We are very excited to announce the launch of Core Strength – Local Communities for 2017/18. This 12 month programme is responding to the growing need of small locally led groups to cover their day to day costs. The aim is to provide funding for groups’ core costs – meaning expenditure that is not connected to delivering projects but focusing on investing in the organisation as a whole, such as basic running costs. We know securing core funding can be tough and want to make this programme to help support those doing much needed work in their local communities.

Who can apply?

You must be a locally led and based organisation. This means you are based within the area you are carrying out activities and have local people involved in the running of the organisation. As such we accept applications from the voluntary and community sector including:

  • constituted voluntary and community groups
  • charities
  • social enterprises
  • co-operatives
  • community interest companies

Your organisation will need to have been running activities for a minimum of 12 months.

Your annual income must be £100,000 or under for your last full financial year. You will need to provide accounts to prove this.

To be considered for funding you will need to:

  • be working in a disadvantaged or deprived area
  • have limited access to other sources of income
  • clearly define the need you are addressing
  • clearly demonstrate the benefit of your activities to local people
  • illustrate how you aim to deliver social outcomes
  • provide clear evidence that your services provided are inclusive to all

Examples of what we would fund:


  • rental costs
  • heating, lighting, water rates
  • core staff costs
  • stationary, small capital items, internet

Organisational development

  • staff/trustee/volunteer training
  • fundraising
  • business planning and development
  • developing monitoring and learning
  • marketing and communications

What we will not fund:

  • a youth worker delivering a weekly drop in for young people (service delivery). But we would fund the same person to do development/fundraising/marketing work (organisational development)
  • any project within your organisation engaging directly with beneficiaries – e.g. training for beneficiaries/a film club/employment programme – basically any of the frontline delivery work you do
  • any large capital building work, though we will consider small pieces of equipment if it will help you run your organisation better
  • trips abroad

What you need to apply:

  • a copy of your governing document (e.g. constitution, memorandum & articles or set of rules)
  • a copy of your most recent annual accounts or management accounts if these are unavailable
  • a photocopy of a bank statement no more than 3 months old. The bank account must be in the name of the organisation applying
  • copies of your safeguarding and equal opportunities policies
  • a list of the names and addresses of your management committee. You need a minimum of three unrelated management committee members to be eligible for the grant

To apply, click HERE

Please see a full copy of the Comic Relief Core Strength – Local Communities guidance notes for applicants HERE