Supporting organisations across North East England wanting to change, survive, adapt and grow, to better address need in their communities

  • Grant Range: £5,000 to £25,000
  • Closing Date: 8 November 2019
  • Apply Online

The Growth and Resilience Fund will provide grants and non-monetary support to organisations with a turnover under £750,000 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.

1. About the Growth and Resilience Fund

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland developed the Fund in partnership with NorthStar Foundation, County Durham Community Foundation and The Mercers’ Company to support excellent north east charities and social enterprise organisations which want to change, survive, adapt and grow so they can better address needs in communities.

The Fund aims to make grants of £5,000 - £25,000 and provide access to non-monetary support via existing Community Foundation initiatives such as pro-bono support, Trustee Match and other external schemes.

In addition, the Fund will also support some groups who are unsuccessful in getting a grant but are identified as one that would benefit from some consultancy/development support. These will be identified from the main grants programme. This support cannot be applied for separately.

2. Who is eligible for a grant?

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are sought from charitable organisations and social enterprises in line with standard Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland eligibility and exclusion criteria. Applicants must be:

  • based or working in Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland, County Durham and the Tees Valley
  • have an average annual turnover (over the last three years) of between £75,000 and £750,000.


  • priority given to those tackling poverty; mental health and wellbeing; diversity and inclusion; and educational disadvantage.

Organisations MUST demonstrate that the EOI is driven by the lead staff person in the organisation and it has the support of the Trustees or management committee.

2.1 What will NOT be funded:

  • organisations without a satisfactory safeguarding policy
  • organisations which have previously received an award from the Fresh Ideas Fund
  • Community Interest Companies (CIC’s) and social enterprises for ongoing running costs
  • 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

3. What can be funded?

Charities and social enterprises based in the north east of England can apply for support to cover the costs of activities that help them to change, survive, adapt and grow, to better address need in their communities. To this end, organisations could consider any of the following areas for development, though this is not an exhaustive list and we are keen to hear your ideas:


  • Exploration of new income generation opportunities/expansion of existing activities
  • Takeover of community assets or to bring the assets to life
  • Expansion of existing activities
  • Formal partnerships/mergers, but not TUPE costs
  • Restructuring of management or services
  • Board development/governance reviews and improvements
  • Leadership development, such as mentoring programme or learning visits for CEO
  • Strategic business and financial planning
  • Piloting of new approaches/services
  • Introduction of service efficiencies
  • Continuation funding to take a previous Growth and Resilience funded idea to its next stage or conclusion


Grants could be used to:


  • back-fill senior or relevant posts to make the proposal a success
  • support investment in digital or operational restructures/streamlining
  • finance research on approaches and opportunities including new income streams, collaborations or mergers etc
  • cover the costs of external consultants, trainers, facilitators and researchers
  • resource new equipment/facility improvements linked to service adaptation/expansion
  • support legal and other professional advice costs


Examples of activities supported in the first round included:


  • succession planning for a CEO
  • developing business and income generation plans for an asset transfer
  • developing business, marketing and engagement plans and policies
  • developing income generating training schemes
  • securing accreditation that allows organisations to deliver paid for activities
  • management development and staff restructuring
  • engaging service users to develop income generation programmes and activities

4.How much can I apply for?

Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 will be available over a one or two-year period, commencing April 2020. If required, pro-bono support for grant recipients will be agreed when offers are made.

5. Application process

There is a two-stage application process. 


Stage One – Expression of Interest


The first stage is to provide us with a completed EOI form, which can be found via the "Apply Online" button above.

Please complete the EOI form, giving an outline of how you would use a grant to help the organisation change, adapt and grow, to better address community need. This should include up to three identifiable SMART objectives, which your proposal will be evaluated against if you are successful.

If you intend to work with consultants and have already identified them, please also include this information.

The deadline for submitting an EOI is 5pm Friday 8 November 2019

Your EOI should be emailed to


Stage Two – Panel Presentation

Applicants shortlisted to progress to Stage 2, will be notified by mid- December 2019, and invited to present to a panel made up of the funding partners during the week commencing 20 January 2020, the date and time will be confirmed.

Applicants not shortlisted to go through to Stage 2 will also be informed by mid-December 2019.

Applicants will be asked to talk for 10-15 minutes about their proposal and objectives, which will be followed by up to 15 minutes of questions and discussions with the Panel.

Following Stage two, successful applicants will be required to meet with one of the partners to further identify any consultancy needs they require. Unsuccessful applicants at stage two may be offered support for consultancy and development.

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