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

Our new strategy for volunteering, Volunteering in an Active Nation, sets out our plans to allow more people to engage in all types of volunteering through sport and physical activity.

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest to either our Opportunity or Potentials Fund closed on Monday 24 April 2017

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.

Download our investment guide and separate insight guide for volunteering below.

woman boxing and another woman in the background coaching investment guide woman coaching and volunteering insight guide

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

Opportunity Fund

Our Opportunity Fund aims to get people from economically disadvantaged communities to volunteer.

We want to invest in projects that benefit people facing disadvantage as a result of the community they live in – and that allow them to make a positive contribution to those communities. These could range from inner-city areas with high levels of crime and social exclusion to remote rural areas with few services.

Potentials Fund

We want to create opportunities that get people helping others from an early age. Many of those who take part in social action regularly started when they were as young as 10. 

Sport attracts many young people and can provide a springboard to social action. Just over half of young people prefer sport to any other volunteering pastimes.

We’re keen to test bold new approaches with our Potentials Fund to get young people involved in social action that includes sport and physical activity – especially those who might not have been involved in sport before.

Find out more about both of our new funds in our volunteering investment guide.

Insight Guide

To support you in the development of your idea, we have also produced an insight guide that contains useful insight from a range of sources, including national surveys on volunteering across all sectors, what we know about volunteering in sport specifically, as well as #iwill’s research into youth social action.

Download our Volunteering Insight Guide

Applying for funding

Applying to either our Opportunity or Potentials funds involves a competitive two-stage selection process.

The first stage involved submitting an expression of interest, where you can tell us about your organisation, your understanding of the audience you want to work with and your initial project idea.

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest to either our Opportunity or Potentials Fund closed on Monday 24 April 2017

Stage two

The second stage will see shortlisted applicants invited to submit a full application by June 2017. Applicants at this second stage will be required to supplement the information provided within their expression of interest by providing full details of their project. 

Should you decide to apply for funding after reading our investment guide, we would also strongly encourage you to read the following supporting documents: