Capacity Building and Development Funds

Funding to support organisational development, capacity building work and/or collaboration.

The Freshwater Foundation

They give financial grants to suitable groups in Ealing and Hounslow to fund their charitable projects and initiatives.

Beyond this, they also give free training and advice on the managerial and legal aspects of charities, build partnerships between groups and act as a research hub for topics of interest to small charities and community groups.

Up to £2,000
Apply for a Grant: Voluntary or community organisations engaging in charitable work. This does not necessarily mean having charitable status, but the project you want funded must be considered charitable according to the charitable purposes set out in law.

The proposed spending should be development or infrastructure. In general, they do not fund day-to-day costs, but for the time being they will consider applications where a proportion of the sum requested is for such costs that you are struggling to meet because of the pandemic. To discuss further, contact them at

The group must be based in Ealing or Hounslow, the project must concern the needs of communities in Ealing and Hounslow and the group should ideally do the bulk of their work in those boroughs. The amount required should be under £2000. The project must benefit the community or some group within it (as opposed to a single individual).

The project will preferably be volunteer led, but if not, should promote voluntary charitable and community activity in the area. Ideally, less that 50% of the project expenditure will be on salaries or fees.

How to Apply: Fill out the application form and submit it to Download the Notes to Applicants for help in filling out the form: The Freshwater FOUNDATION GRANT APPLICATION FORM – notes to applicants.

Small Grant (up to £500)
They set aside a pot of money each year for small grants of up to £500 which groups can apply for at any time of the year (subject to there still being funds left in the pot). The grant must be for a project that will provide opportunities for residents to get more involved in or improve their local community.

The funds are only available to smaller and newer groups (see the eligibility criteria below). You can be an already constituted group, but they also consider applications from informal groups – in which case you will need to provide the signatures and contact details of six different, unrelated households in the area.

Eligibility Criteria
Applications from already constituted groups, they must be small (income less than £10,000) and have been in existence for less than 3 years. They must also supply their governing document.

If the application is from an informal group of residents, then the application must be accompanied by the signatures and contact details of people from 6 different, unrelated households who are willing to support the project.

Projects must be able to show that they will provide opportunities for residents to get more involved in or improve their local community. All effort on the project must be voluntary. Fees and salaries will not be paid. The group must be based in the boroughs of Ealing or Hounslow and the project must take place in that borough.

How to Apply
Fill out the small grant application form. It will need to clearly outline:
What you will be delivering.
How the residents/participants will benefit from the project.
How the grant would be spent.


Brings together businesses, professionals and charities through creating teams of 7 colleagues plus leader who donate skills, time and money to a selected charity to offer 12 months’ support. Supporting teams are drawn from companies such as Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, Goldman Sachs, EY, Accenture, Santander, Lloyds, and the Civil Service.

Eligibility: Charities and community interest companies with at least two employees, public liability insurance covering volunteers, and at least 6 months’ funding in place.

Value: Teams commit between £3,000 and £6,000 (on average), plus approximately 150 hours of time and their generalist and specialist skills. Additionally, of course there is the value of the long-term relationships established with potential future donors and supporters.

Process: The first step is to book online an ‘on-boarding call’ which is a phone call lasting up to one-hour with Nick Mason, BeyondMe’s Head of Portfolio and Impact to discuss your organisation and their potential support for it plus time for you to ask questions.

Deadline: Rolling application system. Deadlines spring and autumn


City Bridge Trust. Connecting the Capital

We want to help make London’s communities stronger, more resilient and thriving. To achieve this, we believe that a healthy and vibrant voluntary sector, working with communities and across sectors, plays a vital role.We welcome applications for up to 5 years funding and core funding will be considered. Applications usually take about 4 months to be processed.

We want applications on this programme to achieve at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Local communities have better, more sustainable, assets (financial, physical, environmental).
  • Civil society organisations are more effective and resilient.
  • Londoners experiencing inequality or disadvantage are better heard and represented leading to better decision-making.
  • Londoners experiencing inequality or disadvantage have greater well-being and independence through improved access to arts, sports and other community facilities and services.

We therefore invite applications that will:

  • Build on our work through The Way Ahead and enable civil society support organisations to be more effective and sustainable. We support organisations providing high quality, support-services for voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations, either on a borough, cross-borough, or pan-London basis.
  • Support civil society organisations providing voice and leadership. Second tier and specialist organisations that develop the voice and leadership skills of the voluntary and community sector for those London communities that are under-represented or marginalised.
  • Build on our work through London’s Giving and enable place-based giving schemes. Place-Based Giving Schemes (PBGSs) bring together people from different sectors (voluntary and community; public; private) to build stronger communities and leverage their community assets. We expect applicants to be part of the London’s Giving network. to develop and become sustainable.

City Bridge Trust – Stepping Stones

London’s voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is going through significant change in the way it secures funding, delivers services and in the way performance is measured and paid for. Organisations now need to consider new or extended ways of generating income, how to widen their customer base, the opportunities to collaborate with other organisations and how to ensure they produce identifiable, replicable outcomes which have a true value to society. Social investment might be an appropriate financing route for some social sector organisations which are able to generate sufficient revenue. However, there are many issues to consider before taking on any form of repayable finance and the capacity of an organisation may need to be enhanced to manage an investment. Organisations may also need to test out new business models, to create new services and partnerships and, in so doing, develop a deep understanding of the cost bases to any such innovations and the strength of the impact they generate.

The Stepping Stones fund will consider applications for up to £50,000 under the following strands:

1. Capacity building grants for charitable organisations:
to provide organisations with human, financial and strategic support as well as supporting access to appropriate expert intermediaries to enhance their overall performance skills to meet their mission, deliver their outcomes and thereby enhancing their investment readiness and long term financial stability.

2. Grants to pilot better outcomes:
to support organisations wishing to pilot new ways of creating improved social outcomes in a specific sector, geography or outcome area; test out new ideas, new business models, new partnerships and ways of working as well as alternative ways of measuring complex outcomes. The pilot should lead the organisation to using social investment for expansion or further development


Esmee Fairbairn Mergers Fund

Support for organisations in the early phases of thinking about a merger. Applicants need to be at, or close to, the preliminary stage of discussions with an identified potential merger partner (or partners).  They will only fund within their funding priorities (arts, children and young people, social change, environment) and the maximum funding for merger planning costs is £15K.


The Fore

Funding considered for UK registered charities, social enterprises or CICs with an annual income of less than £500,000.The Fore runs three 12-week funding rounds to coincide with the academic calendar each year. To apply for funding, organisations must register at the start of each funding round (numbers are capped so early registration is recommended).

For their summer 2021 round (opening on 12th April 2021), the Fore is offering unrestricted grants of up to £30,000 that can be spread over 1-3 years. The grants can be used for whatever grantees think will help transform their scale, sustainability, efficiency or impact

The Fore is particularly keen to fund organisations run by, and/or working with, marginalised groups, and ‘micro’ organisations (with incomes under £100,000). The Fore Trust encourages applicants to make a carefully considered ‘ask’ commensurate with the scale of their organisation and impact of the grant, for instance smaller charities might wish to apply for less than the maximum available

The King’s Fund. GSK Impact Awards

The GSK IMPACT Awards (with application deadlines annually in September) recognise and reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Up to 10 winners win £30,000, with one overall winner receiving £40,000, and ten runners up receiving £3000. The awards are designed to recognise success and achievements for existing work, so you do not have to present a new project. Award winners are also offered training and development valued at an average of £9,500 (the intensive three-day programme focuses on developing leadership skills and gaining knowledge across a wide range of specialist areas, such as financial management and governance, evaluation, and using digital media). Winners also join the Network of GSK IMPACT Award winners, funded by GSK and delivered by The King’s Fund, and have a film made about their work.

National Lottery Community Fund- Partnerships Funding

Through our partnerships funding, we make grants over £10,000 for organisations who share responsibility and influence with others, who have a shared set of goals and values, and achieve their mission by starting with the bigger picture rather than just what their organisation can do on its own. We call this generous leadership. Grants are awarded for up to five years and we can fund project activities, operating costs, organisational development and capital costs.

Partnerships funding is specifically designed to support generous leadership and increased collaborative working, which starts with shared goals and values between different organisations and an understanding of the bigger picture. We can support you to develop and grow existing partnerships and also to encourage new types of partnership which build on your different skills and strengths. Our funding can support many different types of partnership, including:
• cross-sector partnerships
• local place-based collaboration
• local and national organisations working together around a particular theme.

Our funding priorities are to:
• bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities
• improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
• enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage

We are interested in supporting organisations that are:
• people led – meaningfully involving the people you’re working with in the development and delivery of your activity
• strengths based – making the most of the skills that already exist in communities
• connected – understanding what other relevant organisations are doing and developing good working relationships.


Trust for London

Trust for London is an independent charitable foundation tackling poverty and inequality in the capital; they are particularly interested in new and imaginative ways of addressing the root causes of London’s social problems, especially where it has the potential to influence and change policy, practice and public attitudes, and targeted towards groups of people who are more likely to be affected by poverty and inequality, with Disability as one of their priorities.

There is no minimum or maximum size of grant but the average will be around £80K in total over one to three years. They are unlikely to award grants over £150K. They have three funding deadlines per year (see website for details)

Amongst their priorities are funding programmes which aim to improve organisational capacity:

Good Homes and Neighbourhoods, funding second-tier organisations to support other groups to improve their practice, share knowledge and influence on housing-related issues

Better work, funding second-tier organisations to support other groups to improve their practice, share knowledge and influence on employment-related issues.

Stronger Voices looking at amplifying the voices of those who are experiencing the problems which civil society is trying to address. Within this programme, they will fund second-tier and specialist organisations to help other organisations improve their skills and practice, specifically in: campaigning (including community organising), strategic communications (supporting the understanding of public attitudes through the development of framing, narratives and messages), and increasing the involvement of people with lived experience of poverty and inequality in campaigning and leadership of organisations and movements.

Woodward Charitable Trust

The trust awards grants to UK registered charities with an annual income of less than £300k. Disability is among their priorities. They favour small-scale, locally based initiatives. They will only fund core costs, usually for one year, and grants are usually for up to £3000. Grant applications can be submitted at any time but are considered twice per year (see website for this year’s deadlines).



inclusion-london-reportsMore resources available in our Members area

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• DDPO HR Policy Templates
• Toolkit: Making Events Accessible to Disabled People

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