Funding news

Over £38 million in government grants provide much needed help in communities - 10 March 2009

Over £38 million in grants have been given out in almost 15,500 grant awards to charities and voluntary organisations through government’s Grassroots Grants scheme, statistics reveal.

The three year Grassroots Grants programme, launched in September 2008, is made up from a small grants fund and an endowment investment programme. The fund is aimed at helping small voluntary and community organisations provide much needed help in their communities and reach out to the most vulnerable people.

Grants have been spent on a range of community activity from lunch clubs for the elderly to leisure activity in deprived areas – helping communities to thrive and deal with the individual challenges that face each local community. Small and local community groups with annual incomes below £30,000 can apply for the grants of between £250 and £5,000.

Grassroots Grants includes a match fund whereby donations by business and individuals are matched by government. The money, which is then invested as an endowment, aims to provide financial support over the long term to charities and voluntary organisations; enabling even more grants to go to local good causes, for generations to come.

Nationwide over 11,000 donations from businesses and individuals have raised over £17 million, so far, which the government then matched funded. This has already built endowments in every local area, worth over £32 million in total.

The innovative endowment match challenge is the first of its kind and offers businesses and individuals the chance to contribute directly to supporting and sustaining the communities in which they operate and upon which they rely.

Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector, said:

“I am delighted to hear over £38 million in government grants has been invested in small community groups who are making a difference in their local communities. The grants have been used in a number of ways up and down the country and have included services to help the unemployed, leisure activities for young people and social clubs for the elderly.

"This programme gives local communities a voice and helps them direct their energies to the particular challenges they see in their local community”.

To read the full article, visit the OTS website.