Grants are available for voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations to help communities across the UK move towards recovery and renewal after the impact of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding body: National Lottery Community Fund
Maximum value: £ 50,000
Application deadline: 25/06/2020

The £1 million Emerging Futures Fund is provided and administered by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF).

Objectives of Fund
The Fund aims to give communities and civil society organisations ‘the space, resource and additional expertise to step back [from COVID-19] and ask questions, imagine alternatives and gather to shape the emerging future’.

Value Notes
There is a total of £1 million for this fund over three to six months.

Grants of between £20,000 and £50,000 are available.

Who Can Apply
Applications will be considered from:

  • Voluntary and community organisations.
  • Registered charities.
  • Charitable incorporated organisations.
  • Social enterprises.
  • Group of organisations, if they are led by a voluntary and community organisations or social enterprise.
    Community Interest Companies (with two or more directors).


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Statutory bodies.
  • Schools.
  • Individuals.
  • Sole traders.
  • Organisations based outside the UK.
  • Anyone applying on behalf of another organisation.
  • Organisations that do not have at least two people on their board or committee who are not married, in a civil partnership, in a long-term relationship, living together at the same address, or related by blood.
    Organisations that can pay profits to directors, shareholders or members (including Companies Limited by Shares and CIC’s limited by shares).
  • Activities that generate profits for private gain.
  • Religious activity or content (religious organisations are eligible if they are providing benefit for the wider community).
  • Activities that replace government funding.
  • Activities that benefit individuals, rather than the community.
  • Retrospective costs.
  • Loan repayments.

Eligible Expenditure
The funding is to be used for communities to explore the following questions and then help shape what should be done next to support communities:

  • What they want to keep doing because it is been working well.
  • What they want to leave behind as they start thinking about moving into recovery and renewal.
  • Any new ideas that will help when it comes to rebuilding and renewal.

The funding is for three different types of work (full details of each strand can be found on the NLCF website):

  • Exploring new narratives, perspectives and community storytelling. The funding is for projects that can create narratives that:
    • Look at the stories emerging from them pandemic, to find out who, or what, needs to be focussed on more.
    • Explore new kinds of relationships that have formed in response to COVID-19.
    • Show what is most important to communities.
    • Help inspire community togetherness after the pandemic.
    • Show where new kinds of infrastructure are being created, and why it’s valuable.
    • Community foresight and public imagination. The funding is for projects thatPut diverse voices at the centre, and in the lead
    • Activate and strengthen social imagination in communities so that the voices and ideas of local communities can contribute to the renewal of civil society
    • Support communities to develop and use community foresight practices together
    • Develop approaches with communities to create collective visions and demonstrate practical ways for those visions to be acted upon
    • Know how to use what they’ve learned from their project to influence change.
    • Investing in strong signals of transformation. The funding is for projects that:
      • Can show practical ways about where we go from here
      • Need resource to develop their idea so that when the time is right the idea is more likely to be adopted
      • Can show us why they think the time is right for their idea
      • Can show us how they have responded to different challenges – like different patterns of work, community togetherness and the valuing of relationships.

The funding can be used for:

  • Staff salaries
  • Project activities
  • Engagement activities
  • Running costs
  • Equipment

How To Apply
The application form and guidance notes are available from the National Lottery Community Fund website.

The completed form should be submitted by email ( before 5pm on Thursday 25 June 2020.

Useful Links
National Lottery Community Fund – Emerging Futures Fund

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