External Funding Opportunities

We are not the only source of funding to the Community and Voluntary Sector.  External funding is money awarded from grant giving organisations such as;

  • the National Lottery,
  • national or local trusts,
  • European funds and
  • central Government.

Funding bodies are generally keen to see evidence of partnership working between the private, statutory and voluntary sectors.

Funding Central is a free smart website for the whole community and voluntary sector providing access to thousands of funding and finance opportunities.

COVID-19 Funding

A number of funding bodies have established grants to support community and cultural organisations during this challenging time. Please note that due to increased demand on funding, some funds will have very tight deadlines, and others may be paused to cope with demand so please check the websites for more details.


  • Charities Aid Foundation has an Emergency Fund to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. 
  • The Police Property Act Fund is awarding grants to support organisations who are working with the local community and helping people through this crisis.
  • There are a number of funds available through The Good Exchange, including specific support through the coronavirus crisis from Sovereign and the Miss Lawrence Trust.
  • Oxfordshire Community Foundation has launched a community resilience fund to support community and charitable organisations who are helping people through the crisis.
  • The Trussell Trust is offering support to food banks.
  • Neighbourly are awarding micro-grants to their existing members to support vulnerable members of the community.
  • The Leatherseller's Company is offering small grants to registered charities which are which are currently supporting the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless, provision of food and essential supplies, victims of domestic violence, and nursing care to vulnerable patients.
  • The National Lottery Communities Fund has a few community funding schemes open in England: Reaching Communities, Partnerships, and Healthier Communities Together. The National Lottery Communities Fund and the Government will be launching a coronavirus fund to support small and medium sized organisations at the heart of their local communities which are making a difference during the outbreak.
  • The Morrisons Foundation is awarding grants to community projects that make a difference to people's lives. 
  • Sporting Capital offer loan and grant funding to organisations which run community and sport-based services to address local need.
  • Crisis has established an emergency grants fund to local groups who are working to meet the current needs of those experiencing homelessness.
  • Standard Life Foundation is offering funding for organisations aiming to create a step change in policy, practice, attitudes and/or behaviour in response to COVID-19.
  • Tesco Bags of Help is offering micro-grants to organisations supporting local communities and vulnerable groups.
  • The Social Entrepreneurs Programme, from Lloyds Bank and bank of Scotland, is offering support to social enterprises, charities, community projects and impact-led organisations through the Start-up and Scale-up programmes.
  • A Good Food Fund has been launched to support organisations to tackle childhood obesity.
  • WRAP UK offer grants to support small not-for-profit organisations who can redistribute surplus food from the likes of retailers, wholesalers, and food manufacturers, to people in need or those considered vulnerable.
  • The Clothworker's Foundation has launched an emergency capital programme to award small grants to allow organisations to adapt or increase services in response to COVID-19.
  • Warburtons offer micro-funding to charitable organisations to deliver broader activity. 
  • The Co-operative Bank awards Community DirectPlus account holders small grants towards special projects. 
  • Persimmon is giving donations towards community groups and charities that give support to the over-70s.
  • AB Charitable Trust offers grants to charities that work to support migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, criminal justice and penal reform, and human rights. 
  • The Tudor Trust awards grants to community-led organisations that work directly with people at the margins of society and support positive changes in their communities. 
  • The Antonio Carluccio Foundation has grants to support hospitality related training and development, to promote a better understanding of food origins and nutrition and to make direct support available for organisations working to feed those in need.
  • Comic Relief will be making some of the money raised through Sport Relief 2020 available to organisations on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis, that are able to reach vulnerable people. 
  • The Dulverton Trust is prioritising making grants to organisations that are well-placed to support vulnerable communities through the coronavirus crisis and also fit their funding criteria. Though priority will be given to previous recipients of their grants, the Trust is open to new applicants. 
  • Social Investment Business has launched a Reslience and Recovery Loan Fund for social enterprises and charities that are experiencing disruption to their normal business model due to the COVID-19 crisis. 
  • The Association of Mental Health Providers is providing grants to allow organisations to continue to provide mental health services and support during the crisis.
  • NSUN are awarding small grants to community-led groups to support community action, peer support, mutual aid and other activities that will make a direct difference to the lives of people living with mental ill-health, trauma and distress during this Covid-19 period.
  • The Allen Lane Foundation awards grants to projects which will make a lasting difference to people’s lives rather than simply alleviating the symptoms or current problems, are aimed at reducing isolation, stigma and discrimination, and encourage or enable unpopular groups to share in the life of the whole community.
  • B&Q donates unsellable materials and products to community groups, charities and schools to re-use and recycle.
  • OneFamily are awarding small grants to local groups and causes who are providing support to those affected by coronavirus, or who have themselves been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
  • Alpkit has repurposed its grants programme to support projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those affected by the Covid-19 virus crisis.
  • FareShare's Surplus with Purpose fund helps companies seeking to unlock new or hard to reach surplus (or ‘waste’) food to be diverted to charities in need.
  • Leeds Building Society Foundation donates to projects and good causes which support those who are disadvantaged or in vulnerable circumstances.
  • The Tampon Tax Fund offers grants to projects that work to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.
  • The Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust has a programme of small grants for smaller charities that provide support for older people, people with disabilities or others facing difficulties in their lives.
  • The Yapp Charitable Trust offers core funding to small charities that work in one of their priority areas.
  • The Government has annouced that it will allocate £360million to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. It has also said that charities can access much of the support available to businesses.
  • Support Adoption for Pets offers grants to charities and not-for-profit organisations that rescue and rehome UK pets or provide temporary support to ensure pets can remain with their owners.
  • UK Power Networks' Power Partner funding is available to support organisations that have found new ways to provide vital support for vulnerable members of communities and help people facing fuel poverty, particularly during the current restrictions.
  • Alec Dickson Trust offers small grant funding to volunteering or community service projects, organised and run by people under 30 years old, which directly or indirectly respond to COVID-19.  
  • Groups, clubs, committees or charities working in or directly serving the community within the Littlemore Parish Council area can apply for small grants to support the community through COVID-19.
  •  Oxford Hospitals Charity offers small grants towards projects or items that can make a real difference to a hospital service or department, staff or patients. They are particularly keen to hear from frontline staff.
  • The Schroder Charity Trust offers grants for a broad range of charitable purposes: education and young people, health, communities, environment and conservation, heritage, arts and culture, international development, and the armed forces.
  • SSEN's Resilient Communities Fund is focused specifically on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and community-based responses to assist the most vulnerable during the pandemic.
  • Barclay's Covid-19 Community Relief Programme supports charities that are meeting the immediate needs of people in our communities, including low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers.
  • Thomas Wall Trust offers funding to organisations working towards improving basic digital skills for people in need, and projects which equip adults with basic digital skills for work and life, helping them access the online world.
  • The Feminist Review Trust awards grants to projects that support women.
  • The Greggs Foundation is providing grants to organisations and groups that support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Their separate Local Community Projects Fund supports local community organisations to make a real difference.
  • Ecclesiastical's Movement for Good Awards help support charities that are making a real difference in their communities.
  • Resourcing Racial Justice offer grants to support projects that meet the immediate needs and/or impact of crisis (COVID-19 or other) for communities of colour.
  • Aviva Community Fund offers grants to support groups to continue or adapt vital services to support communities in need at this time. They will fund projects working in financial capability and inclusion, and community resilience.
  • The Baring Foundation's Strengthening Civil Society Fund is open to charities 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.
  • Clarion Futures' Digital Grants programme awards funding to projects which support Clarion residents and the wider community to address digital exclusion. The fund is designed to support Clarion residents of all ages to get a
  • nd stay online and to use the internet as an everyday tool, safely and confidently.
  • Homeless Link is distributing Government funding to provide relief for frontline homelessness charitable organisations who are directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Clinks is distributing Government funding to support small and medium sized voluntary organisations working in criminal justice to continue wroking during the COVID-19 crisis.

Young people

  • Turners Court Youth Trust is offering grants to support work with vulnerable and disaffected children and young adults up to the age of 23.
  • The Pye Charitable Settlement offers grants aimed at youth organisations and groups offering children's health and social care.
  • The Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust offers grants to improve the life chances for some of the most disadvantaged children by investing in early intervention and preventative work.
  • The Youth Endowment Fund supports vulnerable young people. They have also launched a COVID-19 grant round to support vulnerable young people at risk of youth violence.
  • The Youth Futures Foundation awards grants to organisations working with young people towards employment.
  • The Co-op Foundation awards grants to deliver peer support and/or youth-led advocacy projects to help young people up to the age of 20 experiencing bereavement. 
  • Kellogg's and Forever Manchester are awarding grants to breakfast clubs at schools that remain open to vulnerable children and children of key workers.
  • The Les Mills Fund for Children offers small grants to youth causes that improve the education, and physical and emotional wellbeing of children and young people, and inspires them to get active. 
  • Hope for the Young have established a COVID-19 Emergency Fund to to help support in the immediate health and well-being of the most at-risk and socially isolated young people. 
  • Buttle UK's Chances for Children grants are targeted at improving the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people and their capacity to engage in education and learning.
  • Wooden Spoon offer grants to organisations which aim to make a positive impact on the lives of children and young people.
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry offers outreach funding to enable groups and individuals to run chemistry-based public and schools engagement activities.
  • Family Fund offer grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children or young people.
  • The Woodward Charitable Trust offers core funding to organisations with projects delivering impact in their priority areas.
  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Comic Relief, and CAST are offering grant funding and tailored support to help charities to accelerate the develpoment of digital solutions.

Arts and Culture

  • The Arts Council has launched three funding schemes to offer support to 1) creative practitioners and freelancers, 2) arts and culture organisations who do not currently receive funding from the Arts Council, and 3) National Portfolio Organisations and lead Creative People and Places organisations.
  • The National Lottery has launched the Heritage Emergency Fund, with two streams of funding available.
  • PRS for Music has launched an emergency relief fund for existing members.
  • Help Musicians' Fusion Fund offers grants for professional musicians to undertake collaborative projects that design and test new ideas and that will explore the use of remote, digital or online collaboration tools or performance spaces.
  • Youth Music has launched an emergency fund that offers support to music-making organisations affected by coronavirus.
  • Fidelio Charitable Trust welcomes applications in support of the Arts, in particular music, including opera, lieder, composition and dance. 
  • The Theatres Trust Accessible Theatres Scheme is awarding grants to improve access in theatres. 
  • The Make A Difference Trust Crisis Fund is designed to provide support to those theatre industry members who are experiencing unexpected financial distress as a direct result of Coronavirus COVID-19 and which threaten to impact on well-being, either physically or mentally.
  • The Association of Independent Museums has grants available to support independent museums to develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections.
  • Music For All has two funding streams available: grants for individuals, to give people the opportunity to access musical instruments and lessons; and, grants to support projects that aim to bring music to their community.
  • The Dance Professionals Fund provides financial support to professional dance artists in time of need.
  • PRS Foundation has three funds available for musicians: The Hitmaker Fund offers opportunities for songwriters and producers to develop their careers; the Composer's Fund is open to composers with a strong track record; the Women Make Music fund supports the development of women, trans and non binary songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds at different stages of their career.
  • Farnham Maltings has a limited number of short commissions available to theatre professionals to support "exciting, mischievous ideas which fully embrace the requirement of social distancing and turn it on its head".
  • Ofcom's Community Radio Fund is offering emergency funding to support community stations facing severe financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Concertina are providing micro grants to support smaller organisations that provide music activities for the elderly, including funding to care homes for the elderly to provide musical entertainment for their residents.
  • The Society of Authors has launched the Authors' Emergency Fund to help support authors impacted financially during the coronavirus crisis.
  • The Film and TV Charity is awarding small grants to film and television industry workers with ideas for activities that could help your others in the industry during the crisis.
  • Freelands Foundation is offering grants to freelance creative practitioners who work in the visual arts and are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Museums Association is awarding grants to support museums to explore different ways of engaging with collections while physical access is not available or is severely limited. 

Sporting, Physical and Outdoor Activities

  • Sport England has launched a community emergency fund to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are suffering financial hardship as a reult of closure during the crisis. Active Oxfordshire can offer application support through their COVID Support and Recovery service. Sport England has teamed up with Crowdfunder to offer match-funding on funds raised through Crowdfunder.
  • The Peter Harrison Foundation is awarding grants to organisations that are offering opportunities through sport, and addressing special needs and care for children and young people.
  • Localgiving offers Magic Little Grants to projects which support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise with the primary aim of improving the physical health of participants.  
  • The Swimathon Foundation has launched a COVID-19 relief fund to support the swimming and aquatics community deal with the impact and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Football Foundation are offering grants aimed at helping clubs and organisations get their artificial and natural grass pitches ready for when lockdown is lifted. 
  • The North Face has launched a fund to support orgnaisations and groups with a focus on the outdoors e.g. conservation groups and organisations, outdoor charities.
  • The Government offers funding for urban tree planting through the Urban Tree Planting Challenge.


  • The Al-Mizan Charitable Trust is offering small grants to individuals who are in financial hardship or need because of poverty, deprivation, or disadvantage.
  • Oxford Home Improvement Agency has support available for older, disabled and vulnerable residents within Oxford City to live safely and independently in their own home.
  • BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Fund supports children and young people up to the age of 18 living with severe poverty as well as additional pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family The fund will cover the purchase of critical items.
  • The Teaching Staff Trust provides financial support for people are in financial difficulty and who have worked in the education sector for five years or more.
  • myrTwellbeing is offering grants through the CaRe20 scheme to support people who work in retail or supporting service industries who are affected by COVID-19.
  • The Careworkers' Charity is offering emergency funding for currently employed care workers who must take time off work due to Covid-19.

Entrepreneurs and businesses

  • The Prince's Trust, together with Natwest, has launched an enterprise relief fund to offer grant funding and support to entrepreneurs aged 18-30 who are self-employed and running their own business.
  • The Government has annouced that it will allocate £360million to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. It has also said that charities can access much of the support available to businesses. There is also support available to self-employed individuals, including those in partnerships. 
  • The Government has launched two funding schemes for businesses: a Small Business Grant Fund and a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
  • The Government has also announced that dairy farmers will be able to access funding to help them overcome the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Oxford City Council is offering coronavirus support and other discounts to businesses.
  • OxLEP has grant funding available for Oxfordshire SMEs, specifically targeting scale-ups and Social Enterprises. They fund activities and projects that will ultimately lead to business growth and job creation in Oxfordshire. 
  • Power to Change is offering support packages to community businesses facing loss of trading income due to COVID-19. They have also announced a recovery programme for later this year.

The Arts

Arts Council England is funded by the National Lottery. This funding is for activities carried out over a set period and which engage people in art activities and helps artists and art organisations in England to carry out their work.


Connecting Classrooms is a global programme that creates partnerships between clusters of schools in the UK and others around the world. The programme is delivered through the British Council.

Generalist Funds

  • Comic Relief funds projects that address people's immediate needs as well as tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice.
  • Esmee Fairbairn Foundation supports projects across the broad range of interests, which include the arts, education and learning, the environment and projects that enable disadvantaged people to participate fully in society.
  • Oxfordshire Community Foundation has a variety of grant programmes available to community and voluntary groups who are working to tackle disadvantage and make life better for people in Oxfordshire. 
  • The Henry Smith Charity makes grants for work throughout the UK. Applications can be made for revenue and capital activities. Priority is given to work with groups experiencing social and/or economic disadvantage, for example, people with disabilities; and work that tackles problems in areas of high indices of deprivation. 

Sport Foundations and Trusts

Support, advice and funding information for particular sporting activities or for specific groups of people is available from sports foundations and trusts.

For non specific sporting activities the following links may help you get started.

  • Sport England supports projects that create opportunities for people to participate and succeed in sport. They are launching programmes open to a wide range of organisations which include sports clubs, voluntary or community organisations, schools, colleges and universities.
  • UK Sport invests Exchequer and National Lottery funds in Britain's best Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes to maximise their chances of success on the world stage.
  • Sports Aid Charity fits comfortably between Sport England and UK Sport, This charity supports young and amateur sportspeople into participation in competition.

Young People

  • Children in Need focuses firmly on children and young people experiencing disadvantage. They will fund organisations working to combat this and to make a real difference to children and young people's lives.  There are two large general funding streams as well as more specific opportunities on rotation.
  • The Wooden Spoon Charity exists to improve the quality and prospect of life for children and young people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally or socially.  They will fund revenue or capital projects.

Help and Support

If you have difficulty searching for other sources of funding or would like some help and support completing your application contact Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA) on 01865 251946.