When kickstarting a new project to support a charitable cause, finding grants that help individuals is much more difficult compared to community groups and established organisations.
In truth, individuals have the willpower and passion to make huge impacts - especially if their efforts are going towards a topic or cause that’s close to their heart. As long as they have a strong plan that’s ready to action - individuals deserve just as much financial assistance as any other applicant.
With this in mind, here’s a list of grant opportunities for individuals in Northern Ireland:
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Sustainable Futures Fund
One of the biggest issues that is concerning individuals from all generation groups is climate change. To combat this and reduce emissions, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust’s Sustainable Futures Fund exists to tackle climate change caused by human activity.
The fund is available for organisations, individuals and charities, so long as the projects support the development and promotion of sustainable, low-carbon alternatives.
More specifically, the fund focuses grant making on:
Identifying the true costs and risks of resource depletion, climate change and other environmental problems
Campaigns, initiatives and work that promote alternatives to consumerism
Campaigns and movements that give a voice to young activists and marginalised groups on issues of economic and environmental justice
Funding is allocated based on how well projects align with one or more of the following priorities:
‘Better economics’ e.g. work that explores sustainable rather than traditional forms of economic growth
‘Beyond consumerism’ e.g. work which engages people individually and collectively in moving culture away from consumerism
‘New voices’ e.g. campaigns and movements that enable marginalised groups and young activists to have a voice in decisions which affect them
Responding to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and systemic racism
Grants are available UK-wide, and can range from a few hundred pounds to over £100,000 These can be single payments or spread over up to three years.
Community Foundation NI
Community Foundation NI is an independent trust that offers grants with an aim to inspire generosity and achieve positive impact within communities.
Priorities mostly focus on empowering the local community to encourage change, building sustainability, providing platforms for voices to be heard, thriving after the conflict and helping under-represented groups.
While individuals are not at the forefront of the Foundation’s grant making process, there are bursary programmes available, like The Women’s Fund:
The Women’s Fund
The Women’s Fund is a giving circle where women donate in one-off and/or regular intervals to support other women.
The Fund works by providing individual bursaries that work towards filling a gap in opportunities for women. While not exclusive, the Fund welcomes applications for bursaries that address the following:
Personal development and confidence building
Overcoming barriers to employment or training
Making the first steps towards re-entering the workplace
Applicants must be women aged 18 and over who live in Northern Ireland.
Royal Society of Chemistry Outreach Fund
The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Outreach Fund provides financial support to members, individuals and organisations to facilitate the running of chemistry-based events and activities to engage both schools and the general public across the UK..
The Outreach Fund aims to support projects that:
Develop science communication skills of chemists - building capacity and opportunities for chemists and chemical scientists to engage with schools and/or public audiences
Engage with school students - inspiring and raising aspirations of student audiences to nurture a future generation passionate about the chemical sciences
Engage with public audiences - involving a wide range of people in relevant contemporary issues in the chemical sciences
Provide under-represented audiences, communities and places with inspiring chemistry engagement opportunities, delivered or coordinated by skilled people
Since its launch, the fund has supported the following projects started by individuals:
‘Quilts for pancreatic cancer patients’ - Clare Hoskins from the University of Strathclyde is raising awareness of pancreatic cancer through her speciality-made quilts project
‘Ignite climate change podcast’ - Lucy Evans, Producer at Fierce Green Productions, has created a new radio drama series to help close the gap between the arts and sciences, and provide a space for young people and highlight their perspectives on the climate crisis
‘Lithium shuffle’ - an informative video made by Lizzie Driscoll, a student at Birmingham University, which was produced to explain how Li-ion batteries operate in the Lithium Shuffle project and highlight what research is being done to improve them.
The fund offers both small (up to £5,000) and large (between £5,000-£10,000) grant opportunities, and can support one-off events all the way up to large programmes of activity.
FundReady: Grant Sourcing for Individuals in Northern Ireland
FundReady is Ireland’s leading funding information and support service for not-for-profit organisations. Developed by S3 Solutions, you can trust our digital platform and hands-on team of specialist advisors to provide you with all the latest funding opportunities, as well as professional advice for each step of the process. The service is tailored and aligned to the funding needs and profile of each organisation.
It works as a subscription-based service, where you are notified of new funding that best suits your needs, as and when they open for applications.
Since starting up in 2013, we have supported clients across Ireland to secure over £120 million of investment for new capital projects, services, equipment and organisational developments. To find out more about how we can help with grants for individuals in Northern Ireland, please get in touch or check out our consulting service.