This Week's Funding News wc 17th August


Community Foundation for NI: The New Needs Fund (NB Now Closing 1pm on 21st August instead of 28th)

Grants of £1,000 to £15,000 to help organisations and communities to respond better, addressing new needs appearing as a result of the Coronavirus and where restrictions mean finding new ways of meeting existing needs and #build back better, helping to ensure organisations can thrive and continue to provide longer-term support to communities.

Art Fund: Respond and Reimagine Grants (Round 2 Closing Date, 5.30pm on 17th August, Round 3 Closing Date 5.30pm on 12th October)

Respond and reimagine grants provide funding to help museums, galleries and cultural organisations respond to immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis, and offer support to adapt and reimagine ways of working for the longer-term future. Respond and Reimagine Grants offer grants from £10,000 to £50,000. They will consider 100% funding. 

The COVID-19 Charities Fund (Reopened 3rd August, Closing Date 4pm 21st August)

This fund reopened on 3rd August for a further 3 weeks to allow charities that may not have had time to gather the required information and approvals in time to apply.  Criteria remain unchanged – still providing financial support to charities who have lost income due to the impact of COVID-19 and are not able to cover unavoidable costs until 30th September 2020. 

Local charities can apply for up to £75,000, although the majority of groups applied for less than half of that and the average request was for £21,000.  Over a third of applications to date have been for less than £10,000 so this fund is for local charities of all sizes facing different levels of financial hardship.  Having free reserves also doesn’t exclude a local charity from applying for this fund.  For more information click here. And see who has already been funded Here.

Bank of Ireland: Begin Together Awards (Closing Date 24th August)

In its 5th Year, The Begin Together Awards are recognising the towns and urban places across the island of Ireland demonstrating exceptional leadership during these challenging times.  There are over 21 financial recognition awards available from a total prize fund of €210,000/ or sterling equivalent.  2020 also sees the introduction of ‘special  initiative’ awards – a local town promotion initiative, a local community enterprise initiative and a local  business and community response initiative – reflecting the challenge that communities and businesses currently face from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Armed Forces Covenant Trust: Positive Pathways (Round 4 Closing 12 Noon 25th August)

Part of the Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, the Positive Pathways programme will award fixed grants of £35,000 for projects developed by and for veterans. Projects should aim to improve veterans’ mental health and wellbeing by getting veterans out and active.

The Edge: Rapid Response Fund (Closing 5pm, 25th August)

A new grant fund set up by the Edge Foundation to provide 30 grants of £750 to all groups that are working towards systemic change, and whose work is in line with Edge Fund's values.  They will award 30 grants. Of those, at least 15 grants will go to groups working on anti-racist struggles, and at least 10 of those 15 will go to groups fighting for Afrikan (Black/African) liberation and made up of African (Black/African) activists.

Comic Relief: Changemakers (Closing Date, 12 Noon, 28th August)

This funding opportunity is about looking to the future and making a bigger change. They’re looking for organisations that will make a significant contribution to their sector – whether that’s forging new ways of working in the wake of COVID-19, contributing evidence that will move things forward, cross-sector collaboration which recognises the way issues intersect, or advocacy and campaigning work.  They are looking for change making efforts that are relevant to their social change themes of homelessness, forced migration, gender justice, mental health, and early childhood development. 150K to 600K grants are available over 3-5 years

Do It Now Now: Common Call (COVID Fund)  (Closing 7pm, 31st August)

Specifically aimed at supporting Black-led social enterprises and charities to survive and even thrive in the COVID period.   Provides grants between £1K and £3K to UK based organisations led by people that identify as Black or Mixed with Black and with beneficiaries who primarily identify as Black or Mixed with Black. ​

Department for Communities: Access and Inclusion Programme

The Access and Inclusion programme provides capital grant funding, through local Councils and the Northern Ireland Museums Council, aimed at promoting a more inclusive society by enabling disabled people to participate more fully in arts, cultural and active recreation activities.  The maximum project cost must not exceed £30,000 and each applicant must provide match funding of at least 10% of the total project cost. (Waived for 2020/21)

 NB Accessing this funding through the NI Museums Council (Closing Date 4th September if applying through NI Museums Council)

Museums accredited with the NI Museums Council may submit applications to the Programme through the Museums Council who will be responsible for the assessment, scoring and ranking of projects. In the case of a council owned museum, venue operators must seek the agreement of the relevant Council before submitting an application to NI Museums Council. This must include confirmation of where the letter of offer should issue ie to NI Museums Council or the parent Council.  Councils may still bring forward projects for museums not accredited to the NI Museums Council. 

NB Accessing this funding through local Councils

NOTE It is wholly a matter for Councils to decide if they wish to accept applications from external organisations through an open call. Councils will, however, be responsible for the delivery of all projects they promote, whether internal or external.  (You will need to contact your local Council for further information about the programme and its closing dates).



Community Foundation for NI:  The IFA Inclusive Clubs Women’s Programme - New Needs

Managed by the Community Foundation for NI, The Inclusive Clubs New Needs Funding Programme provides grants of up to £1000 to support Women’s Clubs to respond to COVID-19, addressing the new needs appearing for football clubs, and where restrictions mean finding new ways of meeting continuing to support development of the women’s clubs.  The aim of the fund is to enable clubs to continue to play and develop the game, safely.

Allchurches Trust: Growing Lives

Grants of up to £25,000 to equip and empower churches and Christian charities to engage more young people more regularly, forging lasting relationships that provide an opportunity for individual, family, church and community flourishing.

Ebay Charity Connect:  Advance (NB In Kind Support Only - Applications Close 23.59pm, 24th August)

This training, which aims to help charities boost online revenues, runs for six months from September and there are 500 places available. Dedicated eBay specialists will guide charities through everything they need to know about selling on eBay through a mix of 1:1 sessions, group surgeries, webinars and access to learning materials.

Road Safety Trust: Small Grants Plus Programme (Opening 15th September, Closing Date 21st October)

They are relaunching their popular Small Grants programme in a slightly different format to 2019. For this round they have increased the minimum amount that can be applied for to £20K and the maximum amount to £50K.  They particularly encourage applications that respond to changing road use and emerging road safety issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. All applications must include a focus on evaluation of effectiveness.  The total funding pot is £300,000.  

The Theatres Trust: UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme (Repurposed as the Theatres Reopening Scheme)

A capital fund that awards up to £5,000 to theatres across the UK run by charities and not-for-profits that can clearly demonstrate the value capital improvements to their theatres would make to their work in local communities.  In response to COVID-19, they have repurposed this scheme to help theatres cover the additional costs of reopening after several months’ closure, including making adaptations for increased hygiene and social distancing measures.

Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Force for Change Programme (Round 1 Closing Date, 12 Noon on 11th September, Round 2 Closing Date, 12 Noon on 30th November)

A new local grant programme, awarding grants up to £20,000 to projects supporting Armed Forces communities to become less isolated and engage more in their local area.  Grants up to £20k available.  NB The two rounds of funding they are running this year will support local Armed Forces communities as they address the needs that have arisen as a result of Covid-19.

NIHE: Rural Community Awards (Closing Date 4pm, 11th September)

Aims to improve community spirit within rural neighbourhoods and encourage rural communities to protect the physical asset of the rural landscape and to celebrate their communities. On offer are 4 prizes of £1,000 being awarded to help and support those communities working to improve their respective area.  This year, there’s also a focus on how they have helped support residents throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period.


NB To see over 850 other funding schemes in a one-stop format, subscribe to NI's Leading database, GrantTracker, for just £100 a year for NICVA members and £145 for non-members here.

You can see all COVID-19 funding schemes on NICVA's constantly updated COVID-19 Fundraising Hub