Onward Community Fund

Helping community projects to succeed

Got a great idea for a community project, but need a little help to get it off the ground?

The Onward Community Fund aims to support local groups and projects.

Underpinned by our mission ‘To make a positive difference in the communities we serve’ groups can bid for up to £2,500 for their neighbourhood. Examples could include: IT training, youth projects or community events.

Projects should aim to address one or more of the following:

  • Theme 1: WORK – supporting community-based employment, training, volunteering and enterprise opportunities
  • Theme 2: FOOD – supporting food resilience in communities during a challenging economic period
  • Theme 3: GREEN – improving access to and use of greenspace in communities to improve wellbeing
  • Theme 4: DIGITAL – providing a digital skills and support offer

For this year’s fund, we are looking for projects that aim to support our people and communities that are facing increased challenges as a direct result of the cost-of-living crisis.

In the last financial year, we awarded funding to 63 local community organisations. Regionally, we awarded:

  • 34 Greater Manchester projects totalling £51,000
  • 11 Lancashire projects totalling £21,000
  • 18 Merseyside projects totalling £27,000

Applications must meet the following criteria:

  • The project must benefit Onward neighbourhoods – see a list of our neighbourhoods here.
  • Organisations must be constituted and have their own bank account

Application process

There is a two-stage process starting with an expression of interest form which must be completed online. A member of the Social Investment Team will contact you to discuss your project in more detail and check your eligibility to our fund. If Onward Homes decide to take your application forward, an application form will be emailed to you to complete.


Please find the closing and judging dates for applications in 2023/2024.

Round 1

  • Closing Date: 15th May 2023
  • Judging Date: 13th June 2023

Round 2

  • Closing Date: 15th August 2023
  • Judging Date: 12th September 2023

Round 3

  • Closing Date: 15th November 2023
  • Judging Date: 6th December 2023

Round 4

  • Closing Date: 15th January 2024
  • Judging Date: 20th February 2024

Applications will be reviewed by our panel, and we will be in touch with applicants to let them know the outcome of their application.

For more information on the Onward Community Fund please email socialinvestment@onward.co.uk.

Community Fund Expression of Interest Form

  • Contact details

  • Which Onward region does your idea connect to

  • Which Onward neighbourhoods will benefit the project?

  • What is the name of your project?

  • How much will your project cost?

    We understand it may be a guess at this stage. Let us know if you are applying or have secured funds from elsewhere.
  • What is your idea?

    Outline your idea. Tell us what you want to do. What benefit do you think it will bring to the community, the neighbourhood and most importantly, the people that live there?
  • Support with the cost-of-living

    Please also provide an overview of how you feel your service or organisation is supporting your local community through the cost-of-living crisis? (200 words)