Community grants

2021/22 Small Grants and Community Chest

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, we have had to adapt our usual a place for everyone – Hackney VCS grants programme.

For details of this year’s programme, please see our Hackney VCS grants prospectus, which provides information on the types of grants available, the eligibility criteria, and how to apply.

We’re inviting applications from the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) for our Small Grants and Community Chest Funds.

The purpose of these grants is to fund short-term or one-off activities (including Holiday Playschemes) that meet one or both of the grants programme aims.

What we can fund

Fund name

Awards up to

For charitable organisations or groups

When to apply

Small Grants £5,000 With an annual income under £250,000 per year.


Rolling deadline, apply anytime.

Final opportunity is in November 2021 for awards made in the 2021/22 financial year.

Community Chest Grants £1,000 With an annual income under £250,000 per year or structured groups of residents


Rolling deadline, apply anytime.

Final opportunity is in November 2021 for awards made in the 2021/22 financial year.

For both Small Grants and Community Chest, to be considered applications must meet the following essential criteria:

  • projects should be for short term activities or one-off projects
  • projects no longer than one year in length
  • 80% of the project’s beneficiaries must be Hackney residents
  • projects should demonstrate how they will achieve one or both of the grants programme aims:
    • to promote social inclusion, encourage independence and develop personal resilience
    • to build positive relations between different groups and communities that will maintain the high levels of community cohesion

Who can apply

Applications are accepted from any constituted voluntary, community or recreational group working within the London borough of Hackney. These are typically the following organisations:

  • unregistered community group
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
  • registered charity
  • charitable company or Social Enterprise (companies must have asset locks, be not-for-profit and without share capital)
  • Community Interest Company (CIC)
  • structured groups of residents (Community Chest only)

Please read the guidance for detailed information on eligibility criteria.

When to apply

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis all year round, with three assessment panels held in July, August and December.

Applications to be submitted by

For projects starting

Applicants notified of outcome by

15 June 2021, 11.59pm w/c 26 July 2021 2 July 2021
27 July 2021, 11.59pm From 1 September 2021 13 August 2021
23 November 2021, 11.59pm From 1 January 2022 10 December 2021

For Round 3 only, the funding allocated by us will include a contribution from the LHC Community Benefit Fund. These grants are provided by LHC, in association with Locality for projects that:

  • support strong and sustainable neighbourhoods
  • contribute to one or more of the borough or county priorities for their communities
  • are innovative or clearly demonstrate positive social impact

We anticipate that two grants will be funded through the LHC Community Benefit Fund.

How to apply

After reading the guidance, you can apply using our online application form:

Apply now Continue your application

Coronavirus funding response

The Council supports the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in Hackney every year through a dedicated grants programme. For 2020/21, most of the grants budget had been committed prior to the Covid-19 crisis. We became a signatory of the London Funders pledge and have worked flexibly with our grantee partners to ensure they can do the best to serve their communities throughout this time. This included allowing grantees to change how the funding is used, extending deadlines and reducing the information we collect at reporting.

As part of a package of support for VCS organisations, funding that hadn’t been committed in 2020/21 was converted to emergency funding, alongside our small reserves, to support organisations working with communities and people directly impacted by the pandemic. You can see who we have funded during the pandemic in the following data:

Previous grants awarded

Using the 360Giving data standard, our awarded grants since March 2020 are available as Excel spreadsheets (listed by year the project started):

This work is licensed under the Open Government License v3.0. This means the data is freely accessible to anyone to be used and shared as they wish. The data must be attributed to the London Borough of Hackney.

GrantNav is a free-to-use platform that brings together grant data published using the 360Giving Standard, making it easy to view and explore. The tool enables users to search and report in detail on who, where and how much is given through thousands of grants from a wide range of UK grantmakers, with further data being added as new publishers share their grants openly.

Hackney CVS training for the voluntary and community sector

Hackney CVS is an independent voluntary organisation, which provides a range of information, advice and support to VCS organisations in Hackney. As well as providing help and guidance on applying for the Hackney VCS grants programme, Hackney CVS runs high quality bespoke training and workshops for the voluntary sector throughout the year.

VCS organisations can also sign up to Hackney CVS’s weekly newsletter to receive updates on training and events, funding opportunities, community news and local politics.

2018/19 grants programme outcomes report

Over the 2018/19 year, we strengthened our commitment to the voluntary and community sector by successfully delivering our ‘A Place for Everyone’ Hackney voluntary and community sector grants programme:

Page updated on: 14 October 2021

Community Investment and Partnerships Team


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