Dormant Accounts NI

Connect 4 Women

Dormant Accounts Fund NI will support the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in Northern Ireland to be more resilient and prepared for the future by funding activity that increases capacity and sustainability. We hope the programme will support organisations to adapt to future challenges and be more financially resilient.

Dormant accounts are UK bank and building society accounts that have been untouched for 15 or more years, and where banks and building societies are unable to trace the customer who owns the account.

We received policy directions from the Department of Finance in September 2019. These funds are not derived from National Lottery activity. Around £20 million has built up over the past ten years.

Money from Dormant Accounts will continue to be released for us to distribute each year to increase capacity, resilience and sustainability in the Northern Ireland VCSE sector. Given that this is a rolling fund, we're taking a phased and long-term approach to support the sector, based on learning.

For this first phase, we have developed a flexible and responsive grant programme that will support organisations to be able to adapt to future challenges and be more financially resilient. We'll also support larger investments that will enable collaboration and develop new and creative approaches to sustainability. These Northern Ireland-wide or sector-specific proposals could focus on specific themes such as volunteering, digital capacity or diversity and inclusion.  These are examples of themes and not set criteria.

In the grant programme, we want to fund organisations that can identify the best way to improve their long-term capacity, sustainability or resilience to best deliver their mission.

We anticipate that we’ll award funding for between one and three years, in order to have the greatest impact for the organisations and the communities they serve.

Northern Ireland
Funding size
Up to £100,000 for individual organisations
Total available
If you think you will need more than £100,000 for your project because you're working in partnership, please get in touch.
Application deadline



To apply, fill in our online application form.

Apply online

The programme is open for applications from 12 January 2020. There is currently no deadline for applications.

As part of the assessment process, we will get in touch with you to arrange a time to discuss your application in more detail.

We’re keen to speak to you about your application, so contact us if you would like to talk through your idea first.

Already got funding?
Download the logo and read guidance on how to use it to acknowledge your grant.

Who can and cannot apply

You can apply if you are currently delivering services in Northern Ireland and are:

  • an unregistered community or voluntary organisation
  • a registered charity (unincorporated)
  • a registered charity and not-for-profit company
  • a not-for-profit company
  • a Community Interest Company
  • a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

You cannot apply if you are a:

  • statutory body
  • school
  • college
  • university
  • organisations whose main purpose is to promote religion or political opinion - however, faith-based organisations connected to a church are eligible.

If you’re not sure if you can apply

Contact us.

What we will fund 

Here are some examples of what we can support through the programme: 

  • support for organisations to help them to develop long-term financial sustainability - for example, help them develop and implement financial planning tools or ideas for income diversification
  • collaborations and/or mergers between organisations
  • activity that supports organisations to communicate and connect with other organisations and communities more effectively
  • activity that increases the diversity and skills of volunteers and trustees/committee members within organisations
  • succession planning (identifying and developing new leaders) to support the long-term sustainability of organisations
  • activity that helps organisations to improve the delivery and impact of their work, by using the full potential of digital infrastructure and data analysis tools.

This is not a complete list of what we will fund. If you have an idea, get in touch and talk to us about it.  

Any questions?

Contact us.

What you can spend the money on

We do not have a list of eligible and non-eligible costs for this programme. We will consider whatever costs you need to be able to achieve the change you want to make for your organisation. But we will not fund capital refurbishment, purchase of buildings, loan repayments or costs for new buildings.

When you complete your application, we will ask you to give broad headings for your project costs. We will discuss these with you during the assessment process and may request a detailed budget.

For example, you might need us to fund core costs, salaries to free up time of existing members of staff, personal development and training, leadership programmes, digital capacity, and so on. We will consider any reasonable cost if it’s the best way to achieve the change you are working towards.

Ultimately, we want the Dormant Accounts Fund NI to deliver long-term transformational change for VCSE organisations.

Any questions?

Contact us.

If you're ready to start your application

Apply online