The handouts below cover the different parts of the life cycle of an organisation, from starting a new group to winding up an old one.

Please use the form on the Contact page to request any of the documents by reference number or pop into the VAR offices.

Resource Library 




There are a variety of sources available when looking to raise funds for a community group or project. These include, for example: self-fund raising through community events; sponsorship and support from business; contracting with statutory bodies, including local government, health services and schools; and grants.


Key steps in applying for funding

The Key to gaining external funding is to consider the following steps:

  • Identify there is a need in the community / amongst recipients for the group / project you are applying for funding for.

  • Identify how you would measure the impact of the group / project.

  • This will allow you to devise outputs, outcomes that your group / project will achieve and what impact this will have on your community / recipients.

  • Identify a funder whose aims match those of your group / project.

  • Complete an application and get somebody unconnected to the project to review it before submission.

  • Send in the application before the funding deadlines.


Directories of Grants and Trusts


Funding Central A free website for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Providing access to thousands of funding and finance opportunities, plus tools and resources to support organisations to develop sustainable income strategies.

Directory of Social Change independent charity providing information and training for the voluntary and community sector. For a fee you can also subscribe to various funding databases.


The Institute of Fundraising – The professional membership body for UK fundraising. Its site has resources and tips for fundraisers.

  • Local Grants & Trusts

  • LLR Community Foundation - Manages grants for local organisations and national grants for groups in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.  Grants include Mars in the community and comic relief.

  • Karen Ball Fund - Small grants for medical equipment.

  • Cory Environmental Trust in Rutland - grants for environmental projects within Rutland.

  • Spire Home Grants - Small and large grants for projects and groups that include a benefit for residents of Spire Home

  • Charity Link 

  • Giving World Online

  • Rutland Trusts - Contact Voluntary Action Rutland for more information on the Rutland Trusts and a variety of other possible grant givers including Lands' End and Lions Club of Rutland.


National Lottery Grants

National Lottery funding pots are some of the most popular methods of funding. Funding from the Lottery is distributed by four organisations which are:


The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) aims to bring real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need. BLF gives grants to organisations ranging from small local groups to major national charities.

  • Awards for All is the BLF small grants scheme of between £300 and £10,000.

  • Reaching Communities. BLF grants from £10,000 to £500,000.

  • BLF also has a range of special funding programmes which run for a short time. You can run a funding search at BLF Funding Search


Sport England runs funding programmes open to a wide range of organisations. These include sports clubs, voluntary or community organisations, local authorities, schools, colleges and universities. The funding programmes cover small grants through to specialist funds.


The Arts Council funds arts activities that engage people in England, or that help artists and arts organisations carry out their work.


The Heritage Lottery Fund gives grants to sustain and transform our heritage. It has a range of large and small funding programmes.


National Grants and Trusts

These are just a few of the thousands of chairtable trusts and foundations that give grants to groups. Contact us for more details or support on identifying potential funders.


BBC Children in Need – Grants to organisations working with disadvantaged children and young people who are 18 years old and under. Gives small grants of £10,000 or less per year for up to three years and main grants over £10,000 per year for up to three years.


Charles Hayward Foundation – Funding categories are: heritage and conservation; criminal justice; hospices; older people; youth at risk; small grant scheme up to £5,000.


Church and Community Fund – The Fund gives grants to community projects run by parish churches, deaneries, dioceses and other bodies connected to or working in partnership with the Church of England.


Clothworkers’ Foundation – Funds one-off grants for capital costs for charities with an annual turnover of under £10m. Applications to its main and small grants programme must cover either : encouragement of young people; social inclusion; elderly; disability; visual impairment; textiles.


Comic Relief – Priority areas – mental health; refugee and asylum seeking women; domestic and sexual abuse; sport for change; disadvantaged communities; older people; and young people aged 11 –25 covering either sexually exploited and trafficked young people; young people and alcohol; young people with mental health problems. Also run a young carers' programme.


Esmee Fairbairn Foundation – Main interests are in the cultural life of the UK, education and learning, the natural environment, and enabling disadvantaged people to participate more fully in society.


Foyle Foundation – Operates a main grants scheme supporting charities whose core work covers arts and learning and a small grants scheme covering small charities in all fields.


Henry Smith Charity – Small and special grants to organisations and charities for projects that address social inequality and economic disadvantage.


Lloyds TSB Foundation – Focus is on supporting small and medium underfunded charities that can make a significant difference to the lives of disadvantaged people.


Santander Foundation - Supports local communities and disadvantaged people, particularly in those areas where Santander has a significant presence.


Tudor Trust – Supports work which addresses the social, emotional and financial needs of people at the margins of our society, and are particularly interested in helping smaller, under-resourced organisations which offer direct services.