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CAF launches £3mn fund for small charities focused on social equity

Melanie May | 10 November 2022 | News

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Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a new £3mn fund for small charities working to improve social equity in their communities.

The Keystone Fund will prioritise small charities with annual income of £1 million or less, and award unrestricted grants towards the core costs of running a charity, strengthening capacity, or building resilience.

It will provide around 120 charities with unrestricted grants between £5,000 and £50,000, with an average grant of £25,000. CAF will also provide resilience building tools and information to put organisations into a stronger position for future work.


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Local charities across the UK can apply for the fund if they are addressing social injustice or working towards social equity to create a fairer society, for example supporting people experiencing racial inequity, digital poverty, or homelessness. Half of the available funds will be focused on organisations supporting refugees in the UK.

The deadline for charities to express their interest for the first round is 23 November.

The grants will be awarded over 2-3 rounds during 2022-23, and funds must begin to be spent within 6 months of grant payment although they can be carried forward into the following financial year if required.

Neil Heslop OBE, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“The current cost-of-living crisis shows how small charities provide a lifeline to the most vulnerable in our communities across the UK. But at the same time, their ability to respond is threatened due to their own rising costs and depleted reserves following the pandemic.


“The Keystone Fund focuses on local organisations working towards social equity to build a fairer society for all. We know that charities are best placed to decide how to deploy funds, and many will need to focus on their core costs at this challenging time. We hope these new unrestricted grants will help strengthen small charities as keystones in their communities and continue to help those who need it most.”