A useful guide to where charities and social enterprises can find free or low-cost support, with examples from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
Local organisations offering support to the voluntary sector
Most local authority areas have infrastructure organisations that provide support, training and advice to charities and community organisations. This type of organisation is often called a CVS: “Council for Voluntary Service”. It’s worth finding out what your local organisation offers, as they can be a good source of up-to-date information on charitable trusts and other funding opportunities. Here are three local ones:
Nottingham CVS – fortnightly e-bulletin with funding information
Voluntary Action Leicestershire – fortnightly news e-briefing
Community Action Derby – funding information page on website
Free access to funding databases
Charities and other not-for-profits in Leicestershire can access the Grant Finder database for free. The database holds information on over 8,000 funding schemes including grants, loans and awards from local, regional and national UK government, European funding, charitable trusts and corporate sponsors.
If your organisation’s annual income is less than £100,000 you can access the Funding Central grants database free of charge. The database lists grants, contracts and social investment opportunities from local, national and international funding sources.
Low-cost or free training
Many infrastructure organisations, such as Nottingham CVS and Voluntary Action Leicestershire run low-cost or free training courses on applying for grants and “meet the funder” sessions, as well as on many other aspects of running a charity.
The FSI is a national charity dedicated to supporting smaller charities. Their website has many resources on all aspects of running a charity and they run low-cost training courses and webinars on fundraising:
The Institute of Fundraising is the professional body for fundraisers. Their East Midlands regional group runs low-cost events and training from time to time. These are a great way to network with other fundraisers. The Institute’s one-day Introduction to Fundraising course provides an excellent overview of fundraising for people new to a fundraising role. Join the East Midlands mailing list by registering on the Institute of Fundraising website – you don’t have to be a member of the Institute and it’s free to register:
For information on all the Institute of Fundraising’s events and courses across the UK visit:
Community Foundations provide a way for individuals and companies to support local needs. They administer grant programmes on behalf of funders, including some charitable trusts.
Nottinghamshire Community Foundation:
Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation:
I hope you find this list useful.
Is there anything missing? If you know of useful resources locally please tell me in the comments.