by Rachel Miller (Development Officer: Community Involvement, Reading Voluntary Action)
One of the biggest challenges to running community projects can be making sure you have the money to do it, but where do you start and what is available in your area?
Here are a range of local grant opportunities that are available across the town or in specific communities in Reading.
Berkshire Community Foundation have a range of grants available at different times as they coordinate grant giving for a range of organisations. At the moment, community groups can apply from between £1000 and £10,000 to the Comic Relief Community fund. It is also worth getting in touch with Berkshire Community Foundation to find out what other support is available.
BCF also manage Local Giving online fundraising platform for Reading and can support your organisation to make best use of this.
The Earley Charity is a local charitable trust providing community grants to organisations in the area of benefit.
The Earley Charity aims to support relief of need among elderly, disabled or poor people living in our area of benefit as well as community, educational, informational, cultural, sporting, recreational and social initiatives.
They have 4 grant deadlines per year and have grant programmes for small grants (under £2000) and large grants (over £2000). All deadlines can be found on their website.
Additionally, these grants are available for activity in any area of Reading. There are small pots of £200 – £500 to take part in festivals and other events, or start up a new organisation.
Community First is a match funding initiative in Battle and Abbey Wards, where local community initiatives can get funding, which should be matched in volunteer time, funding or goods. Grants are for £250 – £2500 and applications are welcome any time in July and August. The deadline for applications is 1 September and money must be spent by the start of March. The priorities for both areas are:
- Improving anti-social behaviour
- Improving the local environment
- Improving community cohesion
Here is more information:
Your Community Your Cash gives local communities the opportunity to bid for funding to develop their own community projects to benefit local residents. Available money in each area varies between £5000 and £15,000. Usually this is split between 3-5 projects, which are funded depending on the area.
- Amersham Road (Lower Caversham)
- Coley Park
- Whitley Wood
- Dee Park
If you live in Whitley, then you can get involved in the Whitley Big Local project, to help spend £1,000,000 over 10 years. To find our more about their plans, see www.whitley-cda.org/
Further help and information
If you’re a bit overwhelmed by all this, or you still haven’t found what you are looking for, get in touch with Reading Borough Council’s funding support unit who produce a monthly funding digest of all funding available from local, national and international grant providers.
Or if you’re not sure your organisation is ready to apply for funding yet, get in touch with RVA at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Advice Service page on the RVA website