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 programmes overview

OCF provides a variety of grant programmes that help community groups and charities in Oxfordshire improve people’s lives.

We operate three main grant programmes, as well as running programmes on behalf of other funders, as shown below. To decide which programme is most suitable for your group, you should consider the scale and ambition of the work you are applying for money for, and whether your work fits with OCF’s priorities, as identified in our research report Oxfordshire Uncovered.

Choosing a grant programme
£1,500 and under
Small and Vital
Short application form
  • Small grants for small community groups
  • General expenses
  • Activity equipment, volunteer expenses, transport or equipping halls
  • Events or outings
  • Sessional costs for trainers and facilitators
£1,501–£10,000
Delivering Impact
More comprehensive application form
  • Costs for established local charities working towards defined outcomes
  • Core costs, project or programme work 
  • Work corresponding to OCF’s key grant-making priorities in 2018
£10,000–£50,000
Step Change
Two-stage application process
  • Transformational change for organisations with strong leadership
  • Medium to long term
  • Focus on boosting internal infrastructure or mergers
  • Systems/premises upgrades or training
  • Marketing or research
ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMES
Nationwide logo
Nationwide Community Grants
  • Funds local housing projects that support the most vulnerable, find new approaches to increasing the supply of housing, or reinvent renting for both tenants and landlords
  • Grants of up to £50,000
  • Apply via Heart of England Community Foundation; closes 7th December
Useful links

The Good Exchange is an online platform that helps charities reach more funders in a single application. The platform automatically matches a funding request with a funder’s specific grant-giving criteria, saving time and effort and allowing the collective funding of a project or programme of work. Find out more

NVCO Funding Central is a searchable database of grant-making organisations. You can specify the themes of the projects you are looking to fund, and register to receive a personalised update when new grant rounds open. Find out more

Help on Tap has a regularly updated list of locally applicable grant funders. See the list

Turn2Us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through partner organisations. Find out more

Oxfordshire LEADER offers grants of up to £100,000 for rural development projects, including those led by community groups. Find out more

Oxfordshire Volunteers is a county-wide website that brings together potential volunteers with charities looking for help. You can post regular or occasional volunteering opportunities, including trustee roles, to be added to the searchable database. Visit the site

Charity Mentors is a charity that matches charity leaders with pro bono professional mentors, all of whom have had experience of running and growing a business in the private or public sector. Find out more

Reciprocate Encounters is a series of free professional skills workshops for charity staff and volunteers, run by members of OCF’s Reciprocate responsible business group. Workshops cover subjects such as communications, IT, law, strategy and branding. Each workshop is advertised on the Reciprocate website. Visit the site

OCVA (Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action) is the leading charity support organisation in the county. OCVA provides advice, networking events, volunteer brokerage and training in a wide variety of relevant subjects, from marketing to first aid. Find out more

Help on Tap is a local online discussion forum for charities and community groups, overseen by a panel of charity leaders and local infrastructure organisations. Visit the site

ROBIN (Responsible Oxfordshire Business Involvement Network) is a network of like-minded people from businesses and public sector bodies who want to collaborate and support charities and community groups (Associate members) by sharing skills and resources creatively. These can be one-off opportunities, but so often lead to the development of closer relationships and further new opportunities and associations. Find out more

By applying to one of the grant programmes outlined here, you are accessing money from all of our private and corporate funders. We occasionally manage grants for other funding organisations such as the Big Lottery or DCMS, and these will be shown under “Additional programmes”.

FEATURED

Ark T Centre

The Ark T Centre is an arts project in East Oxford, and is situated in a high-risk area for Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Ark T is an open and inclusive community, where people, art, and powerful ideas come together, using the transformative powers of creativity to change lives.

SOFEA

SOFEA alleviates multiple social problems: the need for jobs and training for disadvantaged young people; the demand for nutritious food for vulnerable people; and the danger of supplies from the food industry going to waste.

Good Food Oxford (GFO)

Good Food Oxford supports the existing work of many organisations in and around the city working to make our food system more nourishing, less wasteful and more sustainable.

Thrive

Thrive offers activity clubs and mentoring for young people in two of Oxford’s most deprived areas – Blackbird Leys and Barton. Their clubs and activities are countering the effects of social exclusion.