Cost of Living Fund

Our Cost of Living Fund makes grants to grassroots charitable organisations working to help the most disadvantaged in our county cope with the ongoing impact of the elevated cost of living. Could you or your business join us in stepping up to this challenge?

Sadly, since the opening of OCF’s grant funding in September 2022, the huge rise in energy and food costs continues to affect the most vulnerable in our community who still need help. Inflation has hit a 40 year high, with a rate of 10.5% in January. There was a near 17% increase in the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks in the 12 months to December 2022, and a near 7% increase in the costs for housing, water and energy bills.

Our initial grants round awarded £286,167 to grassroots community organisations before Christmas. Read our Donor Report for more details.

Crucially, Oxfordshire has a precious network of grassroots organisations that are doing essential work to help people stay afloat in this crisis. However, these organisations are themselves at risk of going under. They are experiencing huge increases in the demand for their services alongside rising costs which they cannot pass onto the people they help.

Hope is on the horizon with inflation expected to slow to 3% by the end of the year. If we let these organisations fail over the next nine months, it will take away an essential safety net that may not be replaced.

Donate to the Cost of Living fund
What is needed to tackle the ongoing cost-of-living crisis?

Despite the success of our initial cost-of-living funding, we know that local charities and their beneficiaries continue to face issues that can seem insurmountable without philanthropic support. The charities that support them already have the skills and expertise to make a difference.

In May 2023 we ran a second consultation with the local charitable sector to understand the issues currently facing them and the people they support. This revealed that some charities are struggling to survive, let alone thrive. However, we can use urgent needs as a way in to building more resilience, by funding a variety of activity types, and continuing to mobilise the grassroots organisations that communities really trust in times of hardship. See the full consultation report

We ran a second round of funding over the summer, and awarded a further £280k in grants in preparation for the autumn and winter. We received applications totalling £1.5m for this round from over 200 different organisations, demonstrating the ongoing need.

If you would like to help us fund more of the excellent applications to the Cost of Living Fund, please consider making a donation.

How you can donate
  • The best way to donate to our Cost of Living Fund is online via our Enthuse donation platform. Enthuse gathers Gift Aid for us and makes the process easy for you. Donate online now
  • Payment by bank transfer can be made using the bank details shown here.
  • Don’t forget to complete a Gift Aid form to really boost the value of your donation.
  • If you would prefer to donate by CAF or cheque, please make it payable to “Oxfordshire Community Foundation”, write “Cost of Living Fund” on the reverse, and post it to us at 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford, OX1 1HD. Note that the postal strikes may delay our receipt of any cheques posted to us, so please do consider an online payment if you can.

Your generosity also helps us do our job. 8% of your donation is used to allow OCF to design and administer grants that truly meet the needs of the sector. The rest of your gift will go directly to grassroots community organisations delivering their vital work. A 25% uplift is also added to your donation via Gift Aid wherever possible. 

Key stats

  • In Oxfordshire in 2020-21, the existing rate of child poverty was 11.2% of children, and was highest in Oxford City (14.3%) and Cherwell (13.1%). 81% of children in poverty in Oxfordshire were in working families.
  • There was a near 17% increase in the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks over 12 months to December 2022, and a near 7% increase in costs for housing, water and energy bills.
  • Forty-year inflation peaks are ongoing, with a rate of 10.5% in January 2023.
  • Oxfordshire households are expected to need more than £200 extra per month from April 2023.
Donate to the Cost of Living fund
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New cost-of-living grant funding now open

OCF have opened a new round of grant funding to help community organisations tackle the cost of living and build resilience. Applications will open on Friday 9th June and close on Monday 26th June at midday.

Download donor report