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BEN guide for newcomers to accessing grants and grant information

There are hundreds of funders, but here are some key starting points for newcomers. This is a shortlist of major funders for community based environmental projects. The funding managers are very friendly and ready to help.

Where there are web addresses, just click to link directly to the site.


Grant Directories.
The Directory of Social Change. 020 7209 5151 

You should be aware that there are many funders who will fund projects with environmental themes set within the many other fields of work, e.g. the arts. They have very specific criteria and you need to know much more detail before you apply, otherwise it is a waste of time and effort. For the more experienced get 'Environmental Funding Guide' 16.95 from the Directory of Social Change. They publish a whole range of books on fundraising and other skills. They also have a CD Rom which helps you to identify funders. Ring for their catalogue. www.d-s-c.demon.co.org

Funderfinder 0113 243 3008 It is a computer programme that is a shortcut for overworked fundraisers. You type in the characteristics of your project (how much you are applying for, whether it is for youth or elderly, etc.) and it prints out a list. You then have to look up directories for the addresses and further details, so you need to buy directories as well. Many local authorities and larger voluntary groups have this programme and let community groups and others use it. You can also buy it. 

Your Locality
One of the best ways of funding local projects is to build up relationships with your local area. Some shops like Marks and Spencers, or local banks hold funds within their local branches. Getting to know the manager gives you a direct contact to discuss your needs. Your local authority may be one that is particularly active in the environmental field and may work with you and provide funds. But, it is not only a matter of money. You may be given free materials, or services such as printing a poster. You may do partnership projects involving employees of businesses, fundraise with a local band or whatever! You are then sure to get into the local newspaper as well.


Big Lottery Fund 020 7211 1888Ring to find out the current and forthcoming themes and the deadlines for application. www.community-fund.org.uk

BEN is often asked whether we encourage groups to take money from Shell because we list them. BEN feels that it should not make decisions for groups. Groups need to work through their ethical stance and have their own funding strategy.

Heritage Lottery Fund - www.hlf.org.uk
Baring Foundation - www.baringfoundation.org.uk
Esmee Fairbairn Trust - www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk
Lloyds TSB - www.lloydstsbfoundation.org.uk

Learning Through Landscapes works specifically with schoolgrounds in England and Scotland (Grounds for Learning). They are very helpful and have a useful list of funders -www.ltl.org.uk


National Council for Voluntary Organisations. 0800 2 798 798 Freephone No. for information

English Nature - www.english-nature.org.uk


Countryside Council for Wales 01248 385500 Contact grants unit which will give you details of contacts for regional and local funds. www.ccw.gov.uk

Wales Council for Voluntary Action 029 2043 1700 Administrates several funds. 


Scottish Natural Heritage 0131 447 4784 Ring the grants unit of their headquarters for details of regional contacts and funds. www.snh.org.uk

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations 0131 556 3882 In touch generally with funding available, plus wide ranging support for community groups www.scvo.org.uk

Forward Scotland 0141 567 4334 www.forward-scotland.org

Northern Ireland

Environment and Heritage Service DOE 028 90 546 552 www.nics.gov.uk

Community Projects Fund NICVA 028 9032 1224

NI2000 028 90 403 779 www.aaranet.co.uk

Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust 018 90 245 927 http://www.bcda.net/nivt/

BEN grants guide | EMAS | Grants news

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