Sport England - funding for volunteering, deadline 24 April 2017 (12 noon)

7 March 2017

Sport England is awarding funding for volunteering projects through the "Opportunity Fund" and "Potentials Fund". The sport or physical activity that you want to use to engage people in volunteering must be on the list of sports recognised by Sport England.

"We’re not looking to fund more of the same activities which we know already work – unless you can make a strong case for testing how they can be scaled up or replicated with a different demographic, in a new community or with an adapted delivery model. Learning is key.

"Your organisation needs to have a strong reach and understanding of your intended audience – either directly or through partnerships with others. We’re looking for partners who are trusted and respected by the people they want to reach – and who understand the specific issues of their local community. Crucially, you’ll need to demonstrate that you can deliver quality volunteering opportunities – either directly or through others."

"We plan to invest in a range of projects with a grant value of between £50,000 and £150,000, over three years. The minimum award we will make is £50,000, reflecting the resources and expertise which will be required for a project to deliver the outcomes and learning we are seeking. However, if you have ambitions on a larger scale, we would encourage you to get in touch directly to discuss your proposal."

What can be funded?

Eligible expenditure includes:

  • Salaries for new or seconded project workers
  • Volunteer out-of-pocket expenses
  • Support for local networking and partnership building
  • Minor equipment costs
  • Evaluation and/or communicating and disseminating learning
  • Recruitment events/activities
  • Volunteer training

The following items will not be funded:

  • The general running costs of your organisation
  • A service or project which is already running or where funding has recently been withdrawn
  • Capital projects, including the purchase of motor vehicles
  • Items that can only benefit an individual
  • One-off events and events tickets
  • Cash incentives
  • Activities that focus on promoting religious beliefs
  • Foreign trips

Please read the Volunteering Funding Investment Guide for full details of what can and cannot be funded.

Opportunity Fund

The Opportunity Fund targets people aged 20+ from economically disadvantaged communities. Details on page 6 of the Volunteering Funding Investment Guide.

Potentials Fund

The Potentials Fund targets children and young people aged 10 to 20 (with a particular focus on those aged 10 to 14) who are interested in doing something to benefit their community through social action. Details on page 7 of the Volunteering Funding Investment Guide.


There is a two-stage application process.

The deadline for stage one applications (expressions of interest) is 24 April 2017 (12 noon).

For the expression of interest forms and supporting documents visit


Answers to frequently asked questions are available. Alternatively contact the Sport England funding helpline: telephone 0345 8508 508 or email

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