Partnerships

Micro Rainbow

This funding is for organisations working together in partnership to help their community. By community we mean people living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences. We offer funding that starts at £20,001.

We can fund projects or partnerships that’ll do at least one of these things:

  • bring people together to build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

We want to be flexible and respond to your community’s needs. So we’ll offer funding:

  • for the long or short term
  • for a specific activity, or for broader costs to help your organisation or community
  • to bring organisations together
  • to support people, communities and organisations most affected by the cost-of-living crisis
  • to help organisations address the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on how they work, now and in the future.
Area
England
Suitable for
Voluntary or community organisations
Funding size
£20,001 or more, for up to five years
Application deadline

Ongoing

Apply

How to apply

There are two ways to tell us about your proposal. You can:

  • tell us about your proposal using an online form
  • email us or send us a video about your proposal.

Tell us about your proposal using an online form

Start your proposal Continue your proposal

You can see a full list of questions from the application form.

Email us or send us a video about your proposal

Tell us in your email or video:

  • the name of your project
  • where it'll take place
  • what you'd like to do
  • if and how demand for your services has changed
  • how your work will involve your community
  • how your project fits with local activities
  • who will benefit from your project
  • what difference your project will make
  • how much money you need
  • what you would spend the money on
  • how long you need the money for
  • the names of your partners and the background of you all working together
  • what your organisation does and why you’re best placed to deliver your project.

Your video should be around five minutes long.

If you're going to take videos of people taking part in your project

Make sure you get their permission first. You'd normally do this with a consent form. Once you have the videos make sure they're stored safely.

How to email your proposal to our team in your area

Use this list to find the email address for the area that your project is based in. Or to contact us if you have any questions about sending us a video.

North East & Cumbria

Email the team on NEandCumbriaTeam@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.

Covering Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Stockton on Tees, Cleveland and Cumbria.

North West

Email the team on NorthWestTeam@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.

Covering Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside

Yorkshire and Humber

Email the team on YorksAndHumberteam@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.

Covering North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire

South West

Email the team on SouthWestTeam@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.

Covering Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Swindon, Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Devon, Torbay, Plymouth, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

London, South East and East of England

Email the team on LondonAndSouthEastTeam@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.

Covering Greater London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Bedfordshire, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

East and West Midlands

Email the team on MidlandsTeam@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.

Covering Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire (except North and North East Lincolnshire), Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire.

Projects taking place across England

Email the team on EnglandTeam@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.

If you have any communication needs, or are not sure how to tell us about your proposal

You can contact us. We’re happy to talk about other ways for you to tell us about your funding proposal.

What happens after you send us your funding proposal:

We'll email to let you know we got your proposal

We may ask for more information before we can make an initial decision.

We'll try to let you know in around 12 weeks if we want to take your proposal further

If we do not want to take your proposal further we'll give you feedback explaining why.

If we want to take your proposal further, we'll contact you for more details

We'll ask for more information about your proposal and your organisation, including your organisation's financial accounts and current finances.

We'll do this in conversation with you. We’ll agree the best way to get all the information we need, at a pace that suits you.

Our panel makes a final decision

We'll be in touch to let you know if we’re going to fund your proposal or not.

If your proposal includes costs over £10,000 for land or buildings (capital costs)

We'll ask you for more information about these if we want to take your proposal further. These are sometimes called ‘capital costs’.

Capital costs might include:

  • refurbishment
  • retro-fitting
  • extending your building
  • purchasing land or buildings
  • creating a new building
  • developing an external space like a community garden.

We’ll send you our land and buildings guidance and checklist. This covers the most important things you'll need to consider and a list of details we'll need - for example, on:

  • land ownership
  • designs
  • costs
  • permissions like planning consent
  • what support we can offer in developing your proposal.

If you'd like a copy of the land and buildings guidance and checklist now, contact us.

What happens after we offer you the funding

Find out what to expect, and what you’ll need to do next, by reading our guidance on managing funding over £20,001.

You also need to sign an agreement with your partners before we pay your funding

The agreement should tell us:

  • how you'll work together
  • everyone's roles and responsibilities
  • about your commitment to working together.

You can use our partnerships agreement template (Word document, 51 KB). Or you can create your own partnership agreement.

Our template is helpful if you have one lead partner who gets all of the funding and passes some of it on to the other partners. The template is only for guidance, and we cannot give you legal advice. So make sure to get your own legal advice before signing any agreement if you’re not sure.

If all of your partners will get their funding directly from us

Tell your local funding officer when you contact them about your project idea so we can support you to run a project like this.

Our terms and conditions

Read our terms and conditions.

BSL video: Partnerships

Watch British Sign Language interpretation of 'Partnerships' (YouTube)

See how we use the personal data you give us

By reading our data protection statement.

We do checks on the information you give us

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

Reduce your environmental footprint

The National Lottery Community Fund cares about our environment and we are always striving to manage our environmental impact. We encourage and support projects and communities to do the same. Learn more about how you and your partners can make your project or event more environmentally sustainable and perhaps save money at the same time in our guidance on reducing your environmental footprint.

Who can apply

Who can apply

We can fund new or existing partnerships that serve communities in England.

We usually give our funding to the lead organisation in a partnership. They can then pay the other partners for the work they do.

Your partnership can apply if the lead organisation is a:

  • constituted voluntary or community organisation
  • registered, exempt or excepted charity
  • charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
  • not-for-profit company limited by guarantee - you must be a registered charity or have a not-for-profit 'asset lock' clause in your articles of association
  • community interest company (CIC)
  • school
  • statutory body (including local authorities, town, parish or community councils)
  • community benefit society
  • co-operative society - you must have a not-for-profit 'asset lock' clause in your society rules and also be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

If your partnership will not have a lead organisation

Then the partners must all be one of the types of organisations we’ve listed. We will pay out the funding separately to each organisation.

If you’re an unincorporated group

It might be appropriate for you to become a company or other type of incorporated organisation. We suggest you look into this and think about how it might work for your organisation.

You need at least 2 board or committee members who are not related

Related can mean:

  • related by marriage
  • in a civil partnership with each other
  • in a long-term relationship with each other
  • related through a long-term partner
  • living together at the same address
  • related by blood.

All companies who apply must have at least two directors who are not related in any of these ways. This also applies to companies that are also registered as charities.

Who cannot apply

We cannot accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • organisations based outside the UK
  • anyone who’s applying for another organisation that they will not be in a formal partnership with
  • organisations that look to make profits and share these profits out privately - including companies limited by shares, organisations without the right asset locks, or organisations that can pay profits to directors or shareholders.
  • organisations applying to more than one of our funds for the same project over the same period. This is because you cannot get duplicate funding for something we're already funding you to do. It’s OK to apply to another programme if you've already had an unsuccessful decision though.

BSL video: Who can apply

Watch British Sign Language interpretation of 'Who can apply' (YouTube)

If you’re not sure if you can apply

Contact us.

The projects we fund

The projects we fund

We fund partnerships because organisations working together can often make bigger changes in communities than they could on their own.

We want to fund partnerships where everyone can use their own experience and perspectives to work toward shared goals.

You can apply for funding to deliver new or existing activity or to support your organisations to change and adapt to new and future challenges.

We can fund projects or organisations that’ll do at least one of these things:

  • bring people together to build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

We want to be flexible and respond to your community’s needs. So we’ll offer funding:

  • for the long or short term
  • for a specific activity, or for broader costs to help your organisation or community
  • to support people, communities and organisations most affected by the cost-of-living crisis
  • to help organisations address the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on how they work, now and in the future.

The types of partnership we can fund are:

  • cross-sector partnerships
  • local organisations working together in their area
  • local and national organisations working together around a particular theme.

We're also looking for projects to be people-led, strengths-based and connected

People understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone. We want to support projects that: 

  • involve people and communities from the start 
  • build on people’s strengths    
  • are connected in their community.

Involving people and communities from the start

By putting communities first, we support people and communities to prosper and thrive. We want your funding proposal to demonstrate this clearly.

It’s important to us that you involve your community in the design, development and delivery of the activities that you’re planning.

You might want to think about:

  • if you have spoken to the people in your community
  • if the people in your community have told you what they need and what's important to them
  • if you have listened to them and used what they've said to create your project
  • what you can do to find out what’s important to people in your community - for example, surveys, meetings, telephone calls, conversations with helper agencies and engaging with stakeholders
  • who's involved in delivering your project. Think about encouraging people who benefit from your project to get more involved in running your organisation and making decisions. For example, they could become trustees or volunteers, or you could find ways to employ them.

Building on people's strengths

We’d like to support people and communities to build on the knowledge, skills and experience they already have, to make the changes they want.

You might want to think about:

  • what’s already working in your community
  • how your project will add to these positive things that are already working
  • how your project will make the most of any resources that are already helping your community
  • what skills, knowledge and experiences people in your community have to contribute to the project
  • how the project can make sure it uses these.

Connected in your community

We want to know that you’ve a good understanding of other activities and services in your community. We’d like to know how you’ll compliment these so you can add value to what’s already there.

You might want to think about:

  • if you have spoken to other groups in the area that are doing something similar to your project
  • how groups in your area can all help each other.

If your project works with children, young people or vulnerable adults

You need to have a policy in place that explains how they’ll be safe. And so will any partners that are involved in that work. If you get funding you’ll need to follow our policy on safeguarding children and adults at risk.

The NCVO website has child safeguarding advice and information services.

Equalities, diversity and inclusion:

We want to know your organisation’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. We expect your organisation and the activities we fund to be open and accessible, to promote equalities and challenge discrimination.

We would like to understand your approach to equalities, from accessibility to participation and decision making. So we might ask to see your organisation’s equalities policy as part of our assessment.

You can read more about our equality principles.

Check your partners also have relevant policies in place

You should check that your partners have the relevant safeguarding, equality and environmental policies and procedures in place.

BSL video: The projects we fund

Watch British Sign Language interpretation of 'The projects we fund' (YouTube)

What you can spend the money on

We can fund:

  • direct costs to deliver activities in your community – such as project staff, materials, equipment, room hire, volunteer expenses and project evaluations
  • organisational development – such as business planning, testing new ways of working, staff training and development, developing governance and leadership, tech or IT purchases or upgrades, developing and sharing impact and learning, and increasing capacity to support collaboration and partnership working
  • core or fixed costs to support the day-to-day running of your organisation – such as core salaries, rent, utilities, equipment
  • purchasing, refurbishing or developing of land and buildings.

We can fund some political activity and campaigning

But only if:

  • the activity is not party political. This means that it must be about policy, practice, or legislation rather than opposing or supporting a political party.
  • the activity is meant to help the cause of your organisation and benefit the public or society.

We will not fund projects where political activities are the main purpose. But we can fund projects that are mainly about campaigning.

If you want to buy a vehicle

We’ll ask you to look into the best option for your project and the planet. You’ll only have to do this if we want to take your proposal further.

As well as environmental issues, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of different travel options for the project and your organisation. These could include:

  • walking
  • cycles or scooters to purchase or hire
  • bus or tram tickets
  • vehicle sharing, car clubs or community transport
  • lease or hire of a vehicle
  • purchase of used petrol or diesel vehicle (as long as they meet the emissions standards of Euro 6 for diesel or Euro 4 for petrol engines)
  • fuel conversion of an older vehicle to alternative fuels such as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or used cooking oil
  • purchase of an electric or hybrid vehicle.

We cannot fund:

  • activities that make profits for private gain
  • religious activities (but we can fund religious organisations if their project benefits the wider community and does not include religious content)
  • activities that replace government funding (for example, we can only fund school activities that happen outside of normal teaching hours)
  • activities that benefit individuals, rather than the wider community
  • projects where political activities are the main purpose, or that support or oppose a specific political party
  • lobbying activities
  • things you’ve spent money on in the past and are looking to claim for now (retrospective costs)
  • loan repayments
  • the topping up of organisation reserves.


BSL video: What you can spend the money on

Watch British Sign Language interpretation of 'What you can spend the money on' (YouTube)

If you're ready to start your proposal

Start your proposal Continue your proposal