Two groups of people participating in group activities.
Community Capacity grants


We are launching another round of Community Capacity funding, thanks to £325,000 from Oxfordshire County Council. Grants will be made to help Oxfordshire’s residents to live independently and healthily for as long as possible in their lives. 

This builds on the first round of Community Capacity grant funding held in the winter of 2022.

Amounts available: £5,000 - £20,000

Group annual income: Under £1million

Type of cost: Ongoing running costs, project, capital and promotional costs

Closing date: Now closed to new applications

Facts about the last round of Community Capacity grants
  • 1 in 3 organisations (33%) were successful in their application 
  • 103 organisations applied across two rounds for £325,000 for the last Community Capacity grant funding and 34 organisations received grants 
  • A full list of the organisations who received grants is available here 
Desired outcomes for this grants round

The Community Capacity grants support the Council’s Oxfordshire Way vision: “to support the people of Oxfordshire to live well in their community, remaining fit and healthy for as long as possible: to build community resilience and increase independence.

Local community organisations play a huge role in supporting people to thrive with less need for government services. This can help people have a much better quality-of-life. 

We are seeking grant proposals which deliver these outcomes:
  1. Support people to live independently
  2. Reduce individual isolation and loneliness, and promote emotional resilience 
  3. Increase people’s mental health to address preventable conditions  
  4. Enable people to engage with physical activity to address preventable conditions  
Example activities

The following are examples of the types of activities we are looking to see in applications. However, we welcome applications for activities beyond these.

  • local groups, activities and social afternoons, including volunteering opportunities 
  • befriending, community meals and transport 
  • counselling, advice and support groups 
  • interventions addressing digital exclusion  
  • redevelopment or use of open green spaces for mental and physical well-being
Further notes

We welcome: 

  • Collaboration between groups on joint or linked proposals 
  • Schemes which are led by the community and build on existing networks for mutual aid
  • Social enterprises, and schemes which work with local businesses and partners, to provide financially sustainable solutions 
  • Schemes which fill gaps and therefore increase the options available to social prescribers 
Eligible applicants
  • Registered Charity, Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Charitable Company (Limited by Guarantee), Community Interest Company, a Constituted but Unincorporated Club or Association (ie it has a constitution but is not one of the other entities listed above) 
  • Operating in Oxfordshire 
  • Income under £1 million 
  • At least one year of operation; if constituted for less than one year but active for longer, evidence should be provided 
  • Have a bank account in its own name with at least two unrelated signatories, open for three months or more 
  • Have at least three trustees/committee members/directors who are not related to each other 
  • Have at least three months’ running costs in reserves (if they are more than 12 months, an explanation will be requested) 
  • Be open to people of all religions and political affiliations, and must not attempt to convert people 
  • Up to date monitoring and reporting to OCF for any previous grants received from OCF 
Eligible beneficiaries

The target beneficiaries must be over 18. Schemes which include under 18s (eg nursery visits to care homes) are welcome but the target beneficiaries must still be over 18. 

The grant is intended to help vulnerable adults and those experiencing inequality and exclusion. This includes groups who are underserved by traditional government services.  

The estimated number of beneficiaries will be considered in the evaluation, alongside value for money. 

This round is only for beneficiaries who are Oxfordshire residents outside of these 10 wards: Abingdon Caldecott, Banbury Cross & Neithrop, Banbury Grimsbury & Hightown, Banbury Ruscote, Barton & Sandhills, Blackbird Leys, Littlemore, Osney & St Thomas, Northfield Brook and Rose Hill & Iflley.

Organisations based in these wards can still apply as long as they provide evidence in their application form that they will be serving beneficiaries outside of those wards.

The reason is that the previous round of Community Capacity funding prioritised those 10 wards, and there are other public grants allocated for these wards currently or in the near future.

Eligible costs
  • Costs incurred from grant award (December 2023) until 30 November 2024 
  • Ongoing running costs, including full cost recovery  
  • Project costs  
  • Capital costs  
  • Promotional costs 
Dates and timings
  • Grants round opens – 6 September 
  • Grants round closes – Midday on Thursday 28 September  
  • Funding decisions announced – by 1 December 
  • Successful applicants provide required financial and governance evidence – by 8 December 
  • Grants paid – by 22 December (contingent on financial and governance evidence being received) 
How to apply
  • Now closed to new applications
  • Read the guidance document to help you with your application, including an example of a completed application form.
  • Take a look at the frequently asked questions 
  • We are able to offer two applicants the option to apply using video rather than the online application form. This is a pilot as part of our efforts to make our processes more accessible. Please contact us on ocf@oxfordshire.orgor 01865 798666 if you would prefer this approach. We will prioritise requests based on need. 
  • All applications must set out how they would deliver one or more of the four desired outcomes listed above, including what activities they would do. 
  • All applicants must submit an itemised budget. 
  • Successful applicants will be required to supply specified documentation showing evidence of good governance to receive funds. This includes bank account signatories, a bank statement, and accounts of the most recent financial year (preferably audited). If the most recent year is not yet available, management accounts or income/expenditure document will be accepted. This must include financial data at least up until 31 March 2023 or more recently. 
  • Successful applicants will be required to provide a safeguarding policy  to receive funds. 
  • Successful applicants will be required to use the OCF online monitoring form to be returned after 12 months. 


Here to help

Please don’t hesitate to contact us on or 01865 798666 with any questions. The team is available to provide support with your application. 

In addition, we are offering these advice sessions – no need to register, just join on the day:

  • Launch webinar: Claire Hughes, Head of Grants and Inclusion will talk through the grant and the application process.
    – Monday 11th September 2pm – 2:45pm
  • Virtual drop-in sessions: The Grants team will be available online for you to ask any specific questions relating to your application. (Please note that the Grants team will speak to each person individually so you may have to wait in the virtual ‘waiting room’ until the team are able to speak to you.)
    – Tuesday 12th September 11am – 12pm
    – Friday 22nd September 12pm – 1pm
    – Tuesday 26th September 4pm – 5pm
  • Physical drop-in session at the OCF office. Pop in to meet the team and ask any questions you may have about your application.
    – Tuesday 19th September, 2pm – 3:30pm. Find us at 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford, OX1 1HD. We are located a 5 minute walk from the Westgate shopping centre.
Alternative funding through the Connected Communities Fund

Oxfordshire County Council has made a further £175,000 available through the Connected Communities Fund administered by Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA) and Community First Oxfordshire (CFO). This separate fund, offering a package of support and funding up to £5,000 to small grassroots organisations, focusses on increasing activities that provide opportunities for older people, and/or adults with additional needs, to connect within their communities. 

Organisations may only receive funding from either Community Capacity grants or the Connected Communities Fund – please consider which of these two schemes is best suited to your work. 

For further information and to apply to the Connected Communities Fund please visit 

Frequently asked questionsRead the guidance documentContact us

Watch back the grant launch webinar to find out more