Grants available for small grassroots groups and charities in England

Grants are available for small grassroots groups and charities in England either to help them develop their organisation or to deliver projects that fit with Comic Relief’s four strategic themes.

Current Status

Open for Applications

Maximum value:

£ 4,000

Objectives of Fund

The programme will invest in grassroots community-led organisations to bring about lasting change and legacy for local people.

The Fund has four main objectives and will support innovative projects that will tackle Comic Relief’s four core themes:

  • Children Survive and Thrive: Projects that support children under the age of five to reach their potential and have the best start in life.
  • Fighting for Gender Justice: Projects that improve equality for women, girls and initiatives that help people affected by domestic violence, abuse or exploitation due to their gender.
  • A Safe Place to Be: Projects that support people who are rebuilding their lives because of homelessness or forced migration.
  • Mental Health Matters: Projects that support good mental health in communities, improve access to support and tackle stigma and discrimination.

The funding will strengthen local organisations helping them with skills and advice to drive community projects forward, as well as providing the necessary funding and support that groups need to kick-start new initiatives.

Value Notes

Two types of grants are available:

  • Capacity building grants of up to £500.
  • Project delivery grants up to £4,000.

Match Funding Restrictions

Match funding is not required.

Who Can Apply

Applications will be considered from grassroots community organisations and charities with an income of less than £250,000 that are based and working in England.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be not-for-profit.
  • Have an annual income of £250,000 or less.
  • Have a governing document which includes appropriate statements on members not benefiting financially from the organisation or its dissolution
  • Have at least two unrelated people on the committee
  • Have their own bank account with at least two unrelated signatories
  • Be based within the area where they are carrying out activities
  • Have local people involved in the running of the organisation as trustees/staff/volunteers
  • Not be a statutory organisation


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Organisations with an annual income over £250,000.
  • Individuals.
  • Statutory organisations including schools, universities and hospitals.
  • Private sector companies/businesses.
  • Unconstituted organisations.

Eligible Expenditure

Applications can be made for either capacity building grants or project delivery grants.

Capacity building grants – will support organisations to become more robust and better able to deliver projects that have a legacy beyond the funding. Funding will support activities such as developing organisational governance, policies and procedures as well as increasing overall capacity in groups.

Examples of capacity building grants are as follows:

  • A project to increase the capacity of the organisations through increasing volunteering, including core time to develop a volunteer strategy, volunteer policy, recruitment and training of volunteers.
  • Project to train trustees and senior management, to ensure good governance is in place, and the organisation has capacity and capability to manage new projects.
  • Developing an organisation’s website and social media channels to enable an organisation to communicate more effectively with its beneficiaries
  • Developing social value process to better record impact of work
  • Project to increase the diversity of trustees, encouraging more lived in experience members.
  • Engaging with service users, clients and the community to develop models of delivery

Capacity building grants do not require match funding and are available as a rolling programme with decisions made within six weeks of the application. Funding should be spent within 12 months of their award.

Project delivery grants – will support projects, including purchasing items, materials and equipment to benefit the local community, improvements to a community building, developing an outdoor space or running a community project or activity. Projects can also fund coordinators to manage volunteers, staff to lead activities or training sessions, workshops and community activities.

Examples of project delivery grants, include but are not limited to the following:

  • Training for parents and carers to help support their children’s development before starting school.
  • Activities for girls or women to help them make healthier life choices.
  • Supporting people with mental health issues to improve an outdoor space or create a meeting space.
  • Setting up a peer support network for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Hire of room where homeless people can access support.

This list is not exhaustive and there will be many other types of projects that can be funded. The fund will support, capital or revenue projects, which can be completed with 12 months. Core organisational costs, may be included but the Fund will not fund projects which only contribute to organisational general running costs or solely a continuation of services. It’s not a requirement of the fund that applicants have match funding, however if they do the Comic Relief Community Fund should be the main funding source.

How To Apply

There are no deadlines as this is a rolling programme.

The first step in the application process is to complete the online eligibility checklist on the Groundwork website.

Guidance notes are available on the Groundwork website.

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