experiencing multiple deprivation or other groups demonstrably facing major hurdles to employment, such as women, people with physical, mental, or learning disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers. Applications are currently being accepted for the November 2021 meeting. There is a two-stage application process. Stage one is to complete an online Expression of Interest form (available on the Trust's website) which requires some basic contact details and a description of what the funding is required for. Stage two is by invitation only and involves completing a more in-depth application form and to submit a Project Plan, budget, latest set of financial accounts and any relevant policies.
  • Sport England Return to Play: Small Grants Fund
    Clock IconDeadline 31/12/2021 12:00 am
    Documents available until 30/11/2021
    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.
  • BBC Children in Need Main grants programme
    Clock IconDeadline 31/12/2021 11:00 am
    BBC Children in Need are continuing their commitment to fund organisational costs for groups working with children and young people and delivering positive impact. The funder gives grants for organisations supporting children and young people aged 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through: • Illness, distress, abuse or neglect. • Any kind of disability. • Behavioural or psychological difficulties. • Living in poverty or situations of deprivation. Small Grants are up to £10,000 pa. Whereas main grants are for over £10,000pa. Organisations can apply for £10,001 or more, per year. However, you can not apply for more than £40,000 per year. They are highly unlikely to award above £100k in total. Organisations may only apply for a Main Grants or a Small grant in this round, not both.
  • KFC Foundation Community Grants Programme
    Clock IconDeadline 28/02/2022 12:00 am
    Grants up to £2,000 are available to support grassroots organisations providing safe social spaces, mentoring, work, or social skills for young people aged 11 to 25 years old in the UK. The funding is intended for projects and activities which: Benefit young people aged 11-25 years old. Support those in a position of social disadvantage (i.e. care leavers, those experiencing homelessness, young carers, young parents, young people at risk of or with experience of the criminal justice system). Provide spaces that allow young people to feel safe and secure, helping to unlock talent and build life skills, provide mentoring, and improve their chances of gaining meaningful employment. Ultimately empower all young people to fulfil their potential and build a positive future. Will demonstrate positive results within 12 months of the receipt of funding.
  • 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.
  • Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation – Making Local Life Better Fund
    Grants between £500 and £3,000 are available to local charitable groups for small local projects that benefit the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Funding is intended for projects supporting, involving, or set up by local people in Leicestershire and Rutland to improve the quality of local life and life chances. This is a rolling programme and groups can apply at any time.  National charities applying must to be able to demonstrate that they have a local branch. This would include a local bank account, finances, and demonstration of fundraising and delivery in the local area only.
  • Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation – Wesleyan Foundation Small Grants
    A rolling programme with grants available up to £2,000. Education – projects that address positive social mobility, disadvantage and raising Initiatives that develop individuals’ skills and employability are also of high importance. Health – projects that address mental and physical wellbeing and create opportunities for (please note that this fund prefers to fund higher level issues rather than preventative / lower level interventions) Social – Wesleyan wish to champion projects that develop conscious inclusion, so will prioritise projects that bring the community together. Other priorities – Projects that can demonstrate an ongoing sustainability, both from a financial and an environment perspective. In addition, projects which build in an element to help reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint.
  • Charity Link Small Grants Scheme
  • 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.

Commissioning and Procurement Opportunities

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

  • Community Mentoring Tender
    Clock IconDeadline 24/09/2021 12:00 am
    Leicester City Council (LCC), The Violence Reduction Network (VRN) and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are jointly commissioning this project as part of their shared commitment to prevent and reduce violence affecting young people. It will become one of an existing range of interventions and services across the system which all play a role in addressing the known risk factors associated with public place serious violence and strengthening the protective factors which can prevent and reduce its occurrence.

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