#iwill Fund (formerly Youth Social Action Fund)

Grant Type Project costs
Status Open
Applications accepted from Social Enterprises? Yes
Maximum grant available £5,000
Deadlines 13 October 2020
Panel decisions expected mid December

Brief Description

Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available to support projects in Suffolk that engage young people in volunteering and other activities that both benefit their communities and develop their skills.


The #iwill campaign aims to increase participation in youth social action by fifty percent by 2020.

A definition of youth social action:

‘Young people taking practical action in the service of others in order to create positive social change that is of benefit to the wider community as well as to the young person themselves.’
Young Foundation

Youth social action has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, benefitting local people and places.

This is to increase volunteering, fundraising and campaigning amongst people aged between 10 and 20, and up to 25 for disabled young people.

Step up to Serve, The Big Lottery and the government Office for Civil Society have invested £2million this year to fund groups delivering youth social action opportunities.

Following a successful pilot in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, community foundations will manage the pot and expect to match this pound for pound.

How much can groups bid for?

  • The #iwill Fund will provide funding of between £1,000 and £5,000 for each project.

What will #iwill fund?

  • The funding is for community groups working in England.
  • This fund is open to registered charities, constituted community groups and other charitable organisations including Social Enterprises and CICs
  • National organisations with local branches (with own management committee and bank account) can apply.
  • New groups that fulfil all the other criteria are welcome to apply.
  • The fund is to deliver social action opportunities amongst young people. Definition of young person: any person age 10 to 20 years old when the programme begins, or 25 for disabled people.
  • Applications should be for a project that lasts a year. However repeat funding is a possibility.
  • Community groups that can draw in match-funding are encouraged to apply. The presence of match funding will not affect our assessment of your application.
  • Projects can deliver opportunities in a range of contexts and settings: for example online, extracurricular, in clubs and groups, informally, or as part of structured programmes.
  • Groups should engage young people in ongoing regular volunteering OR demonstrate how another youth-led method will be as effective at engaging young people in social action. (For example regular ongoing volunteering may not be achievable for the young people you engage).

Groups must demonstrate that their programme can meet the following quality principles of great youth social action:

  •  Reflective
  • Challenging
  • Youth-led
  • Socially Impactful
  • Progressive
  • Embedded

More details about the principles can be found here.

We will prioritise projects that:

  • Seek to increase participation from young people from lower social economic groups and people who might not usually take part in social action.
  • Embed skills in young people / the wider community while delivering. For example, listening skills, maths and English, cooking, media and communications, evaluation and capturing success.
  • Meet principles of great youth social action. For example:
    • Are enjoyable / satisfying for the young people
    • Enhance young people’s social lives and provide the opportunity to meet new people
    • Positively impact the wider community
    • Develop longer term connections between volunteers and the wider community (for example growing vegetables at the city farm and then selling them, rather than painting the shed at the city farm)
    • Have a plan to measure and report positive changes made
    • Demonstrate sustainability beyond the life of this grant

Ineligibility  – #iwill funding cannot be used for:

  • Statutory services – statutory organisations cannot bid for the fund
  • Activities promoting party political activity
  • Capital costs or physical items (purchase of refreshments for volunteers is okay)
  • Individual sponsorship
  • Activities generating private profit
  • Faith groups are welcome to apply but activities which evangelise or proselytise religious beliefs will not be eligible. Projects that only work with one faith are also not eligible.

This fund was previously known as the Youth Social Action Fund. If you have received funding from Youth Social Action fund in the last 12 months, you will not be able to apply for the #iwill Fund.


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