The Obvious Choices

Name Usu. Size of Grants Your income range Can your running costs be covered too? Type of project sought Closing Dates Weblink
Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) General £5,000 and under* Less than £100,000 a year No Life skills, education, community cohesion, social justice, health and wellbeing, arts and culture, environment October  Link
Comic Relief Local Communities Programme (via OCF)  £1,000 – £10,000  Any  Yes Reduction of isolation and disadvantage and access to local services; advancing people’s physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety October  Link
Future Building Fund (OCF)  £10,000 – £75,000  £25,000 – £400,000 a year  Yes Infrastructure projects that will allow a ‘step-change’ in the way the group operates November Link
Sovereign ‘Making a Difference’ Fund (via OCF) £1,000  Any ? OCF has just launched a new partnership with housing association Sovereign. Through their ‘Making a Difference’ fund they will make grants of up to £1,000 to around 40 community organisations or individuals each year. The applicant’s referee must be a Sovereign resident, and projects can address a range of issues from social isolation to health and wellbeing. October  Link
Cherwell DC  £750  ?  Uses GrantNET (mentioned in weblinks below). Community Association Fund.

  • Support to newly-formed Neighbourhood Community Associations to help them become established within the local community
  • Support to the work of Associations in their development and increasing local participation in neighbourhood activity.
  • Enhancing community centre facilities
  • Grants will be awarded in the form of a funding agreement linked to community development.
Various  Link
Oxford City Council  £10,000 max ? ? Several other grants programmes – see website.

For example: Community grants for voluntary and community groups

  • Promotes community activities and cohesion
  • Gets more people involved with the arts
  • Tackles anti-social behaviour and improves community safety
  • Promotes and protects the natural environment and biodiversity
  • Tackles social inequality
April (for the community grants; for other funds see website)  Link
West Oxfordshire DC  Various ? ? Community Activities Grant (April) £500

Community Facilities Grant (September) £50,000

See left  Link
Oxfordshire County Council n/a n/a n/a No longer offer grants. See advice about contracts (top of this page). n/a n/a
South Oxon DC  Various  ?  ? Grants for voluntary sector organisations:

Communities Capital Grants (September)
Revenue Grants Scheme (yearly) (Advice, Care, Prevention of anti-social behaviour)

See left  Link
Vale of White Horse DC Various  Various No Capital community grants scheme

“We offer grants to help non-profit organisations, including town or parish councils fund community projects in the district.

Projects can only include capital costs, such as building improvements and extensions (not repairs and maintenance) or purchasing equipment. ”

See left  Link
Esmée Fairbairn Various  Various ? Categories for Grants: Arts, Children and Young People, Environment, Social Change, Food.

There is also a social investment fund, and Grants Plus (for organisations with an existing grant who require a little extra help to achieve)

? Link 
High Sheriff’s Award £3,000  n/a Yes The High Sheriff’s Community Integration Award has been established to reward and promote new initiatives to foster communityHigh Sheriff's Badgeintegration and to build greater common knowledge and understanding between communities in the County.  

The award is intended to provide support for projects that foster or encourage integration between different groups in the community and to encourage understanding of differences where that
is lacking. Projects may focus on any aspect of community life and may be new or already exist.

The award will provide financial support up to a maximum of £3,000 for any individual project or in smaller amounts depending on the requirements of the project.

Financial support provided under the award scheme could be used to pay for any or all of the costs of the project and could include staffing, travel, IT resources, hospitality, room hire, stationery and postage, phone calls and other similar incidental expenditure.

 September Managed by OCVA
RAISE South East (Challenge Fund) £2,500 – £10,000  –  No The aim of the Challenge Fund is to stimulate new and bold activity within voluntary and community sector groups, resulting in positive change across the communities they serve. Essentially we want to “unlock” potential in groups or organisations, to support good ideas, aspirational thinking and initiative. The fund will reward the most creative project ideas and the most exciting means of delivery. We want to see innovation, good ideas, creative thinking, resourcefulness and possibly some considered risk taking.  Various Link
The Gannett Foundation £1,000 – £5,00 ? As advertised in The Oxford Times. Education, neighbourhood improvements, economic and youth development, community problem-solving, disadvantaged people groups, conservation and cultural enrichment September Link
Big Lottery: Awards for All (England) £300 – £10,000 n/a Yes You can apply to Awards for All England if you are a community group, not for profit group, parish or town council, health body, or school. You do not need to be a registered charity to apply. You must have a bank account that requires at least two people to sign each cheque or withdrawal. You must use the grant within one year.


  • People have better chances in life with better access to training and development to improve their life skills.
  • Stronger communities with more active citizens working together to tackle their problems.
  • Improved rural and urban environments which communities are better able to access and enjoy.
  • Healthier and more active people and communities.
8 weeks Link
Big Lottery: Reaching Communities £10,000 – £500,000 n/a Yes We strongly encourage partnerships between the voluntary and community sector and the statutory sector to apply.


  • People have better chances in life, with better access to training and development to improve their life skills,
  • Stronger communities, with more active citizens, working together to tackle their problems,
  • Improved rural and urban environments, which communities are better able to access and enjoy,
  • Healthier and more active people and communities.

(They suggest you talk to your local funding advisor prior to application. In your case, OCVA. Limited one-to-one funding advice is available. Call to arrange.)

Unknown Link
NESTA £ ? Yes Several programmes, including:

Investment for Impact
We’re looking for organisations that can show a high potential for social impact, and a business model that can produce a return on our investment.
Ongoing Link
Comic Relief Grants £? ? ? Check the website during 2016 for updates to the various grants programmes available. Link
Lloyds Bank Foundation £ includes matched £25,000 – £1m ? We only fund charities or charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) registered with the Charity Commission with at least one year of published accounts covering a twelve month operating period. You must work with people aged 17 and over who are experiencing at least one of the following:

Have been abused or are at risk of abuse
Are victims of sexual exploitation or trafficking
Are ex-offenders or those at risk of offending
Are long term unemployed and are considered to be furthest away from the labour market
Are leaving care
Are homeless
Have learning disabilities
Have mental health and wellbeing issues
Have addictions
Are refugees or asylum seekers
Have caring responsibilities
Are older and are losing independence
Are isolated and vulnerable
Have severe financial difficulty as a compounding disadvantage
The only exceptions are people aged under 17 that are:

young parents
looked after children and disabled young people moving into independent living.

Ongoing Link
Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund £ 300 80 awards in total ? We are looking to help small, local community projects and community-minded people. From November 17 weeks, we are seeking to award a total of 85 £300 donations to help volunteer groups and people just like you. Give-aways are available during the nomination period. See website for details. November Link
Yapp Charitable Trust £ ? Less than £40,000 Yes – only this Only for registered charities 3+ years old who work with:

  • Elderly people,
  • Children and young people aged 5 – 25,
  • People with physical impairments, learning difficulties or mental health challenges,
  • Social welfare,
  • Education and learning.
Ongoing Link
Funding Network Oxfordshire £4,000 Less than £500,000 ? A crowdfunding event for small social justice organisations. We have a track record in supporting exciting and emerging charities in Oxford. Selected charities pitch to a friendly audience for £4,000. Please read the Guidance carefully. The deadline for applications is 22nd February.

Pitches given at annual event in May

Guidance 2016

Application Template

Midcounties Co-operative £2,000 There is no limit now. In some circumstances. You must be an individual Midcounties Co-operative member to apply for your group. Your group must be at least 12 months’ old. If you meet Midcounties Co-operative’s social aims you stand a good chance. These are:

  • Defending the Environment
  • Developing Young People
  • Developing Co-ops
See website for most current dates. Link