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Embargoed till 00.01 Thursday 3 December: £33 million in Government grants provide much needed help in communities

Embargoed till 00.01 Thursday 3 December: £33 million in Government grants provide much needed help in communities

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 02 December 2009

Over £33 million in grants have been given to over 13,000 charities and voluntary organsiations in the first full year of the Government's Grassroots Grants scheme, statistics reveal.

The £130 million scheme, launched in September 2008, is aimed at helping small voluntary and community organisations provide much needed help in their communities and reach out to the most vulnerable people.

Grants have been spent on a range of community activity from healthy food parcels for deprived communities to social activity for carers - helping communities to thrive and deal with the individual challenges that face each local community.

Small and local community groups with annual incomes below £30,000 can apply for the grants of between £250 and £5,000.

Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector, said:

"Grassroots Grants give the groups which are tackling local issues the support they need to make a difference. I am delighted that through this ground-breaking programme the Government has in the first year alone given charities and voluntary organisations over £33 million in grants. Enabling them to reach out to the most vulnerable people in our communities.

"The programme is still open for applications and I encourage small local voluntary and community groups across the country to come forward and apply for this essential funding."

Trevor Sleath, the Andover Food Bank Project Coordinator, said,

"We've seen a significant increase in people struggling with debt, both the unemployed and those in low-income employment. These are difficult times, and Andover being a rural community, many people living in villages and the surrounding areas are struggling to make ends meet. We are offering a vital service to people in need, and the Grassroots Grants funding will really help us continue to support them".

Grassroots Grants includes a match fund where donations by business and individuals are matched by Government. The money, which is then invested as an endowment , aims to provide financial support over the long term to charities and voluntary organisations; enabling even more grants to local good causes, for generations to come.

A total of 8515 businesses and individuals up and down the country have made donations, totalling over £13 million so far, which the Government then matched funded. This has already built endowments in every local area, worth £25m in total.

The innovative endowement match challenge is the first of its kind in the world, as far as we know, and offers businesses and individuals the chance to contribute directly to supporting and sustaining the communities in which they operate and upon which they rely.

Ashley Taylor, Friends Provident, a Grassroots Grants Donor, said:

"Friends Provident has a history of 'putting something back' into the local community. The Grassroots Grants match funding has enabled us to achieve more with our investment than would otherwise be possible. "

Notes to editors

The £130 million Grassroots Grants programme, which will run until 2011, is divided into two parts: an £80 million small grants fund for community organisations; and a groundbreaking £50 million endowments programme to enable local funders to generate additional donations on a matched basis and invest them in endowments, thereby building their capacity to provide long-term funding for frontline community organisations.

First year figures for Grassroots Grants:

Endowment match challenge

· Total number of donations received - 8515

· Total amount of donations received - £13,937,362.84

· Endowment match paid by government - £11,283,375.05

· Total endowment raised (sum of above two) - £25,220,737.89

· % from new donors - 62.8% (based on amount in £, not number)

· % from personal donors - 48.2% (based on amount in £, not number)

· % from corporate donors - 51.8% (based on amount in £, not number)

· While the average donation was £1,636.80, donations have ranged from £1 to £539,500.00

Small grants

· Total number of grants distributed - 13,424

· Total amount distributed - £33,996,077.55

· Average Grant - £2,532.42

· % distributed to new groups - £39%

Please note the programme was launched in September 2008, however a small amount of funding was distributed, and donations raised, in some areas in July 2008 and August 2008. This is the first full year performance data from September 2008 to September 2009 but does include a small amount of local programme activity prior to the national launch.

The Grassroot Grants programme is funded by the Office of The Third Sector in the Cabinet Office and administered by the Community Development Foundation <> .

Community Development Foundation (CDF)

CDF is the leading source of community development expertise and delivery. As a public body and a charity we bridge government, communities and the voluntary sector. We help local people lead. Our aim is for an inclusive and just society. Our mission is to lead community development analysis and strategy in order to empower people to influence decisions that affect their lives. <>

If you would like to donate to the Grassroots Grants endowment in your local area please visit

If you would like to apply for a grant in your local area please visit <>

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