Can I apply?
The Grassroots Movements Fund has around Â£1.5 million, half of which was distributed in round one in 2023, and the other half will be distributed in the second round in 2024. The fund makes grants of between Â£10k and Â£70k to every successful application and grants can cover up to a two-year period.
Our approach for this funding round, unlike the first one, is to carry out targeted outreach to find groups aligned to our aims and values. To respect people's time and limit competition we will be inviting around 30-40 groups to apply based on how closely they meet the criteria and other factors, such as creating a balance across issues, communities, approaches and regions.
This change of process came about following feedback from applicants, grantees and the Movement Assembly, that was gathered through focus groups, surveys and 1-2-1s. We heard that applicant groups wanted us to do more of the work to find groups ourselves rather than putting the burden on them to find and approach us. We know that some groups are more likely to hear about the funding than others and more likely to have time and capacity to act quickly and want to avoid a â€˜first come, first servedâ€™ approach. We also heard that reducing competition and respecting peopleâ€™s time was important, given the many strains and pressures on the time and resources of grassroots groups.
What we will fund
We really want to make sure that people only apply if they have a reasonable chance of getting funding. We know how much time and effort, as well as hope, is put into grant applications so weâ€™ve tried to create clear criteria so you can understand if the fund is a good fit for your group. You can also take a look at our round 1 grantees to give you an idea of the kind of groups weâ€™re looking for. Please also see the FAQ page for further explanations and definitions of the criteria
We welcome applications from organisations that support grassroots movements groups with infrastructure needs such as meeting space, accessibility needs, facilitation, conflict resolution, accountability, training/ guidance on collective decision-making, strategy, legal rights etc. We recognise the pressure many of these groups are under due to the cost of living crisis and the loss of important spaces as a consequence of this. Infrastructure groups may not meet criteria 4B and 4C as closely as community-led action groups, which will be taken into account during the decision-making process.
Groups applying to the fund must:
1. Be based in the UK with work primarily focused in the UK
- JRCTâ€™s â€˜area of benefitâ€™ is the UK. This is in the trust deed registered with the Charity Commission and therefore we cannot fund work outside the UK.
2. Be a non-profit organisation or a coalition of non-profit organisations, such as:
- Unregistered group working to benefit the community
- Company Limited by Guarantee
- Community Interest Company
- Cooperative Society
- Community Benefit Society
- As a registered charity, JRCT only supports non-profit organisations that aim to support the community rather than creating profit for individuals.
3. Have systems in place for making decisions and managing money:
- Documents outlining aims, values and how the group works together (including how decisions are made)
- A bank account in the name of the organisation with 2 or more signatories (or another organisation (fiscal host) who will hold the funds)
- Experience of managing money and appropriate systems in place to do so
- Whilst we donâ€™t want groups to feel like they need to become more formal to receive funding, having the right systems and resources in place will help you to manage the funds well and should minimise the pressure that can come when grassroots groups receive large amounts of money.
4. Be part of a grassroots social movement; which means your group:
- Is part of a network of groups and organisations, either locally or wider, collectively working to bring about social and political change (eg changing the structures and values of society)
- Was set up, and now run by, a community who have come together in their own time to take action on an injustice theyâ€™re facing (could now include paid staff but group still led by members)
- Is led by / decisions are made by those directly affected by the issue the group is working on
- Example: Sex workers have very few legal rights resulting in working conditions which are often unsafe, isolated and precarious. Sex workers came together and formed the Sex Workerâ€™s Union (SWU) which aims to create fundamental changes to the living and working conditions of sex workers in the UK. They aim to establish new structures for sex workers to access rights and justice, so they can collectively organise to build power against exploitative bosses, clients and discriminatory institutions. All their members, committee and branch organisers are sex workers. SWU is a member of the European Sex Worker Alliance, collaborates with other sex worker led groups in the UK and works in solidarity with other precarious workers across the labour movement.
5. Be working towards transformative change; this means your group:
- Has a vision of the world where inequality and oppression (eg based on ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexuality, class, disability) no longer exists
- Is addressing imbalances of power and challenging systems of oppression, (eg through building collective power in communities, political organising, direct action, practises focused on healing and infrastructure/ resources to support this work) and looking for solutions that go beyond reforms
- Includes people with lived experience of oppression and their views and experiences are listened to and guide the work of the group
- Example: Many groups have challenged the racism and sexism inherent in policing, and the abuses of power. This led to groups working for reforms and improvements such as having more representation of women and black people in policing and at leadership level, or insisting that police wear cameras, or policies to increase the numbers of police on our streets to make communities safer. However, there is much evidence that policing continues to disproportionately target racialised and working class communities and does not make communties feel safer. There have also been high profile cases of police violence on women, such as the cases of Sarah Everard and Sarah Reed. We have funded Northern Police Monitoring project because they are rooted in communities who have experience of being targeted by police, and it is from this knowledge that they have come up with bold responses to how we completely transform the policing of communities that asks questions about what policing is for, how we address the injustices and reimagine keeping communities safe.
Some things you might like to tell us would include how:
- You regularly bring new members into the group and involve them in decisions about the aims and activities of the group
- You aim to engage and influence a growing number of people, eg through events, campaigns, outreach, demonstrations
- You work in solidarity with other grassroots groups, especially the smaller informal ones, through collaborating and supporting each other
- You have an understanding and analysis of the causes of inequality and injustice
- You work in a way that recognises that all oppressions and injustices are connected and the different needs people have because of this
- You work in a way that reflects your values and the change you want to see, which may include practices of healing and repairing and new ways of being together
- You are working to create completely new, fairer ways of providing what people need to live happy, healthy lives (eg housing, healthcare, education, food, safety) that replace the existing systems rather than trying to improve them
Groups we havenâ€™t approached directly can let us know they would like to apply by completing the enquiry form. Due to the high need for financial support we expect to receive thousands of enquiries. We may need to close the enquiry form before the 14 February deadline to give us the time to read through all the submissions. We estimate the form will take around ten minutes to complete. We recommend that groups sign up to the newsletter to be informed of the next round if they miss the opportunity to complete the form this time.
Work weâ€™re committed to funding
We are excited to hear all your ideas and plans and this is not a full list by any means but is hopefully a useful guide. We are particularly interested in supporting work that aims to:
- Provide resources that help grassroots groups to run effectively and supports members to keep involved (eg equipment, access to venues, communication tools)
- Increase awareness and understanding of injustice through events, meetings, and campaigns that build collective power and connection
- Create new ways of working that are alternatives to the traditional ways organisations run and, that focus on valuing and taking care of people
- Bring grassroots groups and movements together to work in solidarity with each other through sharing knowledge, visioning and supporting each other
- Supports the participation and needs of people with lived experience of oppression involved in and leading grassroots movements
- Make grassroots communities stronger and more able to challenge injustice and inequality, particularly those outside major cities
- Improve connection between projects that provide materials needs (eg food, housing) with work that aims to empower people to take action to create change
- Radically reimagine and develop new systems and solutions that address injustice and inequality
- Support healing and repair for people and communities experiencing injustice and oppression
Please note that although we are unable to fund core costs (e.g. salaries relating to general management and administration, office rent and bills) for most organisations who are not registered charities, we are committed to including an appropriate amount to cover day to day running costs of a group. We can consider paying for salaries where it is clear that the role relates only to the charitable project that is being funded.
What we donâ€™t fund
- Large organisations (including branches / local groups) who are already well funded by other trusts, foundations or individuals and have significant reserves. We would consider a large organisation, in a grassroots context, to be one with an average annual income of over Â£300,000.
- Organisations that can more easily raise funds from elsewhere. For example, organisations working with, or funded by, councils, police and other state institutions. We are seeking to fund groups who are on the margins and working towards new ways of solving problems and may therefore struggle to raise funds
- Traditional policy, lobbying and campaigning work that solely aims to improve and reform existing systems and institutions (eg criminal justice system, immigration system, laws, policies) that cause harm. This is an area of work already well funded through other programmes at JRCT
- Service provision that only aims to meet individual needs (eg providing housing, healthcare, food, employment training/coaching) within current systems
- Organisations that are already funded by another grant programme within JRCT
- Groups that have beneficiaries who donâ€™t have decision-making powers in the organisation
- Work that is not charitable
- Building, buying or major repair of buildings
- Work which is primarily focused outside of the UK