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Top Funding Sources for Health Charities


Charities are built to support those in need. In most cases, these needs relate to specific health conditions that impact the lives of many people and those closest to them.


Organisations that focus on diseases and disorders are known as health charities. Their mission usually revolves around promoting medical disciplines, providing direct services, advocating understanding and conducting vital research.


For these, donations are simply not enough to help them persevere with the positive work that they do. That’s why funding through other means is key when it comes to looking after health charities - as well as the entire nation.


With this in mind, we have rounded up our top funding sources for health charities.


The Importance of Health Charities

Health charities are responsible for supporting people through the most difficult times of their lives. They do this through both internal and external activities - whether it be directly assisting beneficiaries, organising fundraising events, or facilitating change alongside key policymakers.


According to New Philanthropy Capital, the main strengths of the charity sector in supporting good health are as follows:

  • It occupies a unique position between the system and the beneficiary. Because of this, it can act as a trusted, independent representative and intermediary to deliver improved coordination between different sides of the system

  • It ensures greater understanding of need, by having direct patient and community contact

  • It provides holistic support, meaning it caters to needs that are medical, emotional or social - therefore aiding every stage of a patient’s journey to recovery

  • It influences the design and delivery of services, as a large proportion of charities are involved in the delivery of health and social care services

  • It creates many opportunities to save money for both the beneficiary and the system - as many charity activities complement private sector/public sector healthcare

This means that health charities of all kinds, across the country, make an essential contribution to the nation’s health.


healthcare charity nurse
Health charities play a huge role in supporting the nation. Image credit: iStock

Our Top Funding Sources

To sustain this important work, charities have to regularly apply for funding. Below is a list of some of the best funding sources that health charities can consider:


The Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is the second largest endowed foundation in the UK focusing on health, spending around £30m a year improving health and health care.


The foundation provides funding opportunities to UK charities that deliver health and social care to highlight new ways to make successful change happen. It does this through supporting:

  • Testing and spreading of ideas

  • Building capacity, skills and knowledge

  • Sharing evidence to improve health and social care

Its funding programmes are varied, covering:

  • Improvement programmes

  • Research programmes

  • Data analytics programmes

  • Promoting healthy lives programmes

Its main aim is to learn first-hand from frontline workers what works and doesn’t work when it comes to providing healthcare. It then leverages these findings to accurately inform effective policy making in the health and social care industry.


The Will Charitable Trust

The Will Charitable Trust is a charity that provides financial assistance to UK registered charities whose activities fall within the following three categories:

  • Care of and services for blind people, and the prevention and/or cure of blindness

  • Long-term care of people with learning disabilities either: in a residential care or supported living environment in a way that provides a family environment and wide choice of activities and lifestyle; or: by providing long-term day/employment activities

  • Care of and services for people suffering from cancer and their families

Grants vary in size and depend on a number of factors including:

  • Total funding requirement

  • Charity size

  • Purpose

  • Amount that the Fund has available for distribution

Charities applying to this type of funding should note that the Fund does not accept applications for less than £3,000, or charities with a turnover of less than £50,000.


healthcare charity
With funding, charities can continue to help those who need it the most. Image credit: Unsplash

Hospital Saturday Fund

The Hospital Saturday Fund is a registered charity whose aims are to provide assistance for health charities, hospices, medical organisations and individuals with a medical condition or disability.


It offers grants for medical projects, care, research or support of medical training within both the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. It also offers support to individuals, where it can help with the purchase of specialised equipment or forms of treatment.


The Hospital Saturday Fund has two grant categories:

  • Standard grants of up to £2,000 or €3,000

  • Large grants of up to £10,000 or €13,500 (the maximum amount)

In the past, the Fund has awarded grants to organisations who have gone on to make many positive strides in healthcare, including: Irish Dogs for the Disabled, Young Epilepsy, Diabetes Ireland, Heartburn Cancer UK to name only a few.


Find More Funds with FundReady

Finding the right funding for your charity can be a minefield. At S3, we have developed a tailored solution to this problem.


FundReady is Ireland’s leading funding information and support service for not-for-profit organisations. As part of this service, we offer a digital platform and team of specialist consultants, to provide you with access to the latest funding opportunities and practical assistance to write and submit funding applications.


FundReady is a subscription-based service complete with support packages to meet the specific needs of any and all organisations in the third sector.


Since launching FundReady, 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, book a consultation with S3 Solutions today.