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Thriving in Nature Fund: Improving lives through green spaces

OCF is delighted to introduce this fund, aimed at enhancing lives through the power of nature. We believe in the transformative power of green spaces. Spending time in nature has numerous health benefits, from reducing stress to boosting confidence and self-esteem. 

Amounts available: £10k-£60k, with one grant of £75k

Group annual income: Under £500,000

Type of cost: Project costs, core costs and capital costs

EOI closing date: Monday 13th May at midday

Our approach

This grants round is transformative for OCF and the groups we support. We will be funding in a different way, having listened to what groups need:

  • We will be offering multi-year funding over two or three years.
  • We’re allocating 10% of the fund to provide smaller grants to less established groups who are keen to grow.
  • We’re committed to providing a variety of application methods and ensuring the application process remains straightforward.
  • Successful groups will be asked to set their own key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the project’s/organisation’s success. This empowers them to tailor the project to their specific goals and define their own success. It is all about making a difference.
  • Successful groups will have the benefit of access to a mentor. This mentor, with their extensive knowledge of the charitable sector, will provide guidance over the period of the grant.

We are eager to learn about the impactful work that groups are undertaking and understand how this funding can empower them to flourish. This could be through supporting staffing or core costs, alleviating pressure points, or enabling  groups to focus directly on serving their communities. This funding could also incubate innovative ideas and project development.

Desired outcomes

We are seeking grant proposals which deliver these outcomes:

  • Enhancing mental or physical health and wellbeing through engaging with nature, green spaces and the rural environment  
  • Boosting rural skills, training and job opportunities through engaging with nature, green spaces and the rural environment  
  • Expanding access to nature, green spaces and the rural environment for underrepresented groups. 
The process

We are launching a two-stage application process. The first stage is an Expression of Interest (EOI) where groups can make an initial enquiry.   

Eligible groups will be invited to submit a full application. Applications will be assessed by our OCF grants panel and independent assessors.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Thriving in Nature Fund, applicant organisations must be one of the following: 

  • Registered Charity 
  • Community Interest Company (CIC) 
  • Company Limited by Guarantee 
  • Unincorporated Club or Association 
  • Community Benefit Society 
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

More details about eligibility can be found in our full guidance document, which you must read before completing the EOI.

Eligible costs

Applications to the Thriving in Nature Fund can request funding in the following categories: 

  • Project costs: These are costs directly associated with the delivery of a project. 
  • Core costs: These are costs that keep your organisation running, such as salaries, rent, utilities, etc. 
  • Capital costs: These are costs related to any physical assets your project may need, such as equipment or IT support.

The following costs are not eligible:

  • Costs that have already been incurred
  • Changes to land/buildings that do not belong to the applicant
  • Purchase of buses or other vehicles
  • Large-scale construction projects (including fixed structures e.g. playgrounds).
Timeline

15th April 2024 – Applications are open to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI).

13th May 2024 – Deadline to submit EOIs. All EOIs are reviewed after the deadline, with the strongest matches to the desired outcomes of the Thriving in Nature Fund being invited to submit a full application.

21st May 2024 – Groups will be notified of the outcome of their EOI.

18th June 2024 – Deadline to submit full application. This stage is only available for those invited to apply following a successful EOI.

w/c 22nd July 2024 – Funding decisions will be announced during this week.

We are also pleased to offer a variety of sessions with our Grants Team, who will be able to provide guidance on the application process and answer any questions you may have. The dates are available in the guidance document.

How to apply

The first step is to read the full guidance document, which gives all the details you need about eligibility.

Thriving in Nature Fund guidance document

You can then complete our online Expression of Interest form (EOI).

Complete Expression of Interest now >>

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Guidance documentExpression of InterestContact us