Grant Funding for Bridge Clubs

Bridge Clubs, typically, are either “Unincorporated Associations” or registered Charities. Some Clubs own their premises while others rent space for their bridge sessions. The latter group commonly rent from Community organisations which themselves may be registered Charities.

Depending on the governance status of the Club, and whether it owns its premises, some grant-giving bodies will be more relevant than others (for example, some will only make grants to charities).

There is a variety of grant-giving bodies to which Clubs, and County Associations, might apply. The notes below are indicative only, and are certainly not exhaustive of the possibilities.

The grant-givers all have their own priorities, but many include language such as “social inclusion”, “social cohesion”, “supporting older people” and “supporting mental health”. What is always important is phrasing a grant application precisely to the giver’s targets.

Clubs & Counties might wish to explore not only the big national organisations but also the more locally focussed givers. A bit of research pays great dividends. I secured nearly £10,000 for The Durham Bridge Club in 2018 through which we bought a range of capital equipment (notably a duplimator, bridgemates, and new tables).

Some of those bodies are national; for example, the National Lottery Community Fund is one of the major grant-giving bodies.

The Virgin Money Foundation support local communities with both running costs and capital projects.

Morrisons has a Foundation which makes grants to Charities for “projects which make a positive difference in local communities”.

The Yapp Charitable Trust will offer grants to registered charities (of at least 3 years standing) and support “ongoing core funding”. They have priorities, the first of which is “the elderly”. Given the demographic of bridge Clubs this is attractive.

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) supports local communities through loans and grants, and has a special interest in Community Halls and in ‘health and wellbeing’.

In my own area there is the Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East (VONNE).

Amongst the services VONNE provides is ‘Funding Information North East’ (FINE) which pulls together current funding opportunities from dozens of sources into a single database. The online Funding Directory contains the details of nearly 150 charitable trusts and foundations actively funding charities and community groups in the North East. There will, I guess, be easily accessible equivalents in other areas.

Also, Durham County Council have established “Area Action Partnerships” (AAPs) which each has a pot of money to be distributed as grants to Community Groups. I imagine that other areas will have equivalents.

By Adrian Darnell (EBU Board) based on his experience in Durham