Raising funds

Although Mutual Aids are largely voluntary there are many things that funding can be useful for such as printing, premises and IT. Groups may wish to start a small project that requires resources or wish to cover their volunteer travel expenses.

Top tips & quick links

Read this first then browse our other specially curated resources

As a mutual aid group, it can be difficult to find and apply for grants, as the funds available change all the time and vary in their criteria.

Many grant funders require applicants to have a constitution or be incorporated (a registered charity, company or similar). If you’re not ready to consider this however here are a few links to get you started:

  1. Greater London Authority (GLA) often have grants and support for smaller groups including mutual Aids. Try here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/communities/civil-society/grants-and-funding
  2. At a borough level information on funding is usually available from either the Council or a voluntary sector infrastructure organisation like a Council for Voluntary Service (CVS). London Plus have a directory of local CVS’s here: https://londonplus.org/cvs-and-volunteer-centres/cvs
  3. London Community Foundation is portal for local grants. You can search for available grants by Borough and by theme here: https://londoncf.org.uk/apply/available-grants
  4. Local Giving is platform which matches donors with Charities and community groups. There is a fee for Charities and Community Groups to join which then allows you to set up a fundraising page. A feature of Local Giving is that they’ve worked out a way to apply Gift Aid – normally just available to registered charities. https://localgiving.org/

For more information on this and further help with fundraising have a look through the rest of our resources on this topic.

  • What the mutual aids say:

“We had success with our local Rotary club and community lottery – why not try those?”

“Go for smaller amounts as informal groups won’t get the larger pots”

  • What the funders say:

“At Hounslow Council we have our small grants programme. It’s light touch. We just ask for evidence of residents coming together - so six residents need to sign”.

In Islington the Cripplegate Foundation funded a number of mutual aids through their micro grants. They distributed the money via established organisations who acted as fundholders for the informal groups.

Cripplegate also relaxed requirements for monitoring: “We asked for short emails on numbers, what you did with the grant, small case studies etc. Interestingly, we got more impact information from that than most of our bigger grants”.

How to find grants


This page tells you about different ways to search for grants.

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