Update for applicants | The Phoenix Fund is now closed

Global Fund for Children (GFC) and The National Lottery Community Fund are partnering to support the creation and delivery of the Phoenix Fund – an initiative that will provide £1 million in emergency grants to Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME*) communities across England.

About the fund

The Phoenix Fund aims to put racial justice at the heart of COVID-19 pandemic response. The initiative will support a network of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic charities and groups in England that are working in the heart of their communities, providing essential and emergency services, support, and education tailored to the BAME community.

The initiative aims to
  • Offer core funding to BAME grassroots groups across England working with BAME communities
  • Raise awareness of the unique challenges facing BAME communities across England
  • Establish an effective, innovative partnership to improve and promote community-based organisations within English philanthropy

A collaborative panel of individuals who have understanding and lived experience working with Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities will drive the fund’s grant-making decisions, awarding grants to BAME-centred and -led community organisations.

The Phoenix Fund was established with the support of The National Lottery Community Fund and Global Fund for Children. The National Lottery Community Fund has committed £1.4 million to the Phoenix Fund, made possible thanks to National Lottery players.


Why it’s needed

As the COVID-19 pandemic and protests for racial justice sweep the world, the time to decisively support BAME leadership and relief efforts is long overdue.

Survey data from the Ubele Initiative, a convening partner of the Phoenix Fund, shows that nine out of ten micro and small BAME organisations are at risk of closing within three months due to COVID-19. This research helped prompt the convening of BAME-led infrastructure and community groups from across England, starting in May 2020 and leading to the co-creation of the Phoenix Fund.

For years, BAME organisations have faced systemic barriers to accessing resources to carry out their vital work. Now, throughout the UK and worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting BAME organisations and populations, deepening racial inequality and threatening their existence.


Grant-making details

Through 30 September 2020, Global Fund for Children and The National Lottery Community Fund invited organisations in England that are led by representatives of the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities to apply for grants of up to £20,000.

Eligibility criteria and guidelines

The Phoenix Fund supports groups that:

  • Are registered, unregistered, incorporated, unincorporated, and/or unconstituted
  • Work with participants and communities of any age
  • Are led by representatives of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities and work within BAME communities**
  • Have annual operating budgets up to £100,000 per year
  • Are located and work in England

The Phoenix Fund is not able to support:

  • Local offices, affiliates, or projects of large NGOs, governments, or intergovernmental organisations
  • Efforts to support or oppose candidates for public office
  • Evangelism or proselytizing, or programmes that require adherence to or conversion to religious doctrine
  • Organisations that, in policy or in practice, discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation
  • Groups that conduct or support violent activities or violate criminal law
Grant-making timeline

The decision-making committee meets every two weeks to assess applications, and there are four rounds of grant-making decisions. Funding decisions will not be made on first come, first served basis, and there will be funding available up until the final deadline. Please note that the Phoenix Fund is now closed to new applications, and please ensure you have read our most recent update for applicants.

Round 1:
Application deadline: 21 August 2020
Panel meeting: 2 September 2020
Awardees notified: Early October 2020

Round 2:
Application deadline: 2 September 2020
Panel meeting: 16 September 2020
Awardees notified: Early November 2020

Round 3:
Application deadline: 16 September 2020
Panel meeting: 30 September 2020
Awardees notified: To be confirmed

Round 4:
Application deadline: 30 September 2020
Panel meeting: 14 October 2020
Awardees notified: To be confirmed


Phoenix Fund grant winners will receive flexible, core funding to meet critical needs and continue their organisations’ missions. These grants aim to more effectively support local groups with limited access to resources, which are often restricted to specific interventions. Making a grant flexible allows an organisation to make its own decisions about what is most important for its operations and programmes.

Please note that the application form processes slowly in some internet browsers. If the form does not load, please try accessing it in the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari.

Do you need additional support to complete the application process? Please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.

Update for applicants

Thank you to all those who have taken the time to apply to the Phoenix Fund. We are delighted at the level of interest, and we received 1347 applications in total across Rounds 1–4. In order to process all the applications and stay true to the participatory grant-making process, there will unfortunately be a delay in decision-making by the community-led panel. We will make every effort to balance the urgency of grant-making with our commitment to ensuring that each and every eligible application is carefully considered by the selection panel. We are delighted to share that the community-led panel has reviewed 792 applications by the end of September, and that applicants are now beginning to hear the outcomes of their applications. We will continue to post further updates here. Once all selected applicants have received their grants, we look forward to sharing more details about the grantholders and the fund.

Meet the grantholders

See the Phoenix Fund grantholders by the regions in which they work. We will update this list on a rolling basis as additional grantholders are announced.


Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I apply for a grant if my organisation does not have a bank account?
    Yes. You can apply even if your organisation does not have its own bank account. Another organisation that can hold funds on your behalf can serve as your fiscal sponsor.
  2. Does my organisation have to be a registered charity to apply for a grant?
    No. Both registered and unregistered groups are eligible to apply.
  3. Does my organisation have to work with children and youth to be eligible for this grant?
    No. Any organisation can apply, regardless of the ages of its participants.
  4. Can an organisation that has been around for less than a year apply to this grant?
    Yes. Any organisation can apply, regardless of when it was established.
  5. If my organisation does not receive a grant in the first round of grant-making after I apply, do I need to reapply to be reconsidered?
    No. You do not need to submit more than one application. Eligible, high-scoring applications will automatically be considered during later rounds of grant-making.
  6. What does “core funding” mean?
    This means you can apply for funding for whatever you need. For example, this may include staff costs, running costs, activities, equipment, and other resources needed to support your organisation during this crisis.
  7. What is the maximum amount my organisation can apply for through the Phoenix Fund?
    Organisations may apply for grants of up to £20,000 through the Phoenix Fund.
  8. Are there really only 13 questions total on the application?
  9. I applied in Round 1. Why haven’t I heard from you yet?
    There has been a delay in decision-making due to the unprecedented level of interest. See our update for applicants here.
  10. Why was Global Fund for Children selected to co-create this fund?
    Global Fund for Children was selected to co-create the Phoenix Fund due to its 25 years of experience getting money and resources to community-based organisations that often have historically not had access to larger funding opportunities. GFC has been active in the UK for about 10 years, works globally, and has experience with participatory grant-making using a trust-based approach. GFC is providing strategic advice and facilitation, is giving administrative and communications support, and will strengthen the capacity of a BAME organisation in the UK to lead the Phoenix Fund beyond the emergency funding phase.
  11. Where can my organisation seek outside help to complete my Phoenix Fund application?
    Information on fundraising and grants for voluntary organisations, as well as how-to guides, is currently available for free for all organisations on the NCVO Knowhow center.
  12. What other funding opportunities are available for my organisation outside of the Phoenix Fund?
    The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities. This will be used to fund hundreds of “microgrants” between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together. The first round will be open for applications on 5 January 2021 and close on 26 January 2021. Learn more here.

Do you have another question? Please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to respond.



Please email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or need additional assistance.



The Phoenix Fund was established with the support of The National Lottery Community Fund and Global Fund for Children. The £1.4 million commitment from The National Lottery Community Fund was made possible thanks to National Lottery players and makes available £1 million in grants to Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities across England and a further £400,000 to support further development of the fund.

The partnership is expected to inform The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, in developing its approach to equity and inclusion and to funding diverse groups.

Header photo provided by the Ubele Initiative, a convening partner of the Phoenix Fund.


* We recognize the diversity of individual identities and lived experiences, and we recognize that BAME is an imperfect term that does not fully capture the racial, cultural, and ethnic identities that experience structural and systematic inequality. Whenever possible, we attempt to name individuals as they themselves prefer to be named.

** (1) 51% or more of the board and senior management team are from BAME backgrounds, or (2) the organisation self-defines as BAME-led based on who is making their key strategic decisions. By “making key decisions” we mean that decisions on core strategic and financial matters are taken by a diverse group of decision-makers, not that consultation is undertaken as part of decisions that are subsequently taken by a group that is not BAME-led.

Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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[email protected]