Group of people at an event, from all parts of the community - young and old - including Scouts, footballers, a vicar, amateur dramatics actors in costume, and OCF CEO Jayne Woodley centre
Grants overview

We award grants to a wide variety of top quality local charitable organisations working hard to improve the lives of people in Oxfordshire.

Our grants help a huge variety of community groups throughout Oxfordshire, with beneficiaries ranging from children with disabilities to people coping with homelessness, and vulnerable adults struggling with mental health, amongst many others.

On making a grant application to one of our funds, we will ask you to demonstrate the social need for your work, and that the project you are applying for is well thought through. As part of our due diligence we will check on the progress and success of projects we fund using a rigorous evaluation.

Choosing a funding stream

To help you choose between the grant application streams we have available, please work through the selection process below.

Do ALL of the following apply to you?

  • We are a registered charity, constituted group or social enterprise/CIC
  • Our group is not a national charity or financially integrated branch of one
  • Our group is not a public body or statutory organisation (including parish/town councils)
  • Our project is based in Oxfordshire and its beneficiaries are in Oxfordshire
  • We have at least three trustees or committee members who are not related to each other
  • Our group has a bank account in its own name with at least two signatories
  • Our project is open to people of all religions and political affiliations and will not proselytise
  • Our beneficiaries are not solely animals
  • We are not looking to fund the purchase of buses or other vehicles
  • We are not applying for large-scale construction costs (including fixed structures eg playgrounds)
  • The funding is not for costs that have already been incurred
  • We have returned evaluation forms for any grants previously received
Decision chart showing "NO" to the left and "YES" to the right
Criteria OCF general application Step Change Fund
Grant size SMALL: £1,500 and under
GENERAL: Between £1,500 and £5,000*
Grants between £10,000 and £75,000
Group income Maximum of £1 million** Between £75,000 and £400,000 a year
Group established Minimum 12 months Three years or more
Previous OCF grants received N/A*** N/A
Staff/running costs Can be covered Can be covered
Types of project sought Life skills, education, community cohesion, social justice, health and wellbeing, arts and culture, environment Infrastructure projects that will allow a ‘step-change’ in the way the group operates
Next closing date 8th May 2017 7th April 2017
What to do now Apply here Find out more here

* If you have a project that requires more significant funding, or your income exceeds the guidelines above, it may still be possible for us to help – please contact us. We manage many other funds on behalf of donors and we do regularly approach these for funding if we feel a project meets their philanthropic objectives.

**We have increased the income restriction for applications to our general fund, however we will continue to prioritise smaller groups (income less than £100,000) making a significant difference in their communities and those for whom our funding is a large part of their project.

***We will prioritise funding to groups that we have given little or no funding over the past two years.

Projects we supportOCF general applicationStep Change FundaBOUT USGrant evaluation
Browse our 21st birthday impact report
  • “The grant increased morale, encouraged more fundraising and increased activity ranges.”

    Olivia Bloomfield
    Olivia Bloomfield
    The Pump House Project
  • “The support shown by OCF – with trustee Prof. Ann Buchanan gracing the event with her presence – really helped make the event a huge success.”

    Kanta Gopal
    Kanta Gopal
    Oxford Mela
  • “Your grant will boost our fund to the point that we now confidently commission the work.”

    Kay Alty of New Yatt Riding for the Disabled Association, giving a treat to a fleabitten grey horse
    Kay Alty
    New Yatt Riding for the Disabled
  • “It’s so good to think about the bigger picture aside from the week working at the coalface. It keeps me focused about what messages we needed to get across about ourselves as a charity.”

    Alice Walters, Strategic Development Manager at
    Alice Walters
    Strategic Development Manager, Thrive
  • “The overriding aim of LYP is to bring hope for the future to young people, some of whom have given up on expecting anything positive out of life.”

    Richard Colebrook, founder of the Leys Youth Programme
    Richard Colbrook
    Project Leader, Leys Youth Programme
  • “I am constantly astonished how much time and energy and commitment hundreds of people around Oxfordshire give to the community
    every week, often every day of their lives.”

    Tim Stevenson, OCF's president, wearing his Lord Lieutenant's uniform
    Tim Stevenson
    Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and OCF President
  • “I am incredibly grateful to be part of OCF. The phenomenal support we’ve had has meant we can keep going; reach more vulnerable and distressed people and pay for our magical herd of horses.”

    Jo Corfield of Hopethruhorses
    Jo Corfield
    Founder, Hopethruhorses
  • “Wow! Thank you so much. Please send our thanks to your committee. The grant will make a huge difference to the club including lots of children and parents and to the coaching staff. Absolutely amazing!”

    Lee Wyatt-Buchan
    Lee Wyatt-Buchan
    Wychwood Football Club
  • “OCF have been a pleasure to deal with: efficient, effective, and prompt in their communications, and understanding when problems or delays have impeded our progress, for which we are very grateful. The work they are doing in our county is first-class, reaching into all areas of the community.”

    Helen Johns
    Helen Johns
    Thame Players Theatre Company
  • “A BIG THANK YOU to the community foundation for your support. The valuable work and support the foundation provides to many organisations and groups is fundamental to the delivery of vital services supporting vulnerable families, children , young people… Your support for our project is very much valued and appreciated.”

    Carol Richards on the canal
    Carol Richards
    Children & Families Services Manager at Dovecote Children's Centre
  • “Many thanks indeed. This sum will make a significant difference to the project. We appreciate enormously the support for Falcon from OCF and from Comic Relief. Please pass on our thanks and best wishes to your colleagues.”

    Roger Tritton
    Roger Tritton
    Falcon Rowing and Canoe Club
  • “Personally I would just like to say a massive thank you for your wonderful donation towards our wheelchairs. Without it it would have taken much longer to get this project off the ground. For that I will be eternally grateful for your wonderful support.”

    Keeley Bond
    Keeley Bond
    Faringdon Community College PTA

Eve Women’s Wellbeing Project

Funding from OCF has helped Eve support survivors of domestic abuse in overcoming emotional difficulties and move on to more rewarding times in their lives.

Leys Youth Programme

A grant from OCF has helped Leys Youth provide clubs and vital mentoring for young people in areas of educational under-achievement and social exclusion.

Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine runs projects across Oxfordshire for young people with learning disabilities and autism. In 2014 they received a grant from OCF.