Support for organisation to thrive in South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, County Durham and the Tees Valley

  • Grant Range: £10,000 to £30,000 over a maximum of two years
  • Closing Date: 5pm, Monday 25 January 2021
  • Apply Online

About the Growth and Resilience Fund

The Growth and Resilience Fund was set up by Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, in partnership with NorthStar Foundation, County Durham Community Foundation and Mercers’ Charitable Foundation. It is a three-year programme with 2021 being the final year.

The aim of the fund is to support excellent charities and social enterprise organisations wanting to change, survive, adapt, and grow in order to better address need in their communities. The fund will consider applications from organisations based or working in Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland, County Durham and the Tees Valley tackling poverty, mental health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion and educational disadvantage.

During Covid-19 many organisations have been supported to respond to the immediate needs of communities during the pandemic, however, the partners are aware that support to change, survive and adapt from April 2021 will be essential for organisations long-term sustainability. The Growth and Resilience Fund will therefore welcome applications that help groups reflect on their response to recover from the crisis by planning for the future. Grants will support activity from April 2021 onwards.  

The Fund aims to make grants of £10,000 to £30,000 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 may also offer consultancy and development support to organisations who are unsuccessful in securing a grant, eligibility for which will be determined by an Advisory Panel; please note, this support cannot be applied for separately.

Who is eligible for a grant?

Applications 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, or 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 application is driven by the lead staff person in the organisation and it has the support of the Trustees or management committee.

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

What can be funded?

  • Eligible charities and social enterprises 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 including digital
    • Introduction of service efficiencies
    • Build on services adapted during Covid-19 or implement changes following learning from the Covid-19
    • 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
  • Develop digital initiatives to enhance delivery of services and engagement with stakeholders and beneficiaries

Examples of activities supported in the first two years have included:

  • succession planning for a CEO
  • developing business and income generation plans for existing and new premises including asset transfers
  • developing business, marketing and engagement plans and policies
  • developing income generating training schemes
  • developing communications capacity to support online fundraising
  • 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
  • Support for licences to provide housing and other services
  • Developing digital engagement with beneficiaries

Purchasing equipment including software, telephone systems to provide better services to beneficiaries

How much can I apply for?

Grants of between £10,000 and £30,000 will be available over a one or two-year period, commencing May 2021. If required, pro-bono support for grant recipients will be agreed when offers are made.

Application process

Stage One: Application form 

Please complete the online application form here   giving an outline of how you would use a grant to help the organisation change, adapt and grow, to better address community needThis 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.  

Please note when completing the application form: 

Q21 is to be used to give a brief summary of your proposal (Max 100 words).  

Applicants are also asked to send a supporting document (no more than two sides of A4) detailing the proposal to: will be uploaded by the Community Foundation to your application.  

The deadline for submitting an application is 5pm Monday 25 January 2020, applications received after this time will not be considered.  

If you have not already registered on our online portal, you will need to do so before you can apply, please call 0191 222 0945 if you need advice or support to do so. 


Stage Two – Panel Presentation 

Applicants shortlisted to progress to Stage 2, will be notified by the end of March 2021, and invited to present to a panel made up of the funding partners during the week commencing 19 April 2021. The date and time will be confirmed and will take into account any Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time. 

Applicants will be asked to present to a Panel 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 2, successful applicants may 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.  

Those applicants not shortlisted to go through to Stage 2 will also be informed by the end of March 2021. 

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