An introduction to voluntary and community funding

There are over half a million voluntary and community groups in the UK. These groups range from small community groups to large national or international organisations. Over the past decade, there has been an increasing trend of public sector services being delivered by voluntary and community organisations on behalf of the government. According to the most recent Treasury figures on the sector, voluntary and community income coming from the government is £3.5bn - almost one-third of the sector's total income.

Where can voluntary and community groups get financial support?

Funding, mainly through grants, is a means of providing financial assistance to voluntary and community organisations. A lot of groups are largely dependent on the receipt of funding to keep going in the work they do or in setting up new projects. Grants are sometimes hard to come by and applying for them can involve a great deal of hard work but on the plus side they don't have to be paid back as long as terms are met.

Where does funding come from?

Funding for voluntary and community groups is available from a variety of sources including:

  • Central government departments, regional bodies and local government.
  • The lottery.
  • Charitable trusts and foundations.
  • Private companies.