Our work with the UK Government

We work with government departments to deliver significant national programmes which support the growth and development of local communities.


A national network

By partnering with UK Community Foundations, government departments and other funders who want to reach all parts of the UK, can be sure they have a dedicated team on the ground who know the area and are able to respond to local need.

Our members are often able to leverage matched funding when this is a prerequisite for funding to be secured. We can provide both nationwide programmes and targeted regions of support for partners, combining geographical spread with deep local insight.

Current Government Programmes

#iwill Fund

#iwill was launched in November 2013 by HRH The Prince of Wales after an independent review into how different sectors could help more young people to make a positive difference. The #iwill movement is supported by an independent coordination hub, hosted by Volunteering Matters and UK Youth.

The Government (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund have partnered, through the investment of £33 million seed funding each, for a new independent fund (‘the #iwill Fund’) that will support the creation of youth social action opportunities.

Following the successful delivery of the first two phases of the #iwill Fund, UK Community Foundations is pleased to be part of a third round of funding which prioritises inspiring 10–14-year-olds to get involved in social action in their communities. Community foundations are using match funding to double the resources available leading to a total of more than £1.4 million for the programme.

The #iwill movement brings together cross-sector organisations and young people who believe that all children and young people should have the chance to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.

Sixteen community foundations from the UKCF network are awarding grants of up to £10,000 to groups for projects lasting up to a year.


Find out more about the fund here



The #iwill Movement is celebrating 10 years!

10 years ago, in 2013, #iwill was founded to showcase the Power of Youth
social action and encourage others to better involve young people in the
decisions that are being made.

In 2023, the #iwill Movement will be celebrating the success and diversity of youth social action, showcasing many of the voices involved and setting out how we can better strengthen youth social action in the coming decade.

Have you received funding through the #iwill Fund? 

Find out more and join the celebrations at www.iwill.org.uk


Know Your Neighbourhood Fund

UK Community Foundations is delighted to be partnering with the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) to distribute £14 million of the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund. UKCF will fund activities that enable meaningful and impactful volunteering and tackle loneliness in nine areas around the country.

We will develop an understanding of what works to improve wellbeing and pride in place in these communities through evaluating the funding of community initiatives that aim to increase volunteering and tackle loneliness.

The Know Your Neighbourhood Fund will run until 31st March 2025. The nine areas being focused on are: Wolverhampton, South Tyneside, Kingston-Upon-Hull, Blackpool, Stoke-On-Trent, Great Yarmouth, Fenland, County Durham, and Barrow-in-Furness.

The smaller first phase of the fund, that ran until March 2023, focused on learning, before opening up to a larger grant-making phase from April 2023.

This latest round of funding has now closed for applications.

To learn more about the participating community foundations, you can find them here:


"What's really important for us to make sure this fund works really well is the partnership with UKCF.  It's local organisations, embedded in the community, that are going to make this fund work, be really effective and, importantly, reach more people."

- Minister for Civil Society and Youth, Stuart Andrew




Woman with headset on in front of paints and a laptop

Previous government funded programmes


In 2020, UKCF worked with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to distribute £20m of the funding raised on the ‘Big Night In’ to support communities affected by coronavirus.

In 2019, UKCF delivered a round of the #iwill Fund, in partnership with DCMS and The National Lottery Community Fund, which sought to make social action a part of everyday life for as many 10-20 year olds as possible by 2020. An in-depth evaluation report was carried out by inFocus after the programme ended. 

In 2018, UKCF launched the Tampon Tax Community Fund which provided grants of up to £10,000 to run projects and services directly benefiting women and girls facing issues such as period poverty, domestic and sexual abuse, mental health and long-term unemployment.

In 2012, the UKCF network managed the Community First Programme. This was an initial £50 million government-backed, match-funding endowment scheme that ran until 2015. Endowments are donations that are set up as funds (pools of money set aside for a specific charitable purposes). They are then invested by the community foundation with the revenue they generate every year going to support the local voluntary sector. Over time, as the endowment fund increases in value, the amount distributed overtakes the original donation. Within a few years of launching the national programme, community foundations were able to treble their grants to communities around the UK. 

“Community foundations have played such an important role during the recent crisis in distributing money from the National Emergencies Trust to local organisations.”

Danny Kruger MP in Levelling up our communities: proposals for a new social covenant (September 2020)

Want to partner with us?

We collaborate with Government departments, local authorities, businesses, trusts and foundations and individual philanthropists to all throughout the UK. Contact our partnership team to see how find out how your support could benefit local communities: partnerships@ukcommunityfoundations.org