Manchester Cares

Awards from the UK Portfolio

Manchester Cares

The UK Portfolio supports UK-wide ideas and projects. It tests and grows bold ideas that put people in the lead to address long-term social issues and to improve the quality of life across the UK and internationally.

Application deadline

See programme details

Applying for funding

The UK Portfolio tests and grows bold ideas that put people in the lead to address long-term social issues and to improve the quality of life across the UK and internationally. This is achieved in three ways.

Bringing people together

We support communities to be part of and celebrate events of UK-wide significance, we fund activities that:

  • support local projects to improve the quality of life for people and communities
  • amplify the voices of people and communities to help create stronger connections between communities.

Growing great ideas

We support the growth or adaptation of great ideas across the UK by:

  • supporting collective/ joint responses to tackling important social issues from the perspective of those most impacted by them
  • supporting those most likely to face disadvantage and increasing their opportunities.

Exploring new approaches

We develop and test ways of building a stronger civil society by:

  • testing new approaches to grant-making and non-financial support
  • testing new solutions to addressing long-term or emerging social issues, particularly where people with first-hand experience of these issues are at the heart of creating the solutions.

Is my project suitable for funding?

The UK Portfolio supports projects that have UK-wide significance in terms of interest, impact or influence. We offer three different types of funding: small grants to develop ideas, long-term funding, and collaborative/partnership project funding. To be eligible, projects should be active in two or more of the UK’s constituent countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

We are most interested in projects that have one or more of the following characteristics.

  1. Are led or directed by those with lived experience of the social issue being addressed.
  2. Tackle root causes, not just the symptoms of the ‘problem’. They identify structural barriers and long-term failures and attempt to change systems that are failing to prevent people from experiencing problems.
  3. Are informed by diverse perspectives and multiple stakeholders, to ensure that the solutions created can achieve outcomes for all.
  4. Develop collaboration and collective responses between organisations.
  5. Focus on continuous experimentation, learning and adaptation.
  6. Early action – addressing the issue at the earliest possible stage.

You will need to be a legally constituted organisation or partnership. We expect most funding to go to either voluntary sector organisations or voluntary sector led partnerships of voluntary, public or private sector organisations.

We will not make awards to:

  • individuals and sole traders
  • organisations based outside the UK
  • non-departmental public bodies
  • branches where you don’t control how you’re run and how your money is spent
  • applications made by one organisation on behalf of another
  • organisations operating mainly for private benefit.
How much can you apply for?

There is no upper limit for your funding request. The UK Portfolio’s average grant in 2016/17 was £940k over three years.

Due to high demand and fairness, it is highly unlikely that we will award more than one grant to a single organisation, but you can hold a grant with another part of The National Lottery Community Fund and also receive UK Portfolio funding. In addition, having an award through the UK Portfolio would not necessarily exclude you from being a part of another partnership proposal.

How do you apply?

We are more interested in your ideas and the quality of your work than your ability to complete an application form, and use conversations instead of an application form as the basis for assessing your proposal. It is important to read this guidance before contacting us to discuss a project or an idea.

If it is not through the UK Portfolio, we will explore whether there are other routes to funding within The National Lottery Community Fund. While we may not always be able to meet your needs, we feel this approach will save a lot of paperwork and a lot of time.

If you are interested in learning more about this funding please contact or the advice team on 0345 4 10 20 30.


As an organisation that gives out public funds, we carry out some checks on the information you provide us. Learn more about our checks

What happens next?
  1. We will discuss your proposal with you on the phone to find out more about your idea.
  2. After this initial discussion, we will discuss your idea further with our funding team to see if there’s a fit to our priorities. We may require additional information (some of which will be related to eligibility) but we will normally get back to you within four weeks after the initial discussion.
  3. If we decide to take your proposal further, a more detailed series of conversations will take place. It is at this stage where we will try to fully understand the impact of your work, your approach, equalities implications, your plans for growth and your partnerships (among many other things).
  4. We will ask for further documentation at this stage to verify some of the information gathered through conversation. This will include recent accounts, work/business plan (among other things).
  5. Your proposal will then be reviewed further by our funding team and we will canvas the views of frontline practitioners and others closest to the issues you are proposing to address (no information will be passed on, and we will not specifically refer to your proposal). We will also conduct desktop research and we will visit your project to gain a fuller picture of your work. This will typically take two to three months.
  6. Once we have gathered all the relevant information, we will let you know if your proposal will be presented to our decision-making committees.

Your application will then go a decision-making body, who will either decline or approve your proposal.

  • For proposals £50,000 and under, our funding group meets bi-monhtly.
  • For proposals between £50,000 and £500,000, our funding panel meets quarterly.
  • For proposals over £500,000, our funding committee meets quarterly.

If you are interested in learning more about this funding please contact or the advice team on 0345 4 10 20 30.