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This page tells you about different ways to search for grants. It also has some recommended steps for first time grant applicants. If you came here looking for a grant search or list of grants go straight to My Funding Central.
If you work outside the UK start with funding guidance for working in international development.
Otherwise make sure you are taking a three-part approach:
If you are looking for your first grant you could start with our first steps for new organisations.
You should sign up to at least one online service that will send you updates about new grant funds and deadlines by email. Make sure that the service you choose lets you configure its settings so that you get updates that match your needs.
My Funding Central is a new database of grant funding and social investment sources. This service is available to organisations with an annual income below £1m and is free for organisations under £30k.
Some grants won't show up in update emails. Many funders have programmes that run for years with no deadlines or rolling deadlines. Some funders don't keep the teams that run the services up to date with new plans, they just have one record on the system. So you should always use grant searches as well as updates.
The same online services that send updates also let you do online searches that display long lists of results.
It's best to do the grant search when you know exactly what you want to fund. You can use filters to narrow down your search.
Online service searches don't suit everyone, and they don’t always find all available grants.
You can use other methods. Pick the ones that interest you the most.
In every area of the UK there is at least one local support or infrastructure organisation that helps charities and voluntary sector organisations look for funding. Some also have funding to give out. In many areas there are several organisations with slightly different responsibilities. You should start making connections with those organisations as soon as you start thinking about grants.
In the UK you can find a support organisation or network for almost everything. They are all different but they may be able to help you with some important things.
There is no one complete list of all these organisations. Some are free and some have membership fees. Some focus on the activity you do and others focus on who you support.
To find these organisations
Most of the National Lottery funders have grant schemes that support first time applicants. This makes them a great first step. Right now, some of them are running Covid-19 specific programmes rather than their usual funds.
These links go direct to the home page of each organisation.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own equivalents of Arts Council England and Sport England.
Most areas of the country have Community Foundations that manage at least one local grant fund. Many of them are good at helping people make their first application.
Get advice on applying for grants.
Last reviewed: 26 March 2021Help us improve this content
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