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Using a funding database: My Funding Central
"No one has ever become poor by giving" - Anne Frank
I realise this information won’t be relevant to all of you, but it’s one of the questions I get asked the most: ‘Where can I find funding for my idea, project, business, start-up?’ so I’m including a few longer guides to the resources I recommend.
My Funding Central is my go-to place when I first start to look for funding for a new project, and it’s the place I direct people to when they are just starting up a community group or are new to fundraising, so here’s a step-by-step guide with screenshots.
To give you a bit of background – for many years there was a funding database called ‘Funding Central’ and this was the resource that I used for my entire fundraising career. It was free to access and run by NCVO, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
In March 2021 NCVO’s Funding Central closed creating disappointment and panic amongst charity fundraising teams.
Until…Idox, the company that compiles all the content for several funding databases (including GrantFinder) and verifies the detail behind grant opportunities created an alternative - My Funding Central – which is supposed to be a user-friendly, free to low-cost solution for small to medium community & voluntary groups, social enterprises and charities.
Using an online funding database like this can be a great place to start when looking for potential funders for your community project or group.
How much does 'My Funding Central' cost?
The reason I recommend My Funding Central is that new and small groups with an annual turnover of less than £30,000 can access the database for free.
Over and above that, if your annual turnover is:
Over £30,000 up to £50,000 = £50 + VAT
Over £50,000 up to £100,000 = £100 + VAT
Over £100,000 up to £500,000 = £200 + VAT
Over £500,000 up to £1 million = £300 + VAT
For larger organisations with a turnover above £1m they recommend their other database, GrantFinder.
How do I subscribe to 'My Funding Central'?
If you have a charity number, you can subscribe here:
If you have a company number, you can subscribe here:
And if you are neither a registered charity or company (for example an unincorporated association or you’re just starting out) you can provide details of your annual income instead.
What’s on the homepage?
These lists are updated daily and provide a really quick way to browse:
How do I search for funders?
Step 1: Click on ‘Search Now’.
Step 2: Select your organisation type
Step 3: Select your areas of work
Step 4: (Recommended) Type in a location
Step 5: Select activities
What type of project are you looking for funding to pay for?
Step 6: Select eligible expenditure
What will the funding be spent on?
Step 7: Choose geographical scope
Try ‘local’ or ‘regional’ to get less results but make sure you have included a location (step 4 above)
Step 8: Choose fund status
I usually just search for ‘open for applications’
Step 9: (Optional) Search for a particular funder
Step 10: (Optional) Search keywords
Step 11: Click Search Now
Step 12: Assess your results
How many results has it returned? Can you read through this many? Do they look to be relevant to your group?
Step 13: Refine your search
Add a location or keyword. Try just ‘local’ or just ‘regional’
Step 14: Highlight best results
Step 15: Save your search
Step 16: Create a report
For more recommendations of funding databases, resources for fundraisers, and guidance in starting up your not-for-profit group and applying for funding, see the workbooks here.
Thanks for reading, Rachel x