Voluntary organisations

If you are part of a voluntary or community based organisation you may be eligible to apply for a grant or a funding opportunity.

Where can you find out more?

You can apply for grants at a local, national and European level. If you are unclear of what to look for you can do a basic search on our GRANTNet website page. GRANTNet allows you to enter information about the project that you are seeking funding. Brief details of suggested sources of funding are then displayed and full details can be requested by email.

Central government funding

Visit the government funding website, which provides access to government grants for the voluntary and community sector.
It is run by the Directory of Social Change who also publish a hardcopy version.

The Directory of Social Change is a leading, independent source of funding information for voluntary and community organisations. They publish comprehensive details of funders, including charitable trusts and foundations.

Other funding

The Big Lottery Fund also provides funding for voluntary organisations and charities, through the national lottery. Small to medium community transformation grants are available at a local level through to national projects.

How to apply

If you find a grant or funding opportunity suitable for your organisation you will need to submit an application. When reviewing any application the funding body will need supporting evidence of how you propose to invest your grant. As an organisation, you should plan your application carefully and make sure you have sufficient resources available to provide a strong case.

When seeking funding, organisations are much more likely to be successful if they receive support from people who are experienced in the grant application process. You should always seek expert advice if you are unsure about any aspect of your application as this may greatly reduce your chance of a successful bid.

The following is a list of general advice you should consider when submitting a funding application:

  • find out if you have to fill in an application form or write a letter
  • for the purpose of a letter write no more than one side of A4
  • practice writing your bid on a photocopy of the application form
  • make sure the application looks good and is neat and legible
  • address your application to the correct person
  • select a catchy but appropriate project title
  • do not assume the funders are either "experts" or "idiots"
  • make sure it says who you are and what you do
  • establish your credibility as an organisation/partnership
  • prove there is a concrete need/ demand for the project
  • state how much money you need, what you need the money for and why
  • be realistic - do not necessarily bid for the maximum grant available
  • ensure your budget adds up and is realistic
  • show enthusiasm for the project, but be objective
  • show how you plan to monitor/evaluate the project and what will happen to the project when the money runs out
  • enclose appropriate supporting material - accounts, budget, annual report, constitution, leaflets etc


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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
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