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Grants for Community Groups in Northern Ireland

Community groups are what support our local areas to make them more resilient. In times like now, having strong community bonds is more important than ever. Whether it be helping the elderly, or safeguarding the neighbourhood - the smallest efforts really do make a world of difference.

For such endeavours, funding can also make a huge difference as to how many people can be helped within a community. As a result, responsible groups need to be aware of the latest opportunities that can aid them in maximising their community’s wellbeing and potential.

With this in mind, here are our top 5 grants for community groups in Northern Ireland:

Dormant Accounts Fund NI

Dormant Accounts Fund NI supports the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in Northern Ireland. Its aim is to make these groups more financially resilient and prepared for the future, by funding activities that increase capacity and sustainability.

At present, this is a rolling fund, meaning a gradual, long-term approach to support the sector is being taken based on learning. If you are planning activities that fit within this criteria, then this is a great funding opportunity to apply for.

community groups
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Northern Ireland Policing Board’s Police Property Fund

The Police Property Fund offers a grants scheme to help community projects that require between £1,000 and £10,000 of funding.

It works whereby assets recovered by the PSNI as a result of criminal investigations contribute to the fund. It is administered by the Board in line with the Police Property Regulations NI 1997.

Funding is available in separate alternatives, these being either small or large. The small grants scheme offers £100,000 to cover all projects within this bracket.

To meet the criteria, applications for funding will need to demonstrate that the project:

  • Engages with local police

  • Contributes to building community safety and/or confidence in the police in the select area

  • Is aligned to a charitable purpose

As such, all projects must therefore be closely aligned to one (or more) of the following defined ‘charitable purposes’, as outlined in the Charities Act (2008):

  • The advancement of education

  • The advancement of health or the saving of lives

  • The advancement of citizenship or community development

  • The advancement of arts, culture, heritage or science

  • The advancement of amateur sport

  • The advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality or diversity

  • The advancement of environmental protection or improvement

community groups in northern ireland
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National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund exists to help individuals and groups make a positive difference in their community. It offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to fill essential gaps in community support.

The criteria for funding includes ideas that:

  • Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities

  • Improve the places and spaces that matter to communities

  • Help more people reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage

There’s also the National Lottery Awards for All programme, which looks to support projects that are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting: 

  • Organisations to adapt or diversify to respond to new and future challenges 

  • Communities adversely affected by COVID-19 

  • Communities and organisations to become more resilient to help them to respond better to future crises

With the Awards for All programme, an idea does not necessarily have to be related to COVID-19 to be funded.

The Telecommunity Fund

The Telecommunity Fund was established with capital from BT, management and unions. It exists to financially aid grassroots community and voluntary groups that support young people, older people or people with disabilities in Northern Ireland.

Priority will be given to projects that will benefit groups dealing with disadvantage (e.g. rural isolation, low income, social exclusion, reduced access to services), and those that involve the beneficiaries in their development and delivery.

This grant type is part of an ongoing programme with no deadline. Amounts awarded can be anything between £500 to £2,000.

Micro Community Investment Fund

The Micro Community Investment Fund was launched with support from Bank of Ireland UK. It was initiated to recognise and celebrate the contribution of voluntary groups to society, and the need for a simple application process for small amounts of funding.

The fund provides valuable investment of up to £2,000 for community initiatives that make a difference in small towns and villages across Northern Ireland.

To qualify, projects must specifically focus on:

  • Financial wellbeing, physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing

  • The positive contribution of people within the community

  • Active participation of a community in decision-making and involvement in making their community a better place to live in

  • Assets within the community which the project will use to make the community a better place to live in

  • Engaging in taking community action where it hasn’t happened before to make the community a better place to live in

  • Addressing more than one particular strand of wellbeing.

How to Find Grants for Community Groups

FundReady is a method of sourcing funding opportunities for third sector organisations.

Working as Ireland’s leading funding information and support service, FundReady offers an innovative digital platform and team of specialist consultants who can provide access to new opportunities, expert guidance and practical support to write and submit applications. The service is tailored and aligned to the funding needs and profile of each organisation.

Created by S3 Solutions, FundReady is a subscription support service, offering packages to meet the needs of organisations of all sizes and types in the not-for-profit sector. Over the years, we have helped clients across the island of Ireland to secure over £120 million of investment for new capital projects, services, equipment and organisational developments.

To find out more about grants for community groups in Northern Ireland, get in touch with the team today.


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