This Week's Funding News 18th May 2020


You can see all these schemes in a one-stop format, (and over 800 more relevant to NI charities), on GrantTracker, our funding database.  And we're still offering a month's free access to GrantTracker to any organisation in the sector who needs it in these challenging times.  Join the 208 organisations who have already benefitted....

For the latest on Government, local Council and trust and foundation funding, keep checking GrantTracker and our constantly updated articles on NICVA's COVID-19 Fundraising Hub

And keep up to date by following NICVA's Fundraising Advice Officer on Twitter

Also, see my latest article on “How to get the most out of GrantTracker during COVID-19 and beyond”



4 Councils are still running competitive, open grant schemes.  The others have now closed their COVID-19 grant schemes or have been distributing funds other than by open competition.  See the link above for full details.



£500 to £5,000 grants for volunteer and community groups, school and third level education organisations, youth groups and sports clubs for civic pride projects. Also now funding community groups to support  local people impacted through reduced contact with society.  

A ‘Community Cashback’ fund of £20,000 to support communities in need in NI.  Using an online public voting system , for 4 weeks from 20th April, each week will see groups receiving £2000 (1st place), £1500 (2nd place), £1000 (3rd place) or £500 (4th place).

As the world faces an unprecedented challenge, The North Face are committing €1 million through their COVID-19 Explore Fund to support the outdoor communities that make exploration possible during COVID-19.  Grant requests range from €1000 to €50,000.

 £250 to £1,000 grants for .small swimming and aquatic organisations experiencing short-term financial hardship from the effects of COVID-19.

100 donations of £100,000 to UK registered charities working to support vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19.  Applicants must have an income in excess of £1 million per year and be active in communities where Barclays‘ has a presence.  

The £6 million, single round Covid-19 Impact Programme is for Armed Forces charities and CICs to help them 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.

Allocates funds from VAT on sanitary products to projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls. Now also covering activities to address the impact of COVID-19 on  disadvantaged women and girls.


COVID-19 FUNDS CURRENTLY OPEN (Including this week's NEW funds)

Every 3 months, £250K goes to projects that matter to their employees Most. Each charity can apply for up to £50K.  In addition to the usual 2 key funding areas of community resilience and financial capability and inclusion, this round’s eligibility criteria include core running costs to adapt or continue services during COVID-19.

The COVID-19 2020 Booster Grants programme will open to current BBC Children in Need grant-holders from Monday 18th May 2020 and will enable organisations to apply for funding up to £5,000 over a 6 month period.

The COVID-19 Large Grants programme will open to applications from 8th June 2020 and will enable organisations to apply for funding up to £80,000 over an 18 month period.

An Emergency Funding programme to support charities experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the current pandemic. Particularly welcomes applications from Christian based organisations.

Grants of up to £2500 for community based food provision responses that support local families with children under 10.  (Managed by Community Foundation for NI)

A key NI fund and aims to help constituted groups in NI to deal with the emerging issues of Coronavirus.  Now offering grants of up to 10K for  -  

  • Older people (aged over 50) 
  • Those at increased risk, particularly in relation to poor mental health and wellbeing
  • Vulnerable isolated people and families, particularly those living in rural areas, families where a parent/ both parents have lost their employment or where children are living in poverty
  • Children and young people’s projects, particularly focusing on the voice of young people and connecting through creative mediums.  
  • Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities

5 grants of £10,000 to VCS organisations delivering innovative and new projects offering additional value in social care, where statutory support is falling short, limited, or currently non-existent, as the public sector focuses on emergencies. County Antrim only. 

A limited number of small grants of £150 for fuel and volunteer safety equipment to assist very localised and isolated rural communities throughout Mid Ulster during COVID-19.

Now focusing on funding charities and community organisations helping isolated and vulnerable people in their local communities at this difficult time. Focusing on the former Antrim Borough Council area. All potential applicants need to contact the administrator directly with an outline of the new or existing project.

Continuing to accept applications for funding from: i) charities struggling to survive funding crises during the Covid-19 pandemic, and (ii) charities seeking funding for future projects/activities.

Update: they will be making an additional £16 million of funding available this year in response to COVID-19.  £14 million will be in fast-response grants for organisations they currently support across all of their sectors: the arts, children and young people, environment, food and social change. £2 million will be for contributions to emergency funding schemes in collaboration with others.

They are currently closed to new applications so that they can concentrate support on the organisations they already fund and will reopen in May with their new funding strategy.

Focussed on providing support that is needed for workers throughout our healthcare system to help them to stay safe. Includes those working in hospital, residential settings and those providing community, home-based services to our elderly, ill and vulnerable, including private and not for profit contracted services.

Due to overwhelming demand, they are now offering a single grants scheme offering grants of up to £5000 for COVID-19 related projects.  The aim is to make it easier for charities to access aid quickly to provide vital services during the Covid-19 crisis. So far, they've awarded £439K to 80 charities and are hoping to help as many as they can.

Providing immediate micro-grants to community organisations that are helping the people most affected by the outbreak, including the elderly, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity.   NB As of 18th May, more than 539K had already been allocated (The original funding pot was just 500K.)

The Rank Foundation has temporarily suspended its major grants programme and launched 2 funds to help existing network and current grant recipients:

  • The Emergency Fund is for immediate grants of up to £750 to purchase equipment, technology or memberships;
  • The Resilience Fund will provide grants to cover cashflow, fundraising and loss of income, and to help with increased demand for services.

Initially, funding will only be available to the Foundation’s RankNet members, but currently reviewing their Pebble Grants programme criteria to allow for wider, public access.

Grants from £5K to £50K for organisations, community and grassroots groups working to redress the impact of COVID-19 and beyond on those who identify as POC (which includes other terms such as BAME, racialised people, black indigenous, people of colour BIPOC).  £500K available for their first wave of funding.

Fund for social enterprises and charities experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19.  Established to make an existing government scheme (the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) more easily accessible to charities and social enterprises.  The £25m is part of a wider package of support announced by Big Society Capital.

Provides funding to pet rescue organisations which make a real difference to the welfare of UK domestic pets in rescue and aim to reduce the number of domestic pets in rescue.  Their grant programme has been redeveloped to support rescues throughout the short and medium-term impact of the Coronavirus.

A £100 million COVID-19 Community Aid Package with 2 strands. £50million will be donated to charities chosen by Barclays and £50million will be donated by matching their employees' personal donations (individual organisations cannot apply for this funding.)  Will be disbursed mainly in the UK, but also in Barclays’ international markets, including USA and India.

  • The Baring Foundation: Strengthening Civil Society: Supporting legal action related to Covid-19

In collaboration with the Legal Education Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, provides grants of up to £40,000 for one year to support legal action in all its forms – empowering, persuading, challenging – that seeks to protect vulnerable individuals and communities from the impact of Covid-19 and the response to the pandemic from public authorities, businesses, and communities.  

Hardship grants of between £1,500 and £2,500 to enable individuals, including those on short-term PAYE contracts, to survive financially while they explore other ways of sustaining themselves during COVID-19. £1 million will be available to applicants living in England, and £500,000 to those living in NI

All funding decisions for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis. In addition, they are accelerating the cash part of this funding as much as they can, so that they can get money to where it needs to be. This is not new money, but it will be faster money.

A new level of Heritage Emergency Fund grants worth £50,000-£250,000. For all past and current NLHF grantees to cover essential costs for up to 4 months.  Intended to help heritage organisations address immediate risks, become more stable and work towards longer-term recovery after the crisis.  These new grants are in addition to the existing £3,000-£50,000 Heritage Emergency Fund grants and will be open until 30th June.

The National Emergencies Trust launched an appeal to raise funds to help local charities to support those individuals suffering hardship as a result of COVID-19.  The money raised is now available through the Community Foundation for NI's Coronavirus Community Fund.   (NB There is no separate fund)​

A dedicated package of free Covid-19 support for all forms of community business – including woodlands, farms, bakeries, pubs and shops, as well as those developing groups that have been affected by the pandemic.   

A new £5million grant and 1-1 support and guidance fund for young entrepreneurs aged 18-30 affected by COVID-19. Grants can be used to maintain core business operations during the crisis, as well as meet any existing financial commitments, such as paying for essential equipment or settling invoices from suppliers

£5 million of interest free loans to electrical waste treatment facilities and £0.6 million of grants to charity sector reuse organisations.





There are a great many online sources of information about potential funders.  However, many sources are not continually updated.  Please note that the following funds are not likely to reopen for applications.