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.

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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.

  • Co-op Community Dividend Fund
    Clock IconDeadline 31/07/2021 12:00 am
    Closing date is 31 July 2021 The Community Dividend Fund has been relaunched in an effort to offer vital support to good causes, groups and charities. Groups can now apply for between £100 to £5,000 every two months to help projects that aim to support access to food, health and wellbeing, inclusion and the environment. Grants are available to full members of Central England Co-op in the following areas: West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. To apply, members will need: name, address, membership number, organisation type, organisation bank account or constitution and to explain what the group does, how the grant will be spent,and the specific impact it will have in relation to the following areas: food, health and wellbeing, inclusion and the environment.
  • Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Force for Change programme
    Clock IconDeadline 02/08/2021 12:00 pm
    Round two application deadline is midday on 2 August 2021 This programme will award grants of up to £10,000 for community projects that reduce isolation and promote integration; supporting post-Covid recovery in local Armed Forces communities affected by isolation. To be eligible to apply, your organisation must be one of the following. • A registered charity or Community Interest Company (CIC) with substantial recent experience of supporting Armed Forces communities and have been registered for at least one year at the time of your application. • An Armed Forces unit or base, a local authority or a school. You must be able to show us that your project fits under one of these two main themes: Empowering Armed Forces communities to become more engaged in their local area and Providing opportunities for isolated members of the Armed Forces community to take part in activities that improve general wellbeing.
  • The Mercia Park Community Fund round 3
    Clock IconDeadline 06/08/2021 12:00 am
    The fund is managed by Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation The fund will support projects that: Help strengthen local communities (particularly their quality of life and life chances) within proximity of the Mercia Park Development at Junction 11 M42; and Improve the natural environment within proximity of the Mercia Park Development at Junction 11 M42.
  • The Local Connections Fund round two
    Clock IconDeadline 06/08/2021 5:00 pm
    Applications close at 5pm on 6 August 2021. The Local Connections Fund is a grant to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities. If you've received funding in the first round, you will not be eligible for funding in the second round. The funding will help to bring people together in safe and secure ways – including by covering the costs of technologies and equipment that will help people feel more connected within their communities. Funding can also be used to help strengthen organisations and their services through, for example, training and development. The amount of grant you can apply for ranges from £300 to £2,500.
  • Santander Foundation Grant
    Clock IconDeadline 13/08/2021 12:00 am
    Documents available until 13/08/2021
    The foundation have developed the Financial & Digital Empowerment Fund to help more people in the UK become digitally and financially empowered. They want to support UK charities to give people the digital confidence, knowledge, and skills to enable then to make better, more informed decisions about money and have access to financial services.
  • 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.
  • Culture Recovery Fund: Emergency Resource Support
    Clock IconDeadline 30/09/2021 12:00 pm
    This is a rolling programme and applications can be submitted between 15 July 2021 and 14 October 2021 with decisions communicated within six weeks, where possible. There is an additional timeline. The latest they will accept a permission to apply request is 12pm (midday) on 30 September 2021. Cultural organisations that are properly constituted with a governing document and are able to demonstrate, via a cash flow forecast, they are at risk of ceasing to trade viably within 12 weeks of the point of application are eligible to apply.
  • 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.
  • Domestic Support Fund
    The fund opened on 9 June 2021 and all costs must be incurred by 17 December 2021 and submitted by, no later than, 1 March 2022. A new fund supporting the events industry recovery will provide financial support to not-for-profit organisations hosting domestic business events from 21 June 2021 to 17 December 2021.
  • National heritage memorial fund – Covid 19 response fund 
    The funding is available until the end of April 2023. There are no deadlines for applications. This funding stream offers project grants to support any heritage asset which is: • Of outstanding importance to the national heritage • At risk due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Moto in the community trust grants
    Applications may be made at any time and will be considered on a monthly basis. The funder encourage applications within the following remit; • You are a charity or community school within a 15 mile radius of a Moto site . One of their local sites is Moto Castle Donington. • You have opportunities for Moto staff to be involved with your group/school • You are happy to support your Moto site with their fundraising events There are 3 ways to apply for funding. • If you are already an approved Community Partner or Adopted School with an existing relationship with a Moto site. • If you are the Regional/Site Operations Manager or Charity Champion of a Moto site wishing to apply on behalf of your Community Partner or Adopted School. • If you are a Community Organisation or School within 15 miles of a Moto Service Area wishing to apply for direct funding. There are guidance notes and application forms for those 3 ways, which can be accessed below:
  • Black & Minority Women’s Fund
    For £5,000 grants the application must be submitted by 3pm on 21 July 2021. Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) is a national charity committed to working towards human-rights by supporting and understanding small specialist women’s groups and charities. WRC is pleased to be able to support the Black and minority led-by and for women’s sector who have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 with the core grants it needs to deliver critical services at this time. The process for applying for a £5,000 grant has now opened. The process for a £10,000 grant opens later in the summer. Their recent survey of women organisations across the UK highlighted two top priorities related to supporting service users (trying to meet increased demand for services and dealing with their more complex needs) and thirdly, organisational survival, namely funding issues.
  • Unltd Awards
    The application process started on 1 July 2021 and ends on 30 September 2021. They recommend getting your application in early so that they have time to ensure they have everything they need to assess it. Their awards offer funding and support to social entrepreneurs trying to start-up or grow their social business. They are committed to using their resources to drive change. Around 50% of their Awards will support social entrepreneurs who come from a disabled and/or Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.
  • 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: 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

  • 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