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  • Writer's pictureS3 Solutions

What Charity Support is Available in Northern Ireland?

Charity support is crucial when it comes to raising awareness, helping vulnerable people and fostering a sense of community.

In 2021, it was revealed that public trust and confidence in charities is higher in Northern Ireland than in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

This research carried out by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland proves just how well-supported charities are in the country. But what help is actually available? Let’s take a closer look at what ways charities are assisted in NI:

Charity Support in NI

Whether it be for representation, strategy, funding or promotion - luckily, support for charities is vast in Northern Ireland. As such, there are so many fantastic resources and organisations to recommend. Below, we have whittled down our top four that we advise you reach out to if you’re a charity looking for help of any kind.

charity support NI make a difference sign
Charity support is key to making a positive difference in Northern Ireland. Image credit: Deposit Photos


NICVA, which stands for the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, is a membership and representative umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland.

Established in 1938 to respond to the high levels of unemployment in the country, it was originally named the Northern Ireland Council for Social Service. It then changed its name in 1986 in recognition of the rapidly expanding voluntary and community sector.

Now, it boasts over 1,000 members, all ranging from big-name charities to community groups. The support it provides is focused on lobbying and campaigning to meet the interests of its members’ beneficiaries. It also offers members a range of practical services, products and guidance to help them succeed. More specifically, it helps with:

  • Representation to government and other partnerships

  • Advice, support and training

  • Information and resources

The NICVA’s strategic goals are dedicated to advancing the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors (VCSE), these include:

  • Supporting the VCSE to be resilient and robust to respond to the challenge of change

  • Supporting the VCSE in harnessing digital technologies for public good

  • Acting as the influential leader on behalf of the VCSE in NI

  • Maintaining its position as a resilient and robust organisation equipped to respond to any and all challenges and change

If you’re a charity that wants protection and information, then we highly recommend becoming a NICVA member.


For funding information and support, FundReady is Ireland’s leading service for not-for-profit organisations.

Its service includes an easy-to-use digital platform that is regularly updated with funding opportunities from across the country. Members can also benefit from the help of specialist consultants from the S3 Solutions team, where they provide advice, guidance and practical support to write and submit funding applications.

What makes this service different is the fact that it is tailored and aligned to the funding needs and profile of each organisation. It works as a subscription, with several packages available to suit an organisation’s budgets and requirements.

Since its launch in 2013, FundReady has supported clients across Northern Ireland and beyond to secure over £120 million of investment for new capital projects, services, equipment and organisational developments.

For more information, check out our video where we deep dive into the ways FundReady can support your charity:

The Community Foundation Northern Ireland

The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland is an independent, local charitable foundation that is committed to helping communities in need and driving social change.

It exists to empower representatives in local areas to make a difference, with big issues and themes focusing on building sustainable communities, community voice, thriving after the conflict and people on the edges of society. It does this primarily through grantmaking and delivering innovative programmes.

In the last 40 years, the Foundation has awarded over £100 million in grants to organisations and individuals who want to make positive changes in Northern Ireland.

Its impact has seen groups and organisations across NI making contributions to key sectors, including:

  • Education

  • Health

  • Housing

  • Arts and culture

  • Social justice

  • Employment

  • Peace and reconciliation

Funding through the Foundation ranges between £250 to £1 million.

The Foundation also offers the ability to start a fund. Setting up a fund through CFNI is similar to having your own charitable trust, minus the hassle of managing administration or governance, recruiting trustees, producing audited accounts and reporting to regulators.

Community NI

Community NI is Northern Ireland's leading opportunities hub for the voluntary and community sector. As a platform to share news, jobs, opportunities and events - Community NI helps to promote the work of the sector to local communities, with the site receiving an impressive five million page views per year.

Community NI was first initiated to support the response by the voluntary and community sector to the COVID19 pandemic. As an online publication for the great work these organisations do - charities can make the most of this opportunity to share their support and services to spread the good word about their efforts as well as reach new stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Users can also add opportunities for individuals, other organisations and the people their work serves - making it a great option to consider to promote any fundraising events or job vacancies for example.

For more information on what other charity support is available in Northern Ireland, get in touch with S3 Solutions today. We have an exceptional team of people who boast both industry expertise and a passion for the sector - so you know you can trust our recommendations.


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