NI Trust Group Voluntary Action Booklet

25 Jul 2014 Lynn Kennedy    Last updated: 18 May 2020

The NI Trust Group comprises over 40 funders working across NI. This annually reviewed booklet provides information to the voluntary and community groups on 19 of NI’s key funders’ aims, current funding programmes and contact details.


BBC Children in Need

BBC Children in NeedAbout

BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential.

Funding Programmes

BBC Children in Need awards grants at seven points during the year and funds two types of grants, both of which are open to new or existing applicants.

Small Grants - For grants of up to £10,000 per year, up to three years, a short application form focuses on the differences made to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people. This is assessed, usually by telephone interview, with a response roughly 10 weeks after application. There are 4 decision points in the year, with applications received by 1st March June, September and December, hearing the outcome in early May, August, November and March.

Main grants (over £10,000 for up to 3 years) have a two-stage application process. An initial application eliminates those with low prospects of success at an early stage, with those who are successful invited to make a full application. The focus of our decision making is on the outcomes for children and young people and the potential learning to be secured. There are 3 decision points in the year, with applications received by mid-January, May and September being decided by mid-June, October and February respectively. 


For more information go to the website or contact the local office on 028 9033 8221.

Belfast Charitable Society

AboutImage result for clifton house belfast

Established in 1752 the Belfast Charitable Society is the oldest charity in the city and has worked to tackle disadvantage from its inception.

The Society continues to benefit the people of Belfast and further afield by supporting various charities and philanthropic causes. It regularly considers how best it can utilise its limited resources. It currently commits its funds in the following ways.

Funding Programmes

Loans: Better Futures Fund (Open)

The Society has created a £1M loan fund, in conjunction with UCIT and Building Change Trust. This Fund will provide much-needed source of small (up to £25,000), unsecured loans to voluntary, community and social enterprise groups across Northern Ireland. These loans will allow recipients to improve their viability, sustainability and resilience.

Grants: Belfast Charitable Society (programme closed)

This programme provides a small number of grants to causes and organisations. The Society has recently committed this fund to the NI Hospice having provided a capital grant (£100,000), and a further three years revenue fund (£150,000) to enable the organisation to transform its service delivery.

Grants in partnership: The Barbour Fund (Committed)

The Society’s longevity and commitment to addressing disadvantage made it an attractive haven for those responsible for the assets of the Hilden Trusts. In winding up the latter the Directors and the Society created the Barbour Fund - a programme which supports people out of poverty.  

Encouraging Philanthropy

The Society is keen to encourage and promote philanthropy. It sponsors the Institute of Fundraising conference to enable others to share and learn more about best practice in philanthropy. It is also a partner of the Philanthropy Fortnight initiative.


Paula Reynolds

Belfast Charitable Society, Clifton House Heritage Centre, 2 North Queen Street Belfast BT15 1ES

Tel: 028 90997022 

Buttle UK – financial support for individuals and families


Buttle UK, with financial support from Children in Need and Comic Relief, offers financial help to families and estranged young people up to the age of 20yrs towards essential household items. Average grant is £200 - £300 or goods can be supplied directly to the recipients.

Funding Programmes

Buttle also offers programmes of support for boarding school fees and for estranged young people attending Further Education College and/or University. The package of support we offer young people contains three elements: support for an education, employment or training goal, as well as funding toward establishing a stable home environment and access to activities that help promote a young person’s wellbeing. 


Beth McIvor  
Buttle UK  
PO Box 1534 
Dungannon BT70 9BR
Tel: 028 87746778
Email: [email protected]

Carnegie Trust


The Carnegie UK Trust seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing of people throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland through influencing public policy and demonstrating innovative practice.  The Trust is not primarily a grant-making organisation, but does offer funding via application for a small number of specific projects, always connected with our policy and practice work.  

Funding Programmes

Unfortunately, we cannot accept unsolicited grant applications. However, we do seek to build partnerships with other organisations for specific pieces of work.

Our 2016-2020 Strategic Plan sets three Strategic Objectives for our work:

  1. Be a recognised leader in wellbeing and its links to public policy
  2. Be a champion for sharing learning between all jurisdictions of the UK and Ireland
  3. Make working across the public, private and voluntary sector more normal and valued

These objectives are embedded across all of our work and through our strategic category of Enabling Wellbeing.

We have selected three specific work areas in which to pursue our objectives. These are: Digital Futures, Flourishing Towns, Fulfilling Work

Please see the website for further information. 



Comic Relief

Image result for comic relief logoAbout

Comic Relief is a major charity based in the UK which strives to create a just world free from poverty – and we work 365 days a year to help that vision become a reality. Our mission is to drive positive change through the power of entertainment. Since we first set up shop in 1985, we’ve been doing three main things: 

  • We raise millions of pounds through two big fundraising campaigns – Red Nose Day and Sport Relief. 
  • We spend that money in the best possible way to tackle the root causes of poverty and social injustice. 
  • We use the power of our brand to raise awareness of the issues that we care most about. 


For further information on our UK and International grants, and information on how to make an application please log on to

Enkalon Foundation


Enkalon Foundation was established in 1985 following the closure of the British Enkalon factory in Antrim. The aim of the fund was to support the local community in the wake of the closure. As the Foundation grew support was offered to charities and community groups across Northern Ireland. To date Enkalon Foundation has given out over £5million across Northern Ireland via 6,656 grants. £2.6 million of this funding has been in the former Antrim Borough. 

Funding Online

Enkalon Foundation has an annual budget of around £200,000 which is used to support charities and community groups to meet and deliver their core objectives. Applications should clearly demonstrate the need for the funding and how the group, users and wider community will benefit from it.

Applicants can apply for core running costs or project costs provided the benefit to the group is clearly outlined in the application. Enkalon Foundation is a small funder and whilst applications of up to £6000 are accepted the average grant is £1000. 

Who Can Apply

The application process is open to charities and community groups based in and working within Northern Ireland. Enkalon Foundation supports a wide range of organisations which are benefitting the community through their work in all areas of public benefit as outlined by the Charities Commission NI.  For example: Relief of Poverty, Health, Education, Animal Welfare, Community Development, Arts, Culture, Amateur Sport, Diversity and Equality, Environmental Protection and Relief of those in Need.

Applications from Senior Citizen groups, Playgroups, PTA’s and sports groups are restricted to those based in the former Antrim Borough.

Applications for individuals, travel outside of Northern Ireland and medical research will not be accepted. 12 

Application Process

Applications are submitted online via the website. The application process is open throughout the year and Trustees meet quarterly to assess applications. Full details regarding the application process and meeting dates can be found at


Claire Cawley, Administrator
Tel: (028) 94477131
Email: [email protected] 

Fermanagh Trust


The Fermanagh Trust funds a wide range of organisations and initiatives primarily in County Fermanagh via a range of range of funds including the Fermanagh Trust own grants programme. 

Funding Programmes

Funds include:

  • Callagheen Wind Farm Fund
  • Fermanagh Carers Fund
  • Fermanagh House Fund
  • Fermanagh Recreational Trust Fund
  • Fisher Foundation
  • Greg Turley Bursary Awards
  • Joan Trimble Awards Scheme
  • Killesher and Cleenish Community Care Association Fund
  • The Fermanagh Trust Grants Programme
  • Youth Bank Fermanagh
  • Slieve Rushen Wind Farm Fund
  • Shared Education 
  • Oisin McGrath Foundation
  • Energia Teiges Mountain Wind Farm Fund 
  • Cornavarrow and Slieveglass Wind Farm Funds 


Fermanagh Trust
Fermanagh House
Broadmeadow Place
BT74 7HR
Tel: 028 6632 0210
Email: [email protected]

Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland

AboutImage result for halifax foundation for ni

The Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland is a grant-giving Foundation whose income is derived from Lloyds Banking Group. Its policies are determined by an independent Board of Trustees, which agrees on the Foundation's strategic priorities and distributes the funding. The overall aim of the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland is to support charities which enable people, especially disadvantaged or disabled people, to play a fuller role in the community.

The Foundation has two main target areas to which it seeks to allocate funds:

  • Social and Community Needs
  • Education and Training

A wide range of charities can be supported by the Foundation, from early years to seniors’ groups, food banks, disability groups, advice services, sports and arts to name but a few.

Income of an organisation must be less than £1 million to be eligible. There is no maximum amount that may be applied for, but the average grant is currently around £3,500. The Foundation operates a rolling grant programme, with a maximum of 4 months turnaround. 


Brenda McMullan (Executive Director)

11-15 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB

Tel: 028 90323000

Email: [email protected]

Joseph Rowntree Foundation


The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's purpose is to inspire social change.

The JRF is an endowed foundation funding a UK-wide research and development programme. Current priorities are Poverty, Place and the Ageing Society. Applications should only be submitted in response to a call, advertised on our website at


The Homestead
40 Water End
YO30 6WP
Tel:   +44 (0)1904 629241
Minicom:   +44(0)1904 615910 (please use only if you require this text-to-speech service)
Email: [email protected]

NIE Staff and Pensioners’ Fund


NIE staff and pensioners have been contributing to this fund for over 20 years and in that time in excess of £20million (including annual support from the company) has been distributed to local charities. 

The main aim of this fund is to support improvements around social and community welfare, education and training to enable people, especially disabled or disadvantaged, to play fuller roles in their local communities. 

Funding programmes 

Funding is mainly given for equipment, printing and training for people with disabilities, as well as projects which benefit senior citizens. The fund does not support third-tier funding such as sponsored events, capital funding, salaries or projects outside NI. Provides grants up to £750. 


For more information and advice on how to apply for funding please visit 
Follow us on Facebook at

St Stephen’s Green TrustImage result for ssgt st stephen's green trust logo


St Stephen’s Green Trust is a charitable foundation which respects human dignity and is committed to identifying and responding to issues of social injustice in Ireland. It manages a number of grant schemes which are open to voluntary and community organisations on the island of Ireland.

Funding Programmes

SSGT is a responsive grant-making trust and Trustees have agreed on the following funding priorities.

  • Traveller men
  • Criminal Justice
  • Vulnerable Migrants
  • Direct Provision Centre activities for children
  • Travellers in Prison Initiative (ROI)
  • Grassroots peacebuilding grants programme (NI)

There are varying opportunities for funding under these priority areas and each grant programme has specific criteria. Organisations intending to apply should check their general eligibility on the SSGT website or contact us if not sure whether the organisation or area of work is eligible.

The number of grant programmes, grant deadlines and other criteria vary each year. Please check our website for up-to-date information - 


Orla O’Neill (Grants & Development Director)
St Stephen’s Green Trust
PO Box, Newbridge, Co Kildare
Tel: (045) 480666
Email:  [email protected]

The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland


The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland connects people who care to causes that matter. For over 35 years we have been a trusted, secure means through which donors choose how, when and where they give, by helping them to set up funds, supporting them to make grants and to see the impact of their donations on local communities in greatest need. We outwork this vision in three areas

  • Community Impact - Providing funds to support local communities, particularly to help the most marginalised and vulnerable, and investing in the kind of projects that other funders might not fund.
  • Donor Development - effectively helping donors direct their money to causes that make a difference
  • Community leadership - listening to the communities we’re working with, and based on what we’re hearing advocating with them to those in influence.

Funding Programmes

Our grant making is underpinned by our own values and experience and where we have the capacity and the flexibility, we want our grant making to be defined by the following characteristics: Innovative, responsive grant programmes, asset focused, accessible applications process, proportionate, empowered grant assessments, outcomes focused. The size of grant varies, with the majority of Funds providing grants under £10,000. Application for grant assistance is generally via online application


The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
Community House
Citylink Business Park
Albert Street, Belfast 
BT12 4HQ 
Tel: 028 9024 5927     

Unit 4, Rath Mór Centre
Blighs Lane
Creggan, Derry
Co. Londonderry 
BT48 0LZ
Tel: 028 7137 1547

The Honourable The Irish Society


 The Society is an historic charity which operates mainly in County Londonderry by using its assets to make small grants to not-for-profit organisations in the County and neighbouring areas.

Funding Programmes

Grants are currently limited to £1000 max for a group; a 3 year rule applies to repeat applications.  Applications are considered by a Local Advisory Committee meeting 3 times a year, currently in February, June and October.  Closing dates for each meeting are normally 5th January, 5th May and 5th September.

In addition we now have a limited amount of funding available for NI charitable projects outside of County Londonderry: £2,000 max size of grant.


For more details and application forms, please visit the website: 

Or write to: The Honourable The Irish Society, 54 Castleroe Road, Coleraine BT51 3RL.  

Telephone: 028 7034 4796  
Email: [email protected]

The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly Big Lottery Fund)


Every year we award millions of pounds to good causes in Northern Ireland.  We have a range of funding programmes in Northern Ireland. Take a look at the information on our programmes on our website  

If you have any questions or would like to discuss our funding we would love to hear from you, contact our Outreach team on 028 90551 455, speak to us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

Funding Programmes 

We are investing in Northern Ireland through a range of funding programmes such as our popular small grants scheme Awards for All and our Empowering Young People programme which is supporting young people across the region. Our People and Communities programme is also opened for applications. If you would like to chat about your project idea further please contact our Communications team. 


The Northern Ireland team is based in Belfast.
1 Cromac Quay
Cromac Wood
Ormeau Road
Phone: 028 9055 1455
Text Relay: 18001 plus 028 9055 1431 (for those with a hearing or speech impairment)
Fax: 028 9055 1445
Email: [email protected]
Follow us on Twitter:   
Follow us on Facebook:

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly Heritage Lottery Fund)


There's much more to heritage here than Belfast’s legendary Titanic quarter. How about the rich wildlife of the Balinderry River or the causeway built by a mythical giant? Walk the historic streets of Derry / Londonderry, delve into the traditions of South Asian communities, and explore Northern Ireland's heritage in every shape and form.

Funding Programmes

All of our information on grant aid can be found at

If you would like to make an application, first read the application guidance for the programme you want to apply under and take a look at other available resources, such as guidance for applying and project examples. These will help you develop your ideas.

If you’re applying for a small grant under £10,000 for Sharing Heritage you can then send in your online application. For other programmes you can send us a funding enquiry form first. We’ll give you feedback and suggest where you can find more help before you complete your full application.


National Lottery Heritage Fund
Arthur House, 41 Arthur Street,

Telephone: 028 9031 0120 

Fax: 028 9031 0121

Email: [email protected]

Follow ">


The Prince’s Trust

AboutImage result for princes trust logo

The Prince's Trust supports 13 to 30 year olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.

Around one in five young people in the UK are not in work, education or training. Youth unemployment costs the UK economy £10 million a day in lost productivity, while youth crime costs £1 billion every year.

Many of the young people we help are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or have been in trouble with the law.  Our programmes give young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives. We help develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training.

We help young people:

  • Develop skills, prepare for work and improve their confidence through a structured 12-week personal development course, individually tailored development programmes and short engagement programmes
  • Improve motivation and attendance at school through our network of Achieve clubs
  • Work out whether self-employment is right for them by helping them test their business ideas, write plans and start their own businesses, or achieve other goals in education, training, volunteering or other work
  • Overcome barriers and get their lives working with cash awards of between £50 and £500, and mentor support for those leaving care or prison
  • Develop personal and social skills through residential schemes, group activities and tailored one-to-one support


The Prince's Trust - NI
Unit 8 Weavers Court
BT12 5GH
T 028 9089 5000
F 028 9089 5038
email: [email protected]

UnLtd – The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs


UnLtd support people who have the determination, passion and commitment to change the world around them.  We support individuals directly, not their ventures.  We offer a package of support and funding (awards up to £15,000) tailored to suit each individual along with one-to-one guidance from an Award Manager to help get their venture up and running.  We offer support for social entrepreneurs at various stages of their journey.   

The Grow It Award is for social entrepreneurs looking to scale their venture providing tailored support, access to workshops and networks, and up to £15,000 cash.


Nuala Smyth (Awards Manager)

Room 112, City East Business Centre, 68-72 Newtownards Road, Belfast BT4 1GW

Telephone: 028 9094 1619 or Mobile: 075 4593 3816

Email: [email protected]


Ulster Garden Villages


Ulster Garden Villages Limited allocates funds to Capital and Revenue projects within Northern Ireland that improve the quality of life in the local community. The main objectives are Health, Disadvantaged sections of our society, Young People, Culture and Heritage and the Environment. 


Mrs Valerie Ingram
Executive Director
Ulster Garden Villages Limited
Forestview, Purdys Lane
BT8 7AR 
Tel: 028 9049 1111: Office normally attended Tuesday –Thursday
Email: [email protected]

For further information, application form, guidelines and exclusions – please see Website:

Victoria Homes Trust



  1. To help and educate young people of both sexes under the age of 21
  2. To develop their physical, mental, spiritual and moral capacities so that they grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society and that their conditions of life may be improved.
  3. To assist in the training of young people to enable them to maintain themselves at the termination of their education and training.
  4. To assist other non-statutory bodies in carrying out any of the above objects

Policy: To assist voluntary projects in, for example the following fields:

  • Homelessness
  • Alcohol and Drug abuse
  • Counselling for young people

Applications are only accepted by email on the form that can be downloaded from the Trust website.


Please visit the website to read the full guidelines before contacting the Trust Secretary.

Neil Irwin 
67 Loopland Gardens
Email: [email protected]

NICVA (Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action)

NICVA provides Secretariat to The NI Trust Group and manages NI's funding database, GrantTracker.  NICVA is not itself a funder, but provides training and advice on fundraising.


Lynn Kennedy

61 Duncairn Gardens
BT15 2GB
Tel: 028 9087 7777
Email: [email protected]

GrantTracker is Northern Ireland’s leading funding toolkit, created to help charities and communities thrive. It is an entirely unique funding database covering over 800 sources of funding for NI projects, sourced from local and international funders.  Developed and managed by NICVA, GrantTracker is a truly local product, developed by the sector for the sector.

GrantTracker will help you find schemes relevant to your projects, keep on top of deadline dates and co-ordinate your funding applications.

Access to GrantTracker is now available from £100 a year for NICVA members and £145 a year for non members's picture
by Lynn Kennedy

Fundraising Advice Officer

[email protected]

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