Apply for funding

We award grants through nearly 300 different funds set up at the Community Foundation by people and organisations who want to make a difference. Through their generosity, we invest in effective voluntary groups and provide support to individuals. 

We know that applying for funding can be difficult, so we’re here to make it as straightforward as possible. Please take the time to read these pages carefully before starting an application and, if you have any questions, please get in touch. We can also suggest ways you can get help and support with applying for funding. 

Apply as an individual

The Community Foundation has a number of funds which have been set up to make a difference by helping individuals in the community.

These funds are particularly targeted towards young people leaving care, those in education and those developing talents in the arts, sports and science.


It is important that you read the information very carefully before applying to make sure you are eligible and, if so, that your application reaches us through the right channel. If you have any questions about applying, you can call us on 0191 222 0945

Please only apply if your request fits with one of the funds shown.

Our current opportunities for funding will be shown once you've read this information. 

Generally grants are for individuals living in Tyne and Wear or Northumberland, but some funds help people in other parts of North East England. The information about which areas are eligible is explained in the details for each fund.

Please note:

  • Some funds have deadlines.
  • You will normally get a funding decision from us within 12 weeks from the date we receive your completed application.
  • Please only apply if your request fits with one of the funds shown.

Apply as an individual

The Community Foundation has a number of funds which have been set up to make a difference by helping individuals in the community.

These funds are particularly targeted towards young people leaving care, those in education and those developing talents in the arts, sports and science.


Current calls for applications

Young people who have been in local authority care living in or from Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

The Brian Roycroft Fund helps young people who have been in local authority care, and are now entering adult life, to achieve their aspirations.

Young people in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland in the performing arts

The Emma Newton Fund supports young people in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to support pursuits in the performing arts. Groups can also apply if they are assisting young people to access performing arts opportunities.

Women and girls in Sunderland and South Tyneside facing hardship

The Sunderland Industrial and Reformatory School Fund supports individual women and girls in Sunderland and South Tyneside with the costs of clothing, furniture, carpets and other important items needed to set up home or support someone in need.

  • Grant Range: Up to £300
  • Closing Date: Rolling grants programme

Care leavers aged 16-25

The Watson Family Fund supports care leavers aged 16-25 to move into accommodation, enter further or higher education, find employment or achieve good health. Grants should meet exceptional or difficult costs that are not the statutory responsibility of a Local Authority.

  • Grant Range: Up to £3,000

Young musicians in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham

Established in 1996 by Kathryn Tickell to support the musical skills of children and young people in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and Durham under 18 through tuition fees or help to purchase an instrument.

Apply as a group

We make grants to a wide range of groups from nearly 300 funds.

Generous people and organisations set up funds at the Community Foundation to make a difference to causes they care about. No two funds are the same, so our job is to match eligible applications to each fund’s interests.


It is important that you read the information very carefully before applying to make sure you are eligible and, if so, that your application reaches us through the right channel. If you have any questions about applying, you can call us on 0191 222 0945.

Before you start, please note that we do not fund:

  • contributions to general appeals or circulars;
  • religious activity which is not for wider public benefit;
  • public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations;
  • activities which solely support animal welfare;
  • activities which have already taken place;
  • grant making by other organisations;
  • Privately owned and profit-distributing companies or limited partnerships

What sort of group do we need to be to apply?

We make grants to a wide range of voluntary and community organisations. You don’t have to be a registered charity, but the work you want us to fund must be legally charitable. We can only make grants for general running costs or unrestricted purposes to charities. If you are any other sort of organisation, funding from us must be restricted for a specific charitable purpose. 

Your group must have a governing document (a constitution, rules, articles of association etc.), a governing body of at least three unrelated individuals, and a bank account in the group’s name with at least two unrelated signatories. 

Community Interest Companies (CICs) or other social enterprises that are not charities can apply if you can send us a business plan showing realistic plans for income generation (other than through charitable grants) and a community interest statement. We can then consider funding the charitable costs of your start-up or expansion. We will not normally fund your continuing services, which should be financed by selling goods and services in line with your chosen governance model.

We don’t usually fund large national charities unless they already have strong connections in our area and the work will make a big difference to our communities.

Which area do we need to be in to apply?

If your group’s activities take place in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland you can apply at any time.

If you are in Durham, the Tees Valley or elsewhere in the UK you should apply only if we have a current call for applications covering your area. 

What size of group do we need to be to apply?

You can apply whatever your income, but we are particularly keen to help grassroots and small-to-medium-sized voluntary groups. 

Some of our funds have more specific requirements about the size and type of groups eligible. When this is the case, we have a dedicated call for applications stating the extra criteria you must meet. 

What can we get funding for?

You can apply for funding towards:

  • keeping your services or activities going, expanding them or working in new areas;
  • making your organisation stronger, through improving services, developing your staff and trustees or working on your longer-term plans;
  • influencing relevant policy and practice that could improve the situation for the people and communities you help.

Funding can be towards running costs (including salaries and overheads), project costs, equipment or capital developments. The work can be new, continuing or a one-off initiative. Whatever you are seeking funding for must have a strong case for support. That means being able to explain what you will do with the grant, who will benefit and how you know the work will make a difference to the intended beneficiaries or cause.

How much can we apply for?

We mainly make small grants of £1,000 to £10,000. The average grant is around £6,000. We don’t make grants for less than £500. 

Some of our funds make larger grants. When this is the case, we have a call for applications stating the amounts available. Occasionally we make larger awards where we combine contributions from different funds to address a particular issue. We do this by inviting proposals from groups working in that area. 

How quickly will we get a decision?

If we cannot consider your application, we aim to tell you as soon as we can. 

For eligible applications, we aim to give you a decision within 12 weeks of receiving all the information we need. If we think your application fits one of our funds but it will take more than 12 weeks to make a decision, we will contact you.

Can we apply again if we have before?

If you applied to us and were successful, you can apply again so long as you have sent us any outstanding reports from previous grants.

If your most recent application to us was unsuccessful, you may be able to apply again but we might suggest things that you need to change or get advice about before you do.

Apply as a group

We make grants to a wide range of groups from nearly 300 funds.

Generous people and organisations set up funds at the Community Foundation to make a difference to causes they care about. No two funds are the same, so our job is to match eligible applications to each fund’s interests.

Ways to apply

General grant application

There are no set deadlines or special requirements. You can apply at any time. We try to match your application to one or more of our funds. Applications that we match to a fund are then assessed by our staff. Applications we cannot match to a fund are turned down.

Apply online here

Current calls for applications.

There is usually a set deadline and requirements, which sometimes require you to fill in a special application form. We check your application meets the fund’s requirements. Applications that do are then assessed by our staff. If your application does not match the fund concerned, we may consider it for a general grant alongside others.


Apply as a group

We make grants to a wide range of groups from nearly 300 funds.

Generous people and organisations set up funds at the Community Foundation to make a difference to causes they care about. No two funds are the same, so our job is to match eligible applications to each fund’s interests.


Current calls for applications

Supporting young people in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and Durham

The Wellesley Trust Fund supports organisations working with young people in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham, including Darlington. In this round, we’re welcoming applications from all organisations, regardless of whether they’ve received a grant from the fund in the past. And previous grantees are able to apply for projects of up to three years’ duration.

  • Grant Range: £500-£10,000 per year
  • Closing Date: Monday 5th February 2018, 9.00am.

Disadvantaged and disabled children and young people in Sunderland aged 8-25

The Sir Tom Cowie Fund aims to give disadvantaged and disabled children and young people in Sunderland opportunities to fulfil their potential. The focus is on schemes which help young people achieve goals, improve skills and explore their talents.

  • Grant Range: £10,000 to £15,000
  • Closing Date: Monday 19 February 2018 12 noon

Supporting community, voluntary and social enterprise sector organisations in Gateshead

The Gateshead Fund aims to support the provision of services and develop the capacity of community, voluntary and social enterprise sector organisations in Gateshead, creating stronger communities by building on the voluntary efforts of residents, local community assets and the work of elected members in their wards.

  • Grant Range: Up to £10,000
  • Closing Date: Friday 12 January 2018, 5:00pm

Supporting community groups within a 10-mile Radius of the Green Rigg Wind Farm

The EDF ER Green Rigg Windfarm Community Benefit Fund supports applications from community and voluntary groups working within a 10-mile radius of the Wind Farm, priority is given to those within a 3 mile radius.

  • Grant Range: £250 to £5,000, up to £9,000 in exceptional circumstances
  • Closing Date: 23 January 2017

Supporting organisations that benefit the residents of Eglingham Parish, Northumberland

Innogy Renewables Middlemoor Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund supports applications for both capital and revenue funding from charities and voluntary groups that are of direct benefit to the residents of Eglingham Parish.

  • Grant Range: £250 to £81,000 for groups and £250 to £2,000 for individuals
  • Closing Date: 26 January 2018

The 1989 Willan Charitable Trust

Applicants must complete the 1989 Willan Charitable Trust application form. The Trust funds charitable activities benefitting residents of Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, County Durham and Teesside. Applications are administered by the Community Foundation. Priority goes to those which ease social deprivation and/or enrich the fabric of the local community, and the quality of life of individuals within that community.

  • Grant Range: £500 to £10,000
  • Closing Date: Rolling grants programme

Supporting a range of energy-related projects across the region

The Northern Powergrid Partnering Communities Fund supports a range of voluntary and community projects: helping local energy projects to get off the ground, alleviating hardship associated with fuel poverty, promoting innovative energy-related environmental impact, energy efficiency or carbon reduction solutions, educating and informing communities about safety in relation to energy and street works, encouraging interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and sector-based career opportunities, promoting the use of the Priority Services Register, which enables free additional support to be provided to vulnerable energy consumers

  • Grant Range: £1,000 to £10,000
  • Closing Date: Monday 29 January 2018, 12 noon

Tackling mental health issues in North Tyneside

The Charles Robert Bell Fund focuses on groups supporting people with mental health issues and advancing mental health in North Tyneside, including ex-service personnel.

  • Grant Range: £500 to £5,000
  • Closing Date: Monday 1st January 2018 at 4pm

Taking action on environmental issues in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) fast track system supports community groups to take action on, educate about and raise awareness of environmental issues in their area.

  • Grant Range: Under £2,000
  • Closing Date: Rolling grants programme

Improving life chances in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

REEDS Grassroots Fund supports projects in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland that improve the life chances of people living in disadvantaged communities.

  • Grant Range: £500 - £3,000
  • Closing Date: Rolling grant programme

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