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What is Statutory Funding for Charities

What is statutory funding for charities
Statutory funding is crucial for the success of many charities. Image credit: Dimitry Anikin

Anyone working in the third sector knows that securing financial support is a top priority. The most successful nonprofits are the ones which can secure sustainable funding from diverse sources. Statutory funding for charities plays a huge role here.

Statutory funding is one of the most reliable sources of finances for your nonprofit. In fact, statutory sources account for a massive proportion of all charity income in the UK and Ireland.

Today, we’re going to dive into everything you need to know about statutory funding for charities, including where it comes from, and how to secure it.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is Statutory Funding?

Statutory funding is financial support for your charity or organisation which comes from governmental sources, including:

  • Local authorities, like city, town or county councils,

  • National government departments and ministries,

  • Devolved administrations,

  • Statutory bodies and government agencies,

  • The European institutions,

  • Other intergovernmental or supranational institutions.

Most often, this funding comes in the form of grants administered by these organisations and bodies. Of course, these grants normally have extensive requirements, both in terms of applying for funding, and administering projects.

This can make statutory funding harder to secure than financial support from private donors or other such grant givers. However, statutory grants are crucial for the long-term viability of your charity, because of their size, reliability and the fact that they are often over a longer period of time.

Statutory funding for charities Northern Ireland statistics
Statutory funding comes from a range of government sources. Image credit: NICVA

Where Does Statutory Funding Come From?

In the UK, about half of all statutory funding comes from local government sources. The remaining funding comes from national government sources, the NHS and the European Union.

As noted above, statutory funding can come from all levels of government. With that in mind, here are some of the top statutory funding bodies in the UK and Ireland.

Statutory Funding for Charities in the UK

All levels of government in the UK administer statutory funding for charities, through a range of grant programs. The major UK sources of statutory funding include:

  • Departments of the Westminster government,

  • Departments of the devolved administrations at Stormont, Holyrood and Senedd Cymru,

  • Regional and City Mayor’s offices,

  • City, town and county councils,

  • The NHS and Public Health Agencies

  • The National Lottery.

In Northern Ireland specifically, international statutory funding bodies also play a major role in financing local charities, especially for community relations related projects.

The best known among these is the EU’s PEACE program. Other governments also administer charity grants, including the arms of the governments in the Republic of Ireland.

Statutory Funding in Ireland

The statutory funding landscape in the Republic of Ireland is broadly similar to in the UK. Just like in the UK, grant funding is administered by a range of bodies at all levels of government.

These include:

  • The Irish Government and Departments,

  • Town, city and county councils,

  • Irish statutory agencies,

  • The Irish National Lottery,

  • HSE Ireland.

Additionally, charities in the Republic of Ireland are also often eligible for funding from international organisations, including grants from EU programs, including the potential for PEACE funding for cross-border community projects.

How to Secure Statutory Funding for Charities

Of course, it’s one thing to understand what statutory funding for charities is. It’s quite another to know how to find and secure such funding. Securing statutory funding requires two things:

  • Knowing how and where opportunities are advertised,

  • Having the ability to effectively bid for funding.

Of course, different organisations advertise their grants on different platforms, with different application and bidding processes. Let’s take a look at each of these tasks in more detail.

Finding Statutory Funding for Charities

There are numerous online platforms which list up-to-date information on funding opportunities. These can be divided into two broad categories:

  1. The websites of individual organisations (i.e Government Department Websites)

  2. Sites which list funding opportunities from multiple organisations.

One excellent resource for statutory funding opportunities in Northern Ireland is the Executive’s Grant Finder Tool, which allows you to search for funding opportunities from a range of governmental departments, bodies and agencies.

Similar platforms also exist for the UK and Irish Governments.

Alternatively, you might choose to sign up to the mailing lists of relevant government bodies, in order to be kept up to date with ongoing statutory funding opportunities.

Bidding for Statutory Funding

Statutory funding opportunities often have the strictest bidding and tendering procedures. This is often a much more involved process than applying for funding from other short term grant givers and/or smaller amounts of funding. As such, securing funding from government sources is often labour intensive.

Essentially, when you write a bid for statutory funding, you have three tasks:

  • Demonstrate the need,

  • Outline how your organisation can help the funder meet their own goals,

  • Demonstrate that you have the experience, expertise and credibility to use the funding effectively.

There are a number of strategies you can use to maximise your chances of success here. One of the most important is to have a strong backlog of evidence of the results you have achieved with previous projects.

Statutory funding bid writing photo
Statutory funders often have complex bidding processes. Image credit: J. Kelly Brito

Additionally, funding bids are more likely to be successful if you can demonstrate a high level of engagement with relevant stakeholders, as this shows that you have a clear idea of who your end-service users are, and their needs.

Finally, it is crucial that you fully and correctly complete any tender or application. Take the time to study the funding requirements extensively, and thoroughly respond to all elements of the assessment rubric.

Working With a Charity Funding Consultant

Working with a professional funding consultant is probably the most effective strategy for finding and securing sustainable funding from statutory sources. This applies to both identifying and responding to funding opportunities.

Charity consultants specialise in finding funding from a range of sources, knowing exactly the right places to look for funding for all kinds of charities, nonprofits and third-sector organisations, along with knowing exactly how to tailor your bids.

At S3 Solutions, we have decades of experience of securing reliable and secure funding for all kinds of third-sector projects. From major community projects, to healthcare and sporting organisations, we’re experts at securing statutory funding for charities.

Speak to our team today to find out more about how we can help your nonprofit organisation to succeed.


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