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Funding Opportunities

One of the unique strengths of OWW is that it is not about ‘raising money for charity’ but about changing people’s attitudes.  However, if it suits your group, acquiring more funds can widen the scope of your events without compromising your voluntary ethos.

On this page you will find links to various funding opportunities that your group can apply for to help with the costs of an OWW event.  We will do our best to inform you of any new grants that become available, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you know of any other funding opportunities whether local or national.

! NEW for 2013 ! - Grants from Santander - see 6 below 

1. The Co-Operative Society - Updated 22 May 2013

OWW shares many values with the Co-operative movement.   They may be able to provide you with vouchers for food for local events - Apply in writing to the Manager of your local branch.  Some Co-op Societies offer grants to local organisation for projects in the local community - your event might qualify.


2. Near Neighbours Fund Grant Criteria ( Church Urban Fund) - posted 25 April 2012

The Near Neighbours Fund is targeted at creating additional relationships in local communities across boundaries by enabling opportunities for deeper levels of communication and understanding in local neighbourhoods.

This is a rolling programme with no deadlines but it is due to end in March 2014. They will invest in environmental, social, cultural, artistic and sporting ideas but they need to fulfill certain criteria.

The overall aim of the fund is to encourage stronger civil society in areas that are multi-religious and multi-ethnic by creating association, friendship and neighbourliness. It intends to bring together people of different faiths and of no faiths to transform local communities for the better.

As this is a major part of what OWW events aim to do you might well be able to get a grant to help you with your event IF you live in an eligible area - mainly large multi ethnic and multifaith cities - see whether you are in an eligible area.


3. Community Development Foundation – Posted 22 May 2013

You can find up to date guidance here about how to look for funding for community activities and links to funding websites


4. The Church Urban Fund mustard seed grants - 2013  (posted 22 May 2013)

The Church Urban Fund gives grants to community groups, usually linked to churches and faith-based activities, enabling them to offer all kinds of help to people living in our poorest communities. Over £66 million has been awarded throughout England since the organisation was established.

The Mustard Seed Programme has been designed to enable groups to turn their ideas into action. The CUF believe it is their role to hear what groups are saying and not create barriers to applications, so the Mustard Seed Programme application process has been made as simple as possible.

Grant requests up to £5,000 will be considered. This is a rolling programme and there are no deadline dates.

Groups in England can apply. To find out if your activity would be eligible for a grant and for full details, visit the CUF Mustard Seed page or please call 020 7898 1647.


5. Waitrose (ongoing - posted 22 May 2013)

Has your local organising committee thought of applying to your local Waitrose Store for funding for your local event? If you stress your role in bringing the local community together to explore how to build a more sustainable and fairer world, you stand a chance of being selected.  There is often a long lead-in time though so apply early and keep it general, as you might not get it in time for this year's theme but maybe next year!

This is from the Waitrose website: To be considered for a donation, good causes and charities should contact their local Waitrose branch store. Partners (Waitrose employees) will then vote which three causes to support each month at their branch's 'PartnerVoice' forum, a means of voicing opinion on branch issues. Customers and Partners can also put forward the names of organisations they would like their local branch to support by filling out a leaflet in store.

Shoppers then get to help decide how the sum is divided amongst the three selected organisations. They will be given a token at the checkout, which they can place in one of three boxes at the store exit, each allocated to a different cause. The amount a cause receives is directly proportional to the number of tokens they receive from customers.

6. The Santander Foundation (NEW - posted 13 August 2013)

The Santander Foundation has two grants programmes to help disadvantaged people in the UK. Some OWW groups may find their events or projects eligible.  We haven't tested this, so any feedback on your experiences of applying for these grants would be welcome and helpful for others.

  • Community Plus provides grants of up to £5,000. The scheme is open to small local UK charities or local projects of national charities with funding available to cover salaries, equipment or materials. 
  • Central Fund offers grants of up to £10,000. The scheme is open to charities and Credit Unions anywhere in the UK for projects related to education, training or financial capability.

You are welcome to apply to both grants programmes, but a grant from one programme will prevent you from getting a grant from the other.

Community Plus grants  must directly help disadvantaged people in your local area. The scheme is designed to be quick and simple to use and nominations can be made by charities as well as Santander customers and staff. Just visit any Santander branch and complete a Community Plus Nomination. The completed form should then be dropped into your local branch.

The Central Fund offers grants which meet one or both of their charitable priorities - Education & Training, or Financial Capability - and must directly help disadvantaged people.  

Education and Training

This could be any activity disadvantaged people undertake where they improve their confidence in a skill or their understanding of a subject. This does not have to be formal training or lead to a qualification, although those activities would be eligible too.

Examples could include independent living skills, anger management, or improving self esteem. Other examples could include reminiscence projects for older people and art and craft sessions for disadvantaged children.

Financial Capability

This priority covers activities which help disadvantaged people understand how to manage their money. It could include budgeting skills, accessing affordable credit as well as managing the challenges that arise from being a carer, unemployment, disability or relationship break up.

Examples could be the costs of running a credit union, projects delivering financial advice and helping people to understand their benefit entitlement. Successful applications under this priority have included equipping a training kitchen for homeless people who learnt how to budget effectively for their food and then went on to apply these principals to other parts of their lives.

They want to fund an entire element rather than make a contribution to a larger budget. One example would be to fund all of the training materials. Another could be to fund the two days per week that a sessional worker spends working with disadvantaged people in a particular area.

All funding is for one off donations. They do not offer multi-year funding.

Capital grants are available to buy tangible items such as equipment or training materials.

Revenue grants are also available to fund project costs such as sessional worker fees, salaries, room hire or other costs incurred in the delivery of the charitable priorities.


Community Plus - There are no closing dates and entries will be considered by a panel of staff drawn from across the region once every two months.

Central Fund - They operate a rolling programme, with no deadlines for applications.

MORE INFORMATION  FROM The Santander Foundation





Call For Climate Action

For the love of each other, we're came together in our thousands, on 17 June, with our partners in the Climate Coalition, to ask MPs to commit to strong action on climate change to protect all the things we love.  It was our first opportunity since the General Election to tell our newly elected representatives what matters to us in this crucial year for climate action.

Will you share what you love? (

Press Releases


Recently Added Resources


Press Release Template for publicising your event 2015 (word.doc) (issued 14 Aug. 2015)

2015 leaflets available to download & print

Introductory PowerPoint about organising local interfaith/inclusive OWW events in 2015

2015 -Suggestions and resources for interpreting the theme, Hope in Action. Download a pdf version OR a word.docx version

Resource leaflets "Finding out more about ethical investment: website links" (Word .docx) (contributed byPhilip Hayllar, Portsmouth OWW Oct 2014)

wordsearch:'The world we want'. Download and print the search and answers (two  (Oct. 2014)

 A worship resource from CAFOD - Call of Creation - A PowerPoint for  reflection (added 25 September 2014)   

Event participants feedback form (for organisers to collect feedback from  participants at OWW events (word.doc)

A video to trigger ideas to help you start planning your OWW events 

Pledges to help you "Aspire be more" word.doc (added 1 Oct 2013)

OWW Guide and links to other websites for resources relevant to environmental issues (updated Sept 2013)- (word doc)

Funding Opportunities -  Aug. 2013