Homeless men having tea

Our new Ambition Programme aims to make genuine and lasting improvements to the key social problems affecting Oxfordshire.

Amounts available: £10,000 and upwards, with no set maximum

Group annual income: Typically an upper limit of £1 million; however, we can be flexible on this for the right initiative or collaboration

Type of cost: Ambitious, long-term, strategic solutions; staff or premises costs

Timescales: It is expected that funding would cover several months or years, and the process of accessing funding would also take up to 12 months

Next closing date: On application

For ambitious local charities looking to make a large impact on a particular issue, we now have a high-impact, high-value programme that will provide more substantial support – both funding and non-financial. This programme is a new initiative with the aim of delivering aspirational, long-term solutions by calling in OCF’s network of funders and influencers. We ask you to share your vision and business plan for a better future, and will work with you to leverage support from our own resources, as well as from others we are working with.

If you are looking for more conventional grants, please apply to our Small and Vital Programme (up to £1,500) or our Delivering Impact Programme (up to £10,000).

  • Through our Ambition Programme we are proactively seeking collaborations with local charities carrying out significant frontline beneficiary work, and directly tackling some of the most pressing social problems faced by Oxfordshire.
  • We are particularly interested in work that addresses the priorities identified in our research report Oxfordshire Uncovered: housing and homelessness; children and families; and loneliness and isolation. We strongly recommend you look at this report before deciding to apply.
  • This programme is looking to support a small number of top-quality local charities each year, and will only consider work that is well thought out by organisations that can demonstrate that they have long-term plans to support their ambitions.

To begin with, we are not asking for grant applications to this programme, but expressions of interest that we can share with our key donors and stakeholders. This means that you should not expect to receive funding in the short term, but rather open a conversation with us about your long-term plans.

You should first contact the grants team at OCF to discuss your charity’s needs. We expect you to be open and honest about the full costs of your work over the long term, and your existing plans for meeting them.

NB We are holding a series of hour-long briefing sessions on the new Ambition programme over the coming months. Please call the office to find out when the next briefing is taking place.

If the proposed work is of interest, the OCF team will ask you to complete an online expression of interest form. This will enable OCF to share details of the support you require with a range of funders. To do this, OCF is working with The Good Exchange, an online platform that allows grant-makers to form co-funding partnerships and apply match funding. The process of accessing funding should be expected to take several months or even a year.

Dates and timings

This programme is a new initiative by OCF, and we will be piloting our approach and process over the next 12 months. Please get in touch if you would like to help us explore and develop this further.

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