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

Young musicians in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham

Grants available for children and young people in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and Durham. Support is available to help youngsters interested in any musical genre with tuition fees or to purchase an instrument. Bursaries are also available for those specifically interested in folk music, traditional dance or singing.

  • Closing Date: 15 April 2018

David Dockray West End Young People’s Fund at the Community Foundation makes grants to support children and young people who live in the west end of Newcastle.

David Dockray West End Young People’s Fund at the Community Foundation makes grants to support children and young people who live in the west end of Newcastle.

  • Grant Range: £500 - £1,000
  • Closing Date: 4pm on Friday 1 May

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 access and inclusion to quality arts for young people across the North East

The Culture Bridge North East Fund provides grants of between £250 - £1500 to support working relationships between arts practitioners/cultural organisations on one side and schools/youth settings on the other. Priority will be given to projects working with young people from whom access and inclusion with quality arts activities and provision is an issue.

  • Grant Range: £250 - £1500
  • Closing Date: Monday 21 May 5pm

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

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

Funding for women only projects in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

The Women’s Fund will make awards to voluntary and community groups that provide services specifically targeted at women. Applications must clearly demonstrate how they help women overcome their gender disadvantage. Beneficiaries should be over 18 years old.

  • Grant Range: Up to £3,000
  • Closing Date: Monday 23 April 2018

Funding to support young people’s involvement in Social Action

The #iwill Youth Social Action Fund offers support to projects working with young people aged 10 to 20 or up to 25 for disabled people to support their involvement in youth social action.

  • Grant Range: £1,000 to £5,000
  • Closing Date: 30 April 2018

Supporting projects that enable active ageing

The Kellett Fund is open to community and voluntary sector agencies active in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and Chester-Le-Street that involve older people in their governance, service planning and/or delivery. Applications for service delivery by CICs and non-charitable social enterprises will not normally be supported.

  • Grant Range: Up to £30,000 per annum over two years
  • Closing Date: 12 noon on 20 April 2018

Supporting and developing the capacity of volunteers across Gateshead

Gateshead Volunteers’ Month provides small grants to enable VCS organisations to organise events which encourage and support residents to help out in their communities through volunteering. The programme runs until 31 May 2018 and organisations are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as grants will be made on a fast track basis.

  • Grant Range: Up to £500
  • Closing Date: Thursday 31 May

Supports applications from organisations and individuals 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: 28 May 2018

Support for Children and Young Peoples projects in the West End of Newcastle

David Dockray West End Young People’s Fund at the Community Foundation makes grants to support children and young people who live in the west end of Newcastle. The fund will support groups based in the west end of Newcastle that encourage social and personal development.

  • Grant Range: £500 - £3,000
  • Closing Date: 4pm on Friday 1 May 2018

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