Onward Community Fund

Onward Community Fund

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, helping them to succeed. Underpinned by our commitment to enable people to be their best, in a home they love and place they are proud of, groups can bid for up to £2,500 for to deliver a project in their neighbourhood.

In the last financial year, we awarded over £99,900 in funding to 61 local community organisations. Regionally, we awarded:

  • 34 Greater Manchester projects with over £52,900
  • 9 Lancashire projects with over £19,300
  • 18 Merseyside projects with over £27,600

Onward Community Fund criteria

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.

Applications must meet the following criteria:

  • The project must benefit Onward neighbourhoods
  • Organisations must be constituted and have their own bank account

With projects aiming to address one or more of the following themes:

  • Work – supporting community-based employment, training, volunteering and enterprise opportunities
  • Food – supporting food resilience in communities during a challenging economic period
  • Wellbeing – improving wellbeing, particularly through access to and use of greenspace and youth engagement work
  • Digital – providing a digital skills and support offer

Onward Community Fund application process

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

Applications will be reviewed by our panel, and we will be in touch with applicants to let them know the outcome of their application. Please find the closing and judging dates for applications in 2024/2025.

  • Round one opens on 1st April 2024 and closes on 15th May 2024.
  • Round two opens on 15th August 2024 and closes on 13th September 2024.
  • Round three opens on 15th November 2024 and closes on 5th December 2024.
  • Round four opens on 7th February 2025 and closes on 25th February 2025.

For more information on the Onward Community Fund, please complete the form below or 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)