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Funding Your Activities

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To undertake a project in your community, you may need to seek funding. The factsheets throughout the toolkit mention various funding bodies and charitable trusts and foundations that offer financial assistance to groups. The ‘Fundraising’ factsheet in the toolkit outlines key fundraising practices, including how to write a funding bid, and highlights general sources for you and your group to explore to help you secure funding. This section in the Directory provides you with details of organisations in the North East that provide general funding to help you get your project off the ground.

If you aware of a general funding opportunity open to community groups in the North East and not listed here, please let us know.

In addition, look out for the latest funding news and opportunities in our newstream via Twitter and in our Newsletter.

Key Contacts

In the first instance you should always contact the funding officer at your local development agency who will be able to provide free and up to date advice. LDA’s are organisations whose job it is to support voluntary and community action in their borough. Each one varies in the services it makes available, but most offer access to training, funding advice, basic facilities such as computers and photocopiers and general support for people trying to set up projects in their community. They all have different names but we strongly recommend that you get in touch with the one nearest you. Your local authority might also be able to help you and offer you some funding to support your activities. Full contact details for all local development agencies and local authorities in the North East can be found here.

In the North East, Funding Information North East provides up to date information on sources of funding for community groups via its publications and services. Their website is a good place to start, please visit Please note that FINE does not offer funding advice.

Current Funding Opportunities


Community Foundations are independent grant-making charities committed to supporting projects that engage local people in making communities and regions better places to live. There are 3 in the North East who operate a number of different funds between them, and on behalf of a wide variety of individuals and organisations.

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
T: 0191 222 0945

County Durham Community Foundation
T: 0191 378 6340

Tees Valley Community Foundation
T: 01642 260860

Sir James Knott Trust awards grants to registered charities and community groups (not individuals) operating in the North East. Grants will be given to a range of groups with different aims.   
T: 0191 230 4016

R.W.Mann Trust make grants to any organisation which is charitable in the North Tyneside and East Newcastle areas. You do not need to be a registered charity, but you will need the support of a charity. Their average grant is £1000 and they meet every month. Details of what to include in your application are on their website.   
T: 0191 284 2158

Sherburn House Charity offer grants ranging between £1000 and £5000 to groups who aim to relieve need, hardship and distress. They have supported projects working in homelessness, mental health and long-term unemployment before. You can download an application form from their website.


Big Lottery Fund currently offers 21 programmes of funding for community groups across the UK. 
T: 0845 102 030 (BIG Advice Line)

Awards for All is a Lottery grants scheme funding small, local community-based projects in the UK. 
T: 0845 410 2030

The Cooperative Foundations and Funds currently offers four initiatives that community groups and co-operatives can apply for support through,including The Co-operative Membership Community Fund where community groups, voluntary groups, self-help groups, community charities and local branches of national charities are eligible to apply for a wide range of activities.


North East European Social Fund Community Grants 2011-2013 programme provides grants of up to £12,000 to small, third sector, voluntary and community organisations to engage with local communities to deliver a range of skills and employment support to enable people from the hardest to reach communities, experiencing multiple disadvantages, to make progress towards the labour market.

The programme is funded jointly by the Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund, and managed by the 3 Community Foundations in the North East. For further information, please visit any of the Foundation’s websites.

Further Advice and Information

Try the following for funding advice and further links:

Directory of Social Change (DSC)

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

Association of Charitable Foundations (general information on fundraising from Trusts and links to member’s website)

Grants Online

Access Funds

Charities Information Bureau – Fit4Funding (hosts GRANTnet funding directory)

For free access to resources such as funding guides check your local library or contact the funding advisor at your local development agency.