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  • Writer's pictureS3 Solutions

Top Charity Funding Organisations in Northern Ireland

Whatever its size, a charity's most important need is finance. By securing more money, charities can make more confident decisions about the services they can provide, and continue to support more people in need.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, grants have been reduced and donations from the general public have decreased. Local charities have found themselves struggling to source and secure financial support, as they try to compete for major funding programmes along with many others in the same position as them.

While it may be a small country - there are actually many charity funding organisations in Northern Ireland. These organisations can bring many benefits to local charities - from substantial funds to tailored support to help them achieve their goals.

In this blog, we will introduce you to our round-up of top charity funding organisations in Northern Ireland.

NI Charity Funding Organisations

For charities in Northern Ireland, the main difficulty can be finding funding opportunities that are relevant and readily available. Below, we have listed top funding organisations that accept applications year-round to provide ongoing support to serve different purposes in the community.

Charity funding organisations
Charity funding organisations can bring many benefits to those in need. Image credit: Unsplash

John Moores Foundation

The John Moores Foundation is a longstanding charity that gives money to local community organisations doing charitable work. It focuses on funding projects based in both Merseyside and Northern Ireland.

The charity’s aim is to enable people who face barriers as a result of social, educational, physical, economical, cultural or geographical disadvantages, to improve their social conditions and quality of life. Priority is mainly given to small, grassroots and volunteer-driven organisations.

The types of projects that JMF like to support include those that are:

  • Trying to build and strengthen communities

  • Working in partnership with others

  • Carrying out trust building initiatives

  • Addressing previously unmet needs

  • Providing advice and support

  • Trying to change attitudes and broaden horizons

Through these projects, the types of people that JMF want to support include:

  • Those suffering from poverty and financial crisis

  • Those in poor physical or mental health

  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic people

  • Refugees

  • Women including girls

  • Children and young people aged 5 to 25

  • Those suffering discrimination

  • Families needing support

  • Homeless people

  • Carers

  • Adults with few or no educational qualifications

The John Moores Foundation accepts requests for up to three years of funding to cover a charity’s running costs. Preference is given to organisations seeking funding for projects which fall within the Foundation’s target areas for giving, which are:

  • Core running costs

  • Volunteer out-of-pocket expenses

  • Education and training costs

  • Venue and travel costs

  • One-off project costs

  • Small items of equipment (if part of a wider project)

With this organisation, the size of grant awarded will vary - but preference is usually given to smaller grants to a larger number of projects.

The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK. Each year, the organisation distributes millions of pounds of funding raised by National Lottery players to community groups and charitable projects across Northern Ireland.

The Community Fund is allocated to those who want to:

  • Involve people from the community in the development, design and delivery of a project

  • Bring people together and strengthen relationships in and across communities

  • Encourage people and organisations to work together to make a difference in their community

The organisation does this through:

  • Funding grassroots projects that bring people and communities together

  • Asking groups to contact us early on so we can give advice and support, including feedback about which of our funding programmes is right for them

  • Offering a range of flexible funding and support to make sure we’re able to help the biggest range of groups

  • Helping organisations to share their learning with others

Some of the grants available range depending on what purpose they fulfil. For example:

National Lottery Awards for All Northern Ireland fund ranges between £300–£10,000, and is reserved for projects that bring local people together to make positive changes in their community. This funding is for projects that will run for 12 months or less.

The People and Communities fund is between £10,000-£500,000, and places great focus on ideas that come directly from the community. It is encouraged that applicants get the people they want to help involved in planning the project, and provide evidence of how their contribution can help shape a better future. This funding is for projects that will run for between 1 and 5 years.

The Empowering Young People fund offers £10,000-£500,000 for projects that work with young people aged between 8-25 years old. Awarded projects will place great emphasis on helping young people gain the skills they need for the future, have better relationships with their support networks and communities, and improve their overall quality of life. Young people must also be involved in the planning/delivery stages of the project, which must run for between 1-5 years.

Other funding priorities include those with a focus on combating climate change and improving sustainability.

Where to Find Funding in Northern Ireland

When you are ready to search for funding opportunities in Northern Ireland, we suggest using our solution FundReady, which exists to support not-for-profit organisations with all their funding needs.

FundReady is Ireland’s leading funding information and support service. It is a subscription-based service, offering a digital platform and team of specialist consultants to provide you with access to the latest funding opportunities, advice, guidance and practical support to write and submit funding applications. The service is also tailored and aligned to the funding needs and profile of each organisation.

The S3 Solutions team is proud to have helped a wide range of local organisations secure funding through this innovative system, including:

  • LCCC Community Trust, where S3 Solutions helped the organisation to secure circa £500,000 in funding over the past five years.

  • Youth Sport Omagh, where an initial £230,000 was successfully secured and a further £200,000 in small capital and revenue funding was secured by the organisation with support from S3 Solutions.

  • Healthy Living at The Old Library Trust, which received tender submission support and successfully secured more than £800,000 to deliver important health and wellbeing work for local people.

For more information on charity funding organisations in Northern Ireland, or how FundReady can help you, check out our FAQs or get in touch today via email: or telephone: 02890480005.

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