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

£1000 bursary in memory of the prestigious, Alan Hull, which recognises one young song writer or composer every year

The Alan Hull Bursary is to encourage young composers and songwriters, aged 16 to 25 years old, in the North East and must be used to further new composition / song writing.

  • Grant Range: £1,000
  • Closing Date: Friday 8 February 2019 at 10am

Support for talented young people to progress and develop towards a career in their chosen art form.

The Lady Betty Martin Fund aims to support arts activities benefiting children and young people (age range 0 – 21) in communities across the North East of England. The fund will consider applications to support individuals to develop their practice.

  • Grant Range: Up to £1,000
  • Closing Date: 5.00pm on Friday 7th December 2018

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.

Grants for children and young people to pay towards music tuition or to buy an instrument

The Young Musicians Fund grants are given to children and young people under the age of 18 in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and Durham, who are struggling to continue to pay for tuition fees or to purchase an instrument.

  • Grant Range: £250 to £800
  • Closing Date: Tuesday 2 October 2018 at 5pm

Enhancing the educational experiences of young people aged 12-18 years in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

The Robert Wood Trust Fund awards grants to community groups and individuals wishing to access an out-of-school ‘life-enhancing opportunity’ that will support their educational achievements.

  • Grant Range: £500
  • Closing Date: 5pm on Monday 17th December 2018

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

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

Supporting smaller, Gateshead-based, voluntary and community sector organisations

The Gateshead Thrive Fund Community Grants Programme provides small grants to support Gateshead-based voluntary and community sector organisations delivering activities and services for the benefit of people in Gateshead. The programme runs until 30 November 2018 and organisations are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as grants will be made on a fast track basis.

  • Grant Range: £500 to £1,500
  • Closing Date: Friday 30 November 2018

Supporting community, voluntary and social enterprise sector organisations in Gateshead

The Gateshead Fund Main Grants Programme is open to voluntary and community sector organisations, based or working in Gateshead, and delivering activities and services for the benefit of local people. The Programme is intended to support organisations to achieve funding stability and plan for the future.

  • Grant Range: Up to £10,000
  • Closing Date: Friday 11 January 2019, 5:00pm

Supporting Newcastle-based arts organisations to impact the health and wellbeing of Newcastle City residents

Newcastle Culture Investment Fund supports arts organisations based in Newcastle city to address the Vision for Culture and the Council’s aims for the city and its residents. This round is for project funding only. Activity must be delivered between March 2019 and April 2020.

  • Grant Range: Up to £10,000 for a one year project
  • Closing Date: 5.00pm on Friday 25th November 2018

Supporting organisations working with tenants of The Gateshead Housing Company.

The Gateshead Housing Company Community Fund makes grants of between £500 and £5,000 to voluntary organisations in Gateshead who provide support to The Gateshead Housing Company’s tenants. Applications can be made for financial or in-kind support (e.g. support with building work).

  • Grant Range: £500-£5,000
  • Closing Date: 17th December 2018, 9am

Vital grants for equipment and fees for activity in the visual arts, music, literature

Grants are made to organisations and groups for activity associated with literature, music and visual arts. The Pen & Palette Club Fund will look for the public benefit of proposals to enhance the quality of events (for example; poetry readings, art workshops and master classes) to improve facilities & equipment and provide support towards the cost of exhibitions.

  • Grant Range: Up to £1,000
  • Closing Date: 5.00pm on Friday 7th December 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

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: £500 - £1,000 with one or two up to £4,000
  • Closing Date: Rolling grants programme

Rewarding young people in Northumberland for contributing to the community

High Sheriff of Northumberland Awards Scheme provides small awards to groups working with young people in Northumberland.

  • Grant Range: £500 - £750
  • Closing Date: 9am on 26 January 2019

Charities 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: £1,000 to £5,000
  • Closing Date: 5pm, Monday 17th December 2018

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

Recreational, creative activities that inspires young people to have fun!

The John D Fund at the Community Foundation supports recreational, creative activities for young people aged 11 – 18 years. Grant applications of between £500 to £2,500 are considered from registered charities and voluntary community projects based in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Focus is to encourage young people to enjoy their free time and which could inspire them to take up a creative hobby.

  • Grant Range: £500 - £2,500
  • Closing Date: 5pm on Monday 17th December 2018

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

Funding for charities and community groups in Blyth, East Bedlington, Cambois and Seaton Valley

EDF ER Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, £55,000 each year focuses on initiatives which ease disadvantage and make the area a better place to live, including support for groups, young people, sports activities, art activities and capital items.

  • Grant Range: £500 to £10,000
  • Closing Date: 10 December 2018

Enhancing the educational experiences of young people aged 12-18 years in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

The Robert Wood Trust Fund awards grants to community groups and individuals wishing to access an out-of-school ‘life-enhancing opportunity’ that will support their educational achievements.

  • Grant Range: £500 - £2,000
  • Closing Date: Friday 1st December 2017 at 4pm

Supporting bright young people from disadvantaged parts of Newcastle

The Guy Readman Foundation Fund is looking to make grants of £20,000 per year, over two years, to registered charities who support young people in Newcastle who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and do not have sufficient backing at home to help them fulfil their potential.

  • Grant Range: Up to £20,000
  • Closing Date: 10 January 2019, 5pm

Supporting organisations across the North East with grants up to £25,000 to change, survive, adapt and grow

The Growth and Resilience Fund will provide grants and non-monetary support to organisations with a turnover under £1m who want to change, survive, adapt and grow so they can better address needs in communities. The fund will prioritise organisations working in the areas of poverty; mental health and wellbeing; diversity and inclusion; and educational disadvantage.

  • Grant Range: £5,000 to £25,000
  • Closing Date: 9am Monday 10 December 2018

Educational and environmental projects in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Northern Powergrid Community Fund supports grassroots projects that strengthen vulnerable communities. This includes out of school educational activities and environmental activities in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Please note - the Fund does not contribute to larger project costs.

  • Grant Range: £1,000 - £5,000
  • Closing Date: 5pm, Monday 17th December 2018

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