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Funding news & opportunities round up

Melanie May | 9 February 2024 | News

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Movement for Good reopens for nominations, plus grants offered for sustainable food projects, Christian charities working on social inclusion, water fountains, and more.

Virgin Money commits further £3 million to its foundation over next three years to support digital inclusion community initiatives

Virgin Money Foundation will receive £3 million of funding over the next three years to help tackle digital poverty across Glasgow and the North East of England.

The funds, donated by Virgin Money, will be used to help support community organisations known as Community Anchors, to deliver a range of initiatives designed to bridge the digital divide and improve digital skills and digital confidence, with all the positive consequences that brings. The organisations will be able to apply for a grant of up to £100k over a period of three years to address the issues that hold their communities back from being digitally included.

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Virgin Money colleagues who volunteer in schools across the UK, will also be eligible to apply for a grant of up to £2,000 for their chosen school, to support digital inclusion initiatives. Virgin Money colleagues, trained as Digital Champions, each have two paid volunteer days per year, enabling them to get involved directly and support local communities that are experiencing digital poverty.


Making a Difference Locally reaches over 180,000 people in the UK

Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally (MADL) charity reached over 180,000 people in the UK throughout 2023 with 2,000 donations. Over £935,000 was donated to community causes and charities across the UK.

This includes over £310,000 donated to shelter and security causes including Knit and Natter groups that tackle isolation and loneliness and SEN groups that bring together children and their carers and families. These donations supported over 66,000 people.

£175,000 was donated to food poverty initiatives which included breakfast clubs and warm spaces which support people choosing between heating and eating. These initiatives have helped over 25,000 people. 

Over £300,000 funded wellbeing sport and social activities initiatives which reached over 64,000 people. Donations included sporting equipment, clothing and funding grassroots clubs UK wide.

Nisa raised over £2,000 for charity partner Barnardo’s whilst also launching its Club 15 initiative at the 2023 Nisa Expo – a charity initiative to celebrate MADL’s 15th year anniversary.

MADL opened its first Heart of the Community Awards for 2024 recently with food pantries across the UK set to benefit from donations.

Since its formation in 2008, Making a Difference Locally has raised over £17mn, with beneficiaries ranging from foodbanks, health and wellbeing charities and refuges to youth sports teams.


Big Issue Invest opens applications for second cohort of social enterprises in London

Big Issue Invest the investment arm of the Big Issue Group (BIG), has opened up for applications to the second round of an investment programme, aimed at up to 20 new and early-stage social enterprises in London. 

Power Up London is an accelerator programme for London-based, diverse-led, early-stage socially impactful organisations addressing social and/or environmental issues and providing services to underrepresented communities. The programme is delivered by BII with funding by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Successful applicants will receive a fully funded package of non-financial support valued at £10,000 that includes a mix of mentoring, business support, training workshops and networking opportunities delivered weekly over four months. Participants will also benefit from introductions to other founders in the cohort, mentors, and investors. 

On successful completion of the programme, participants will have the opportunity to apply to a grant of up to £22,000 for their social enterprise, to be used for launching new products or services, expanding to new markets, or creating new jobs in their local communities. 

The year-long programme launched in November with the first cohort, which will run until March. Cohort 2 will run from 15 April 2024 to 22 July 2024. The application closing date is 22 March. 

Applicants should be based in Greater London, from initiatives, charities and social enterprises in the early stages of development (annual income must be below £500,000, registered within the last 5 years), led by or working with people from marginalised communities and aiming to grow their impact and business by creating new jobs, expanding to new markets, or developing new products or services. 

More information here.


Ecclesiastical and Benefact Group’s Movement for Good Awards back for sixth year

Now in its sixth year, the Movement for Good Awards give charities across the UK and Ireland the opportunity to receive £1,000.

The Awards will once again see more than £1million donated to good causes and people can now nominate a charity online.

Winners will be drawn at random and the more times a charity is nominated the more chance it has of being selected.

There will also be a series of special draws where charities operating within specific sectors can be nominated to receive a grant of £5,000, the timetable of draws can be viewed on the Movement for Good Awards site and donations will be announced throughout the year.

The Movement for Good Awards has donated over £5million to charities in the UK and Ireland since the initiative started in 2019.

Benefact Group has donated over £200million to charitable causes since 2014 and last year was recognised in the UK Guide to Company Giving as the third biggest corporate giver in the UK. The organisation aims to reach £250million in donations by 2025.


Sea-Changers Coastal Fountain Fund 2024 open for applications

The purpose of the Sea-Changers Coastal Fountain Fund is to reduce the impact of single-use plastic water bottles on coastal habitats by funding communities to purchase water drinking fountains and install them for use by the public in busy or environmentally important areas.  So far, more than 30 fountains have been funded around the UK.

Grants of up to £2,500 are available, per applicant, towards the cost of a fountain.

Applications are welcomed from not-for-profit organisations that have identified a need and are well-placed to get the stakeholder involvement needed to make the project a success.

The Fund particularly welcomes applications from Wales, Scotland, East Anglia and Northeast and Northwest England as these areas have been under-represented in previous years.

The closing date for applications is 23 February.

More information here.


NatureSave Trust opens funding window for UK projects focused on sustainable food

NatureSave Trust is an environmental charity funded by NatureSave Insurance. It focuses primarily on grant funding for environmental projects, and also funds sustainability advice for SMEs as well as a long running tree planting programme.

As a small charity it focuses on small projects for charities, social enterprises and grassroots community organisations with UK-based activities, with grants of up to £5,000 offered.

NatureSave Trust’s latest round of funding is for organisations, individuals, communities, and charities working to reduce food waste and food insecurity.

Projects can include food banks, sustainable food initiatives, farming practices, fair trade, or health and nutrition, and applications for grants are open until 29 February.

More information here.


Funding for Christian charities working on social inclusion

The Anchor Foundation provides grants of up to £12,000 per year to Christian charities in the UK or overseas working on social inclusion, particularly through ministries of healing and the arts.

Funding can be awarded for up to three years, and the Foundation will consider applications for either capital or revenue funding.

Previously funded projects include:

The next deadline for applications is 31 July 2024.

More information here.

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