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Roads to Nowhere

Funding for local transport campaigners

Did you know there are hundreds of grants, training places and other opportunities available to local transport campaigners and groups? The problem is knowing where to look!

We've begun compiling this list; please let us know about any we’ve missed.

If you'd like to be kept informed of new funding opportunities like this every other month, please sign up to our local groups e-bulletin.

A14 community fund
The A14 community fund has been set up to benefit community initiatives alongside the A14, including projects to reduce vehicle use and promote cycling and walking.

Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund gives grants from £300 to over £500,000 to organisations ranging from small local groups to major national charities that improve health, education and the environment. Our funding supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities.

Campaign Bootcamp
Campaign Bootcamp is a week-long residential course for budding campaigners, followed by further support. Scholarships are available.

Community foundations
Did you know there are 46 community foundations in the UK that help donors find local groups (like yours?) to give money to?

The Community Foundation, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
The Community Foundation makes grants to a wide range of organisations (particularly grassroots community groups and small-to-medium-sized voluntary organisations) that work in the North East of England. "Our purpose is to be the hub for community philanthropy in our area – inspiring and supporting giving that strengthens communities and enriches local life."

Community Rail Development Fund
The Department for Transport, Network Rail and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) have established a fund to help to support initiatives on designated community rail routes.

debbie&andrew's sausages: micro sponsorship
debbie&andrew's support is aimed at local or grass root fund raisers for whom even a small injection of cash could make a significant difference. We are calling this support a 'micro sponsorship'. Awards can range from £50 to £1000 in cash, plus free product for use in charity meals or barbecues. debbie&andrew’s ethos is to support rural values and the countryside and we support projects that promote rural values and community life.

East of England Co-op
The East of England Co-op is looking for local groups to support via its Community Token Scheme. Groups in the East are invited to apply for a share of £1,000 every three months.

Edge Fund
Edge Fund supports work run by and for communities facing discrimination and injustice. We fund work carried out by individuals and grass-roots groups in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England that find it difficult to get funding elsewhere. Specifically, we fund work that challenges abuses of power and aims to change society by bringing an end to the systems that cause injustice. 

Film Oxford: Video Activists Course 
This is a 2-day workshop for grassroots protesters and NGO workers, to learn skills in using video to support your campaigns. The purpose of the course is to show how easy it can be for you to make videos for your group and upload them to the web. Over the two days we will practice how to film different shots, how to get good audio and how to film events, marches, occupations and banner drops. We will discuss how to stay safe and what equipment to use in low budget scenarios. You will learn the basics of editing and uploading onto the web, how and where to get your footage seen and used to support the campaigns you work for. We will offer support as you tackle your first media projects. This  course is highly subsidized by a grant from LUSH.

First Great Western's Customer and Communities Improvement Fund
First Great Western has a Customer and Communities Improvement Fund to deliver projects that will benefit communities in areas of need. The fund is spread over three years with £750,000 available each year from April 2016. Bids can cover any aspect of local rail services, be it infrastructure or service improvements or indeed outreach and help to support customers. 

The Freshfield Foundation
The Freshfield Foundation makes grants to charities and other groups with particular emphasis on those involved in the fields of sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

Google: free products for nonprofits
Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to highly discounted or free products. These tools can help you find new donors and volunteers, work efficiently, and get supporters to take action.

Local councils
Local councils give grants and funding to thousands of community groups. Many people don't know that these funds are available - but you can easily find out what's on offer in your local area by entering your post code into this Government website.

Would you like people to be able to make online donations to your group? Local charities and community groups can create a page on the Localgiving website and use it to raise funds. Individuals can give one-off donations to the group, or set up regular Direct Debit donations. Localgiving charges £60 + VAT for charity memberships and takes a small commission on donations. One of the best things about Localgiving is its regular 'Grow Your Tenner' events, where donations up to £10 are match-funded by Localgiving.

Groups campaigning for sustainable transport can apply for funding to Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Lush sell Charity Pot, a hand and body lotion where 100% (minus the tax) of all the money raised goes directly to grassroots charities and campaign groups. Lush have also banned all UK staff from flying within the UK, and whenever any international flights are taken Lush taxes itself at £50 per tonne - the Carbon Tax - which funds groups campaigning for sustainable transport and climate justice. Lush prioritises its funding to small voluntary groups who struggle to get funding elsewhere, and does not pay for salaries, consultants or flights. If your group would like to apply for Charity Pot or Carbon Tax funding (the process is the same) please take a look at our guidelines in the link above. Lush also makes rooms in its shops available for local groups to meet in.

If you'd like to be kept informed of new funding opportunities like this every other month, please sign up to our local groups e-bulletin.

Media Trust: Media Matching
If you're looking for help to make your organisation communicate more effectively, use Media Trust's free online Media Matching service to place a request for help from a media volunteer. With hundreds of media professionals signed up you can get valuable advice and support on a wide range of media and communications services including PR, marketing, film, social media, branding and design.

Merseyside Environmental Trust
The Merseyside Environmental Trust makes grants of up to £500 to support projects that raise awareness and enjoyment of the local environment.

Microsoft Office: free software for nonprofits
Try Office 365 for free and see how it can help your organization. To qualify for Office 365 Nonprofits, you must meet Microsoft's Nonprofit eligibility as defined in the United Kingdom. You will be required to sign a contract and attest that you are an eligible nonprofit. 

Patagonia (the outdoor clothing company) gives grants to small, grassroots environmental groups with provocative direct-action agendas. "We... think the individual battles to protect a specific stand of forest, stretch of river or indigenous wild species are the most effective in raising more complicated issues... in the public mind".

People's Health Trust
Local groups and organisations with great ideas to make their communities even better places to live are invited to apply for funding from the People's Health Trust. Active Communities is a funding programme for community groups and not-for-profit organisations seeking investment of between £5,000 and £50,000. We're looking for small and local projects, genuinely designed and run by local people.

People's Postcode Trust
Since 2009, People's Postcode Trust has awarded over £9 million to more than 1400 projects across Great Britain, with over £6.5 million of this going to the Small Grants Programme. We support innovative and engaging projects of up to one year in length that bring a positive impact to local communities.

Postcode Community Trust
Postcode Community Trust was established in 2014 to provide financial support to charities and community groups that support environmental protection, community development, engagement in sport, advancement of health, promotion of human rights and prevention of poverty. Charities in Scotland, Wales and the North of England and Midlands can apply from £500 - £20,000 to deliver projects that positively impact their local community, while other organisations can apply for up to £2000. 

Plastic bag levy
The plastic bag levy, introduced in England in October 2015, is expected to raise £70 million, much of which will go to environmental charities. It's not clear yet exactly how the money will be apportioned, but small local charities are likely to receive a share. Sainsbury’s, for instance, tends to give smaller grants up to £500 and says charities should contact their local store; Morrisons has an online form for charities to fill in, and Tesco is asking you to apply for a grant or nominate a project.

Prince's Countryside Fund
The Prince's Countryside Fund gives grants to projects that help support the people who care for the countryside. We provide grants of up to £50,000 to projects that are tackling one of five key issues. Our grants will aim to improve service provision in rural areas, support rural enterprise, support farming businesses, and provide training opportunities for young people and educating people about the value of the countryside. The Fund supported the NS Wheelers, a village transport group based in Shropshire. Staffed by volunteers, it provides vital transport for local pensioners, primary and secondary school children in rural areas. 

Railfuture's Fighting Fund
If you need cash to support your pro-rail campaign, Railfuture's Fighting Fund may be able to help. Preference is given to Railfuture branches and affiliated organisations such as Rail User Groups. The fund can be used for:

  • Developing proposals for infrastructure improvements to the British railway network, such as new/re-opened stations, re-opened lines, passing loops, line speed increases, station modernisations, electrification, etc.
  • General campaigning such as producing publicity to promote existing services and rail freight.
  • Fighting attempts to reduce passenger services (including closures).

Sheila McKechnie Foundation
The Sheila McKechnie Foundation runs workshops, seminars, talks and intensive courses for campaigners at all levels. Free places are available on many of these for individuals on a low income and for grassroots groups with no funds.

Small Charities Coalition
The Small Charities Coalition runs a free skills sharing and mentoring service which aims to find you a supporter with the experience and knowledge you need. These supporters mentor, advise and guide you through a particular challenge in your work. This can be anything for a one-off phone call to find an answer to a governance related question, or a year-long relationship helping your charity build and implement a business plan.

Train To Campaign
Train To Campaign runs courses on subjects like:

  • Using Freedom of Information requests as part of your campaign
  • How to get grant funding for your campaign
  • How to influence and lobby government

Community groups, campaign groups and very small charities only pay £20. One free bursary place is also available for every workshop.

Tudor Trust
The Tudor Trust is an independent grant-making trust which supports smaller, community-led groups. The Trust focuses on "building stronger communities by overcoming isolation and fragmentation and encouraging inclusion, connection and integration".

If you'd like to be kept informed of new funding opportunities like this every other month, please sign up to our local groups e-bulletin.