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Welcome to the first part of the new NCVO website. While we finish building it, you will find the rest of our help and guidance on our existing site.

Last reviewed: 17 November 2020

In your local area look for organisations to help you with funding and fundraising. They’re often also connected to commissioning, contracts and tenders. We describe some of the key things they do and give you a link to a page where you can search for the nearest one to you.

Your Community Foundation

  • Will have at least one local grant fund that it gives out in your area.
  • Will be raising money to create more local grant funds or increase the budget of existing ones.
  • May distribute other small funds for BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief or other national programmes.
  • May have small commissioning grants from your local health, crime or council services

Find your nearest Community Foundation

Your local support, development or infrastructure organisation

These organisations have different ways of describing themselves. An older, but still common term is Council for Voluntary Services (CVS). They offer a wide variety of advice and guidance to organisations that make a difference in a local area. This list only covers the support they provide in relation to funding and income.

Local infrastructure organisations:

  • usually have free or low cost training
  • usually have a funding e-news or a funding section in their e-news
  • usually know how contracts, commissions and tenders are handled by the local council, police and NHS in your area
  • may have free or low-cost bid reviewing or bid writing service
  • may have free or low-cost 1-to-1 advice sessions
  • may run groups, networks or forums connected to commissioning and tendering.
  • may help the council, police and NHS understand how smaller organisations and charities work.
  • may help smaller organisations group together to get involved in commissioning, contracts and tendering.

There are three ways to find your local infrastructure organisation.

  • Use this map. It will help you find all the organisations that are members of NAVCA, the umbrella body for local infrastructure organisations.
  • Focused on rural services? Then use ACRE’s map (ACRE is Action for Communities in Rural England – 38 organisations are listed here).
  • Can’t find anyone near you on the maps? Some organisations may not be listed. Put 'name of your area' into an internet search. Add the search term 'supporting the community sector' or 'supporting the voluntary sector' to find them.

Your local councils

County, Metropolitan, City or District councils:

  • may run their own grant programmes
  • may have a department or team providing community support and advice
  • may encourage charities and voluntary sector organisations to bid for contracts to provide social care or other similar services.

Many councils don’t do this directly any more, but work with community foundations and local infrastructure organisations who provide these services for them. It is different everywhere so it is a good idea to check

Parish councils:

  • like to know about activities happening in their area
  • may work with local groups and charities to deliver projects
  • ocasionally have grant funds to give out.

Your main local council website will be the easiest way to find your Parish council.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 17 November 2020

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