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Sunderland Participatory Grant Making Fund

About the fund

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has allocated £135,000 for a locally-led funding pilot in Sunderland, which aims to pass power on grant-making decisions to the communities themselves. We wish to appoint a local Steering Group made up of local community members who will:


● Identify and agree which local needs/issues they wish the Fund to focus on/address
● Decide what activities, projects and costs are and aren’t eligible for a grant
● Review applications and decide which applications receive a grant


The Community Foundation will provide information, support and advice but will not actively shape programme design – that will be up to the local Steering Group. This is an exciting and innovative approach to grant-making and we wish to begin by recruiting local community members to take part.

A Steering Group from the community

We believe that people who have lived experience and are surviving inequalities are the ones best placed to identify the solutions. We want to recruit community members who have unique insight and perspectives on the various issues and forms of community-based responses. We want to reach out to, and work with, people whose voice would be ignored in other settings.


Pulling together a local decision-making panel that is sufficiently representative of diverse communities isn’t easy but we want to involve people from all parts of Sunderland. To help we have appointed independent consultant  Jen McKevitt to lead the programme and partnered with Sunderland Voluntary Sector Alliance (SVSA) and Voluntary & Community Action Sunderland (VCAS) to ensure the selection will be equitable and representative.


Could you be a steering group member?


Don’t worry, no experience of funding is required, as full training will be provided!