Funding for community groups

How voluntary and community organisations can find and apply for funding opportunities

Help putting a funding bid together?

Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA) runs a free Funding Advice Service for voluntary and community organisations.


OCVA can help you find sources of funding, give advice about writing grant applications and are happy to review any application forms or letters you have written.

Find out more about OCVA’s services and other organisations that can give support when you are developing a project and looking for funding.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation

Oxfordshire Community Foundation provides a variety of grant programmes that help community groups and charities in Oxfordshire improve people’s lives.

They operate three main grant programmes, as well as running programmes on behalf of other funders, as shown below. To decide which programme is most suitable for your group, you should consider the scale and ambition of the work you are applying for money for, and whether your work fits with OCF’s priorities. Dates for each grant round through to the end of 2020 are given on each individual programme page.

Community First Oxfordshire

Community First Oxfordshire can offer advice and support in specific areas such as village shops, community halls, rural transport, community planning and rural housing.

District councils

Local funding opportunities 

Oxfordshire Community Action Groups - Funding Opportunities

CAG Oxfordshire contains a list of Oxfordshire funding opportunities which are relevant to environmental projects.

The list is updated regularly with new funding opportunities, so it is worth checking regularly.

Small Grants Scheme – Foyle Foundation

This scheme is designed to support smaller charities in the UK, especially those working at grass roots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities.  Applications are welcomed from charities that have an annual turnover of less than £100,000 per annum. Larger or national charities will normally not be considered under this scheme. Demonstrating ongoing sustainability is very important, particularly if the organisation has recently lost local authority or other regular funding. No multi-year funding awards will be made.

There are no deadlines for submission. Applications will be received at all times but it may take up to four months to reach a decision.

More about the Foyle Foundation Small Grants Scheme.

Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment

The Trust provides grants to support work on local projects, grants are available for non-profit organisations and must support at least one of the following key funding targets:

Read more about the work of the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment

Community Capacity Grants

Grassroots organisations in Oxfordshire are being invited to apply for a share of £500,000 to go towards funding projects that help promote independence and well-being within local communities. Following on from the success of last year’s community capacity grants, Oxfordshire County Council has relaunched the fund for 2023/24.

The purpose of the Community Capacity Grant is to build up and strengthen grassroots organisations in their own local areas, especially where we know there are gaps or insufficient development of local resources.

Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action (OCVA), Community First Oxfordshire (CFO) and Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) will administer the grants on OCC’s behalf using formal eligibility criteria. This will include a grants decision-making panel to ensure we are working with the appropriate grassroots organisations to develop their capability and capacity. This will enable funding to be deployed quickly in a range of different ways and would work alongside the existing community-based organisations.

This funding programme has been designed in collaboration with health, voluntary sector and district partners.

We are looking to generate opportunities in the community in two main ways:

  • Oxfordshire Community Foundation - Community Capacity - Larger Formal Grants (£5,000 to £20,000)
  • Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action - Connected Community Funding – for smaller funding opportunities (up to £5,000)

Further details about these grants and how to apply can be found on the websites for these organisations at:

National funding opportunities

Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion can provide support to serving and ex-Service people and their dependants who are suffering financially, including those who need urgent assistance to get through a temporary crisis, such as homelessness. They offer several grants that support a wide range of needs including employment, medical expenses, household equipment and adaptations, mobility aids and equipment, as well and women who served or the wives or widows of servicemen.

Deadlines vary.

Princes Countryside Fund

The Prince’s Countryside Fund provides more than £1m in grants each year (up to £50,000 each) to projects across the UK. They aim to fund innovative projects that support activity that results in a long-term positive impact on rural communities by helping the people that live and work in the countryside.

Deadlines and projects vary.

The National Lottery Community Fund

There are a range of funding opportunities available through the National Lottery.

The Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage through innovative investment in projects with a lasting impact on people and places. Funding can be used for museums, parks, historic places, archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions. There are a range of different grant programmes, with grants from £3,000 to over £5million.

National Lottery - Good Causes

National Lottery Good Causes allocates funding through 12 independent organisations, each with specialist knowledge of their sectors. Each is independent of Government but has to follow guidelines when deciding who should receive National Lottery funding.

Sport England

Sport England offers different funding programmes which are open to a wide range of organisations. Funding is available for sports clubs, voluntary and community organisations, local authorities, schools, colleges and universities.

Help the Homeless Grants

Help the Homeless makes grants to charitable organisations with the aim of returning homeless people to the community and enabling them to resume a normal life. Small and medium sized registered charities (with a turnover of under £1 million per annum) can apply for grants for capital costs, generally up to £5000.
The quarterly deadlines for grant applications each year are the 15th of March, June, September and December

Lloyds Bank Foundation

Lloyds Bank Foundation offers programmes designed to help charities to support people experiencing multiple disadvantages to make positive and lasting changes at critical points in their lives.

Countryside Stewardship

The Rural Development Programme for England provides money for projects to improve agriculture, the environment and rural life. Funding goes to schemes to:

  • improve the environment
  • increase the productivity of farming and forestry
  • grow the rural economy

Find out more by using the Government funded grant finder