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External Competitions and Grants

If you are interested in entering any of the below competitions/grants for funding and would like help with your application, email and arrange an appointment to speak with one of the team.



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Alec Dickson Trust

The Alec Dickson Trust have awards of up to £500 for people under 30 towards local community projects.

Armourer's Hall Venture Prize Competition

The Armourers & Brasiers Venture Prize is given as an investment of £25,000 to support the commercialisation of Materials Science research. The prize encourages links between Materials Science researchers and the financial and business community. It enhances the economic impact of Materials Science in the UK by the creation of new businesses providing challenging and interesting career paths for Materials Scientists and Engineers.

Arts Council

The Arts Council England is the national development agency for the arts in England, distributing public money from the Government and the National Lottery. The Arts Council provides grants from £1,000 to £30,000 (average £5,000) for individuals or arts organisations involved in arts-related activities that benefit people in England, or that help artists and arts organisations in England to carry out their work. 0845 300 6200

Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF)

The Association of Charitable Foundations is primarily an information and support organisation for grant-making trusts and foundations in the UK. It does not make grants itself but it represents the interests of its members by promoting good practice in grant-making and the effectiveness of trusts and foundations. Other activities include providing framework for sharing experiences and good practice, research, policy and influencing work, but also venture philanthropy and social investment.

Austin and Hope Pilkington

Contact Austin and Hope Pilkington for funding for projects relating to children, youth, the elderly and medical grants. Grants are for one year usually £1,000 to £10,000, with the majority being £5,000 or less.

Awards for All

Awards for All award grants of between £300 and £10,000 for schools, and voluntary/community organisations in the UK running projects that enable people to take part in art, sport, heritage or community activities, or promote education, the environment or health in the local community. 0845 410 2030

B&Q Waste Donation

B&Q Waste Donation is a scheme co-ordinated in store either by the environmental champion, duty or warehouse manager who will keep a Waste Donation Form on file for interested groups. Can donate waste materials, for example slightly damaged tins of paint, off-cuts of timber, and end of range materials, to community groups, charities and schools. 0845 609 6688

B&Q – One Planet Living Grants

B&Q – One Planet Living Grants. Grants of £50 to £250 of B&Q materials to support a local community project. Projects must demonstrate that provision of access for disabled people has been considered. Projects should be sustainable and the materials and methods used should not cause environmental damage in the short or long-term. 0845 609 6688

BBC Children in Need

BBC Children in Need award grants for projects working with disadvantaged children and young people, aged 18 and under. The small grants are under £10,000 for one to three years and the main grants are over £10,000 for one to three years. 0345 609 0015


Biffa award grants to projects near Biffa sites that provide or improve community spaces, cultural facilities and places for outdoor recreation. 01636 670 000

Big Community Wildlife

Contact Big Community Wildlife for grants of £300 to £10,000 for projects that bring local people together to discover enjoy or protect the wildlife in their local area. 0845 410 2030

Big Issue Invest

Big Issue Invest provide finance to social enterprises, community organisations, charities and businesses that are socially-driven.

Big Lottery Fund

Gives grants to community groups and projects that improve health, education and the environment. Grants from £300 to £500,000 for projects in a variety of areas are available from the Big Lottery Fund. 0845 410 2030

Biotechnology YES (Young Entrepreneurs Scheme)

Biotechnology YES, now in its 22nd year, is an innovative competition developed to raise awareness of the commercialisation of ideas among early career researchers. The competition is funded by sponsorship and aims to encourage an entrepreneurial culture in the UK postgraduate and postdoctoral base for the benefit of the UK bioeconomy.

Bridges Ventures

Seeded by the Bridges Charitable Trust in 2008, the fund was launched in August 2009 and has raised nearly £12m for investment in scalable social enterprises and charities delivering high social impacts and operating sustainable business models.

CAF Venturesome

CAF Venturesome offer financial support of between £25,000 and £350,000 to social enterprises and charities. They have made over 500 social investments, totalling over £40m.

CAN Invest

CAN Invest supports voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) to build sustainable businesses by providing capital and business support. CAN provides finance; business advice and support; investment readiness advice and support. Support is available to social enterprises; charities; cooperatives/mutuals. CAN provide grants from £25,000- 200,00 for working capital; development capital

Charity Bank

Charity Bank offers loans from £50,000 up to £3.25 million to charities, social enterprises and other organisations.

City Bridge Trust

Gives grants to organisations and usually only supports work which most closely measures up to its published priorities and delivers good outcomes.

Comic Relief

Comic Relief’s UK grant giving strategy is based around five themes: Better Futures, Healthier Finances, Safer Lives, Stronger Communities and Fairer Society.

Community Foundations

With more than £224m in endowed funds and providing about £70m in grants a year, community foundations are one of the UK’s biggest non-statutory community grant-makers. Community foundations manage funds donated by both individuals and organisations.

Community Project Grants from YouthBank

YouthBank is open to people in the UK aged 11 to 24. Local councils are providing this opportunity to engage young people in their communities with a £500 grant for a community based project. 0116 254 6960

Dell Social Innovation Challenge

University students and recent graduates can join Verb U to enter exciting entrepreneurship competitions run by Verb in partnership with global companies, foundations and governments.

Directory for Social Change

The Directory for Social Change produce several pay to register search engines which provides access to a wide range of funders including trusts, government funds, company giving and grants for individuals.

Educational Grants Advisory Service

The Educational Grants Advisory Service helps students who are over 16, “taking their first steps on the educational ladder”, primarily assisting students who cannot receive statutory funding. Priority to lone parents, disabled, refugees, people from underprivileged backgrounds. It gives advice on how and where to obtain funds. Send a SAE to Family Welfare Association 501 – 505 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AU or call 0207 241 7459 for more information.

Engineering YES (Young Entrepreneurs Scheme)

YES is designed to develop business awareness and an understanding of entrepreneurship in UK postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. This goal is achieved through a competition in which those participating prepare a business plan for a hypothetical company.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Gives grants across four main areas: Arts, Children and Young People, Enivronment and Social Change as well as the Food funding strand. Three types of support are available: grants, social investments and Grants Plus support. Since 2008 Esmée Fairbairn have made over 109 social investments. The foundation commit up to £35m in social investments and invest in a diverse range of organisations including charities, social enterprises, community benefit societies and other social investment funds.


Online market for positive investments. Supporting social businesses and uniting ethical investors.

Football Foundation

The Football Foundation has a Facilities Grant Scheme for projects that improve facilities for football and other sport in local communities. 0845 345 4555

Ford Britain Trust

Ford Britain Trust have small grants of up to £250 for work supporting activities with clear benefit to the community, work with young people/children, schools, special educational needs, those with disabilities. Applications are invited from registered charities, schools/PTAs, not for profit organisations (including small clubs and societies). 01277 252 551

Funding Information

Funding Information is an online pay-to-register website with a database of grants, contracts and loans from charitable trusts and foundations, Government, National Lottery, Europe and companies Funding is available to social enterprises; charities; voluntary and community organisations; social businesses; cooperatives/mutuals; un-constituted community groups.

Funding Central

There are many sources of grant funding, and new initiatives are launched all the time by national bodies such as the BIG Lottery Fund as well as various trusts and foundations. It can be very time consuming to keep a track of all of the various grant opportunities, so we recommend that you use an internet-based tool to take the strain out of your search. This free website will help you search under particular themes. It will also keep you up to date with new opportunities tailored to your needs.

Garfield Weston Foundation

Recent funding has supported projects in the following categories: Arts, Community, Education, Welfare, Medical, Religion, Youth and Environment.

Global Business Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Ninth Annual Global Entrepreneur Challenge, August 16-25, 2018 offers elite students teams and university representatives from all over the world a chance to collaborate, form partnerships, and build their global networks.  All student participants will experience Washington, D.C., through tours and sightseeing trips to museums and monuments, as well as a week-long celebration of entrepreneurship hosted in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. Elite student teams will present their business concepts for a $30,000 grand prize and trophy as they compete in the Global Entrepreneur Challenge.

Grad Factor

StartUp Factor provides access to finance in the form of equity investment at various levels depending on the needs of the business. And once an individual subscribes to the ‘Finance for Growth’ programme they are also given access to an expert mentor/coach through our network.

Grants Online

Grants Online is a comprehensive funding information service. It provides information on grant funding opportunities from the European Union, UK Government Agencies, the Lottery as well as Grant making Trusts and Foundations. This site operates on a subscription basis.


The Community Spaces programme will help groups in England to create or improve green and open spaces to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhood. Grants between £10,000 and £50,000 are available. 0845 367 1671

Hazel's Footprints

Hazel's Footprints is a charity which seeks to provide funding for dedicated individuals wishing to work voluntarily in schools, charities or community projects abroad. 01896 849 677

Henry Smith Charity

Gives grants for work with groups experiencing social and/or economic disadvantage (e.g. people with disabilities) and to work that tackles problems in areas of high deprivation.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Gives grants to sustain and transform the UK’s heritage.

Ideas Fund

The Ideas Fund can provide £1,000 for groups or individuals aged 16 to 25 to fund creative projects from any creative discipline e.g. dance, film, music, and photography.


j4bgrants is a free-to-register website with a database of European, UK Government and other sources of grant funding. The site is available to social enterprises; charities; voluntary and community organisations; social businesses; cooperatives/mutuals; unconstituted community groups.

Key Fund

The Key Fund provides investments and development support to Social Businesses based or operating in Northern half of England.

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales

Funds charities working with people aged 17 plus who are experiencing multiple disadvantage at one of the critical ‘transition’ points in their life and helping promote practical approaches to lasting change.

Local Libraries

Reference libraries have guides listing trusts and charitable foundations. Those to look out for are ‘The Educational Grants Directory’, ‘The Grants Register’, ‘A Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need’, ‘The Youth Funding Guide’ and the ‘Directory of Grant Making Trusts’ or ask for the software, ‘Grants for Individuals’

National Lottery Good Causes

The National Lottery funds projects in the UK that benefit the community and  'good causes'. This covers arts, heritage, sport, community and voluntary groups, health, education and environmental projects, and the Olympic games. 0845 275 0000

Northstar Ventures

The North East Social Investment Fund invests in Social Enterprises with individual investments ranging in size from £100k to £1m. Organisations should be located, or have substantial operations in the North East of England. The Fund will also invest in organisations that are willing to relocate to the region.

O2 Think Big

O2 Think Big is for people aged 13 to 25 years old and is to help make things better in the local community. The award is for £300 plus training and support and it may be possible to apply for further funding if a project is going well. Successful projects in the past include transforming an abandoned garden into a vibrant outdoor space. 0800 902 0250

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Gives grants to organisations that help people realise their potential and improve their quality of life through the arts, education and social projects.

RBS Inspiring Enterprise

RBS Social & Community Capital is offering Loan Funding of between £30,000 and £750,000 depending on the type of organisation, to enable Social Enterprises to gain the finance they need to expand their market.


Resonance help social enterprises raise capital from investors who share their values.  They can help you in a number of ways, including investment readiness and/or deal arranging.

Santander / Crowdfunder UK

Santander has £200,000 to support Changemakers who turn to the Crowd to make great ideas happen. The Changemaker Fund has been created to support projects that help disadvantaged people to have confidence in the future by building skills and knowledge or innovative ideas that help communities prosper.

Santander Foundation

Operates a Community Plus scheme providing grants of up to £5,000 to small local UK charities; and a Central Fund for projects in the UK that meet one or both of the Foundation’s priorities – Education & Training, or Financial Capability – and must directly help disadvantaged people.

Social and Sustainable Capital

SASC provide between £250,000 to £3 million in the form of loans, participation loans and equity to organisations that consider the delivery of their social mission a core part of their long term strategy.

Social Investment Business

SIB is a social investment specialist and manage one of the largest social investment portfolios in the UK of over £110 million. They manage a variety of funds for VCSE organisations.

Sport England

Sport England focuses investment on organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sports, create opportunities for young people to excel in sport and support local authorities to unlock local funding.

Starbucks Youth Action

UK Youth and Starbucks have launched Starbucks Youth Action, a programme that offers grants of up to £2,000 to young people wanting to improve their own communities. Starbucks Youth Action aims to encourage and inspire a generation of young people to take action and create positive local change. The programme provides training, support and funding to young people from 10 cities in the UK and Ireland. If you are 16 to 24 (or know someone who is) and have an idea that would benefit your community you can apply for grants of up to £2,000, plus volunteer time from Starbucks staff, to make that idea a reality. For further information or support, please contact Liz Ablett at UK Youth on or 07872 415 351

The Clothworkers' Foundation

The Clothworkers' Foundation awards capital grants to UK charities with an annual income of less than £15m. 0207 623 7041

The London Community Foundation

Gives grants to small community groups and charities across London to projects tackling a variety of social issues.

The Marine Society

The Marine Society has grants and loans available to young people taking up a career at sea, university entrants who want to follow a career at sea and those wishing to study A-levels before taking up a career at sea. 0207 654 7050

The Rank Foundation

The Rank Foundation provides support for young people to encourage leadership amongst them. Grants are available for local community initiatives. 0207 834 7731

The Savoy Educational Trust

The Savoy Educational Trust gives grants to people entering or working in the hospitality industry, or charities offering hospitality related education projects. Either scholarships of £5,500 to young people to help with their training or grants up to £500 to purchase items such as books, uniform and kitchen equipment e.g. knives. Initial contact/request for funding should be made in writing. 0207 269 9692

The Tudor Trust

Prefer to help smaller, community-led organisations which work directly with people who are at the margins of society: organisations which support positive changes in people’s lives and in their communities. The Tudor Trust is an independent grant-making trust which supports voluntary and community groups working in any part of the UK. They particularly want to help smaller, community-led organisations which work directly with people who are at the margins of society: organisations which support positive changes in people’s lives and in their communities. 0207 727 8522

The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers

The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers runs many charitable activities involving support and careers in the British furniture making industry. Please contact them for more information. 0207 256 5558

The Yapp Charitable Trust

The Yapp Charitable Trust make grants for running costs and salaries to small registered charities in England and Wales to help sustain their existing work. 0191 4922118

Trust for London

Gives grants to works that develop new and imaginative ways of addressing the root causes of London’s social problems, especially work which has the potential to infl uence and change policy, practice and public attitudes. Areas it will fund under are: employment; advice; social justice issues; and violence.

Turn 2 Us

Turn2us exists to help people access the money available to them – through benefits, grants and other financial help. Their free, accessible website has been designed to help people find appropriate sources of financial support, quickly and easily, based on their particular needs and circumstances. 0808 802 2000

University Grants

University Grants have compiled a selection of organisations that offer funding of this nature.


Gives grants to individuals that have great ideas for creating social change in their local area.

UnLtd Sports Relief Awards

UnLtd Sports Relief Awards are for 11- to 21-year-olds who want to tackle conflicts in their communities by using sport to bring people together. Funding of up to £1,000 is available for entrepreneurial young people. Help reduce violence in your area by getting young people to channel their energies into football or organise a skateboarding competition. 0207 566 1100


vcashpoint is a funding initiative for young people aged 16 to 25 who have got an idea for a London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired volunteering project to improve the local community. Apply for a grant of up to £2,500 from vcashpoint to bring the idea to life.


Vocalise runs an open grants programme (£5,000 to £20,000)  which encourages music-making for children and young people aged five to 18 (or up to 25 for those with special education needs, disabilities or in detention). 0207 902 1060

Wandle Community Grants Programme

Grants of up to £8,500 for organisations with community projects that benefit residents in Wandle’s 9 London boroughs of operation


Information correct as of 04/01/2018.

Hub for Innovation & Enterprise - © University of Kent

Hub for Innovation & Enterprise, Canterbury Innovation Centre, Unit 70, University Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7FG, T: +44 (0)1227 824641

Last Updated: 04/01/2018