Funding for voluntary groups

Voluntary and community groups achieve a great deal with unpaid labour, but none of them can do without some money in the bank. Getting that money to support your work, year on year, can take a lot of effort.

Find out here about some of the groups that MDF has helped..

There are a number of different routes for voluntary groups to get that money, and the more successful organisations are likely to consider many of them.

  • A number of these funds of particular interest to voluntary groups that are of and for disabled people in Merseyside are listed below..


What are the available sources of funding and support?


Grants from public authorities or other public bodies such as the Big Lottery


Grants from private trusts and foundations

There is a wide range of these trusts and grant-giving bodies, both local and national.

Donations and legacies from the public


Sponsorship or other help from companies

You may be able to get grants of money from commercial orgaisations, Help may also come as the free use of facilities or equipment, advice on running your groups, or company staff working for you for free.


Contracts from public sector

More and more, this is the way in which public support for voluntary groups will be available, as there is more pressure for groups to be sustainable (which, in practice, often means not coming back every year for a public grant).

What do you need to do so that your group can be ready for these opportunities?.

  • Immediate actions:  for example, you should look for opportunities advertised in the press or on public bodies' websites
  • Longer-term planning: for example, make sure that your group has the legal structure that is required to get a grant; and  you might need to set up links with other groups (for example in a consortium) as these contracts can be too big for individual groups to tackle.

MDF may be able to help you look for funding, or tell you about any training and advice which will help your organisation become better prepared to apply for contracts or grants.


For more funding sources, the Merseyside Funding Information Portal provides information about grants foe voluntary groups and social enterprises. There is also information on that site to help you to tender for public contacts.

Some funding possibilities:

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