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.

Bursaries available for young people to take part in traditional music, song and dance

The North East Endowment for Musical Traditions can provide bursaries for young people (under 25) to access tuition, coaching or summer schools who would otherwise not be able to do so. The genre must be traditional music of the British Isles or the North East. Local young people will be given priority.

  • Grant Range: £750 - £2,000
  • Closing Date: Tuesday 30 April 2019

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;
  • where the primary benefit is to enable a public body to carry out its statutory obligations;
  • activities where the primary benefit is the advancement of animal welfare;
  • activities which have already taken place;
  • grant making, or equivalent gifts in kind, 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 for the charitable costs of starting up the enterprise, setting up to trade existing goods in a new market or developing new goods and services to trade in line with a sound business plan. The Foundation does not normally support CICs and other non-charity social enterprises with the costs of continuing services, which should be financed by the sale of goods and services in line with the governance model they have chosen.

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 accept applications  for less than £750. 

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

Make a general grant application

Some of our funds will consider applications all year round, with no set deadlines or special requirements. You just need to complete our standard application form. We will assess your proposed activity and see if one or more of these funds is able to provide the money you need.

Apply online here

Answer a call for applications

Some of our funds support specific activities, and may only consider applications at set times of the year. You can apply to them only when they make a call for applications. This involves applying by a set date, usually on a special form. We will assess your proposed activity, and if it matches the fund aims will see if it can be supported. If you aren’t successful we will consider whether a general grant can be made.


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

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

Children 10-13 learning about science

The Enviresearch Fund supports activities that inspire children aged 10 to 13 to learn about science by adding that extra 'wow factor' to the school curriculum through visits to museums, field trips, inviting scientists into schools and activities outside school.

  • Grant Range: £750 - £1,000 with one or two up to £4,000
  • 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 the delivery of welfare benefits and employment-related advice and support activities to disadvantaged individuals and families in poverty.

  • Grant Range: £750 - £3,000
  • Closing Date: Rolling grant programme

Supporting applications from organisations providing women only services in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

The Women’s Fund helps local women in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to overcome disadvantage, support each other and achieve their potential. The Fund recognises that women need-and-want women-only services so that they feel safe, supported and confident when confronted by lack of opportunities, discrimination and abuse. It awards grants to voluntary and community groups that run successful women-only projects.

  • Grant Range: £750 to £5,000
  • Closing Date: 1 April 2019

Projects that establish new activity to promote traditional music, song and dance in the North East, primarily Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

The North East Endowment for Musical Traditions can support community groups that are seeking to increase participation for people of all ages in the traditions of the North East.

  • Grant Range: £750 to £3,000
  • Closing Date: Wednesday 10 April 2019

Supporting the community in the Parish of Shotley Low Quarter

Innogy Renewables Kiln Pit Hill Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund supports community and voluntary groups in the Parish of Shotley Low Quarter

  • Grant Range: £250 to £15,000
  • Closing Date: 5 April 2019

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