This information should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice. Read the disclaimer.
This article signposts potential sources of financial support for UK aid organisations. Note each scheme will have its own eligibility criteria and closing dates.
The Commons Library briefing, Reducing the UK’s aid spending in 2021, provides contextual information on trends in funding for UK aid.
UK Government funding opportunities
The UK Government publishes upcoming procurement and supply opportunities online and via social media:
- Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), International development funding. Provides an overview of funding opportunities across all Government Departments
- Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Procurement at the FCDO and Commercial pipeline. Opportunities are sometimes shared through its Twitter account @FCDOProcurement
Specific UK Government schemes
- UK aid direct. This is funded by the FCDO and open to small and medium size civil society organisations. Organisations must work in UK Government priority countries and the 50 lowest countries in the human development index. These are mostly in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
- UK aid match. Provides grants to civil society organisations for poverty reduction in certain countries. For selected organisations, the UK Government matches £1 of UK aid for every £1 donated to a UK aid match charity appeal by an individual living in the UK, up to a value of £2 million.
There are several search engines for finding available grants for aid work:
- Bond, Upcoming funding opportunities. Brings together grant opportunities from charitable, government and other sources (including those outside the UK). It is regularly updated.
- This is an online service provided through a House of Commons Library subscription and gives access to a searchable and updated database of UK funding sources. It can be accessed via the Resources for casework page (Parliamentary login required).
- Development Aid, Tenders, and Grants (subscription required). Offers a searchable database of worldwide funding opportunities for aid organisations.
Lottery schemes and Comic Relief
Applying for funding from the European Union (EU)
There are limited circumstances in which a UK-based NGO may apply for EU funding. Bond has produced a detailed guide: How UK NGOs can access EU funding post Brexit.
As the Bond guide states, UK NGOs may be eligible to apply for some funding schemes from the EU. Under Article 137 of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK can both participate in, and receive funding from, programmes established prior to the date the Withdrawal Agreement came into force (31 January 2020).
Further information on applying for a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) to become a humanitarian partner of the EU Commission to access European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) funding can be found on ECHO’s page for NGOs.
The European Commission publish a list of open grants and tenders.
Further sources of information
The NGO Bond have published a series of guides on funding, fundraising, and diversifying income sources for development organisations.
The Commons Library does not intend the information in this article to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. We have published it to support the work of MPs. You should not rely upon it as legal or professional advice, or as a substitute for it. We do not accept any liability whatsoever for any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein. You should consult a suitably qualified professional if you require specific advice or information. Read our briefing for information about sources of legal advice and help.