Funding for volunteering

Every month, 5.6 million people in England give up their time to enable others to take part in sport and physical activity

For some, it’s about giving something back to their community or making a difference to the people around them. For others, it’s a chance to develop new skills, gain experience or make new friends. In many cases, it’s both.

Find out what we want to achieve with our investment

Regardless of the motivation, what unites them is that they all give their time for free to benefit others. At the same time, they benefit themselves: better physical and mental health, greater confidence and improved career opportunities are among the proven positive outcomes for people who volunteer.

But there are many people who may never have considered the idea of volunteering. We want to change that.

Potential and opportunity

Equally, there are people of all ages doing things to improve the places where they live, support the causes they care about and bring about positive changes in society – this is sometimes called social action. We think sport and physical activity can be a great vehicle to achieve this.

Our new strategy, Volunteering in an Active Nation, sets out our plans to enable more people to engage in all types of volunteering through sport and physical activity. Our aim is to enable people from all walks of life to enjoy the benefits of volunteering in sport and physical activity – whatever their background, age or interests. And we want to make the experience as appealing and rewarding as possible for everyone.

To help achieve this, we have two new funds that aim to create exciting new volunteering and social action opportunities:

  • Potentials Fund targets children and young people aged 10 to 20 (with a particular focus on 10-14 year-olds)
  • Opportunity Fund targets people, especially adults, from disadvantaged areas.

New investment

Our new funds are the start of a £26m investment into volunteering between now and 2021.

We want to support projects that help create quality experiences for volunteers – particularly for those who may never have considered getting involved in any kind of volunteering. At the same time, we want to learn what works for different people from a range of backgrounds, so we can reach more potential volunteers.

Within the pages below you’ll find details on each fund, including:

  • What we want to achieve
  • Who we’re targeting
  • What we are particularly interested in
  • The kinds of organisations we want to work with
  • What we will look for in your application

Further details will be made available by the end of February, when the full investment guide will be produced.