CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

A wide variety of grants ranging from a few hundred pounds to £35,000 or more are available for community not for profit activities - including those run by CICs.

Grants can be accessed for a wide range of activities that benefit the community.

However, seeking out these funding opportunities and navigating the application process can be a daunting prospect; so where should you start?

Most importantly, funders are looking for organisation that can deliver. You will also need to demonstrate good governance/policy implementation, supply your company accounts and ideally, offer evidence that shows your previous projects have been successful. Some funding bodies also look favourably on start-ups that employ experienced staff to deliver their future projects.  

If your CIC is planning community not for profit activities and you would like to find out what you could be entitled to, Steve Goswell may be able to help.  Steve is a former Local Government Officer who provides funding advice and helps not for profit organisations navigate the process of application.  

Steve has worked with a wide range of organisations over the last eight years, securing funding in excess of £300,000 for projects that have helped and supported a range of projects.
To contact Steve and find out what grants your CIC may be eligible for please email

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Replies to This Discussion

Dear Steve, 

Interesting post and I read it with interest. Been a member if CIC Assc. for some time, even before I started my latest SE.

What I miss is some information regarding start-ups that have no financial history and have only been going for 6-8 months. We have secured some contracts and are delivering as we speak with great results. 

How do we present to funders without that tract record. We are all very experienced professional (Directors with more than a 100 years between us respectively) and have rather great aspirations but would need funding to progress to the next level.

We operate in the area of working with young people, using media and film making to promote wellbeing, resilience and participation, using a strengths-based approach rather than a deficit-based one.

We are successful in forming associative partnerships, working collaboratively with both agencies and local health care authorities as well as with a local University who helps us deliver into SEN schools in the area.

Our confidence levels are high that we can and am delivering current objectives and contracts. It is about the next step and scaling the operation where we need help and funding.

Love to have a chat

Kind regards

Johann MD

Hi Steve, hi Johann

Steve, it would be good to arrange a chat, raising funds is a skill and I'd be happy to see how you can get involved in our plans to improve info around this. Im sure a few members will be biting your arm off for a bit of help.

Johann, we coin the whole caboodle as 'the valley of death', 70% of funding for social business is in the form of grants of up to £5k and then the valley until you reach larger loans. The majority of capital available is loan finance for larger amounts , the attached report clearly identifies the mismatch between investee requirements and finance available.

It might not seem obvious, especially to CIC limited by Guarantee but this Cap review offers the potential to arrange finance that does match, or at least to start down that road. If you havent gave your view please do so here:

Id also be happy to discuss introducing you into any contacts who may be able to help, we have helped quite a few CICs connect to finance, all SMEs are having trouble but that doesnt mean we cant collectively improve things.

I think both of you would gain a lot from attending our event on the 14th Dec if you are free, as would the conversation from your contribution:

Sorry Johann

Cant download the file on here as it is too big, put this into goole and the PDF is the first two clicks: big lottery investment readiness in the uk 2012


Thanks John/Steve

Unfortunately I'll be traveling up 'North' on the 14th otherwise would have loved to come down to meet and attend the event. I suspect I have done the survey John as I recall. Will look back in mail to see if my memory serves me right.

Hmmm.. love the 'valley of death' view but I shall not be disheartened. Being a strengths-based SE, we look at what can be achieved ;-)

Funding really is to build a digital tech platform delivering web tv to hyper local communities driven by young people, so, we have clients and pending contracts. Like so many other startups, no source of money.

Pity I say, great pity. Many more like us with great initiatives - our time will come though ;-)



Hi Johann,

It sounds as if you have have made a great start with your CIC, securing some contracts, forming partnerships and starting to deliver good results. Detailing these achievements in future applications will help you to access further funding. The fact that your directors have such a range of experience is also a big plus.

I would be happy to talk to you if you email me ( your contact details.

Steve Goswell

Hi Steve

Thank you for your kind words and I shall send you my contact details under separate cover. I met with some interesting people at the RBS SE100 Awards Ceremony last night and seemed to have raise enough of an interest to have set up some calls for next week. UnLtd was there and we are going to chat about a few things.

Just shows that one should never miss an opportunity to network and ask advice ;-) The winners of the awards were just truly amazing.

Kind regards


Just spotted this thread, so I'm posting rather late in the day!

We are really in need of support with fund-raising for our 2-year old CIC, Move4words which provides literacy and learning support for UK Primary Schools.

We have spent a lot of time and effort running trials of the new Move4words method, and have a fantastic evidence base for improvements in literacy and academic performance of thousands of children who have done the programme. My husband and myself (directors) have pumped £30k into research, development, marketing etc, and cannot continue much more without financial support. We need funding while we work hard to get the education market to hear about us, before the CIC can become self-sustaining.

My problems is that I find that CICs are ineligible for almost all funding. UnLtd were very interested in what we are doing, but said in early 2012 that we were too advanced for a Level 1 award, but not advanced enough for their Level 2 awards. Now, I see that UnLtd only offer venture loans in excess of £100k, and CIC's are not eligible for such loans as we cannot offer the requisite return on investment.

I have contacted Steve Goswell directly, but would be interested to hear what anyone else has to suggest!

Regards Buffy

Have you seen Funding Central on the Cabinet Office website? Always worth keeping an eye on.



Thanks, Sarah. I get the weekly alerts from funding central, which I always look through, but there is never anything that fits my CIC!

I have a grant funding application to be completed within the next week and I am always on the look out for collaboration, as many of the grants I have been considering require a collabrative effort.


The latest grant is for a total of £100,000 and would be split between 3 to 4 of the collaborating applicants.


I was wondering if this Forum Group would be suitable to advertise such requests for collaboration on grant funding.


Because of the nature of the grants, the normal requirements for unrelated Directors/Board members/ Trustees etc. is not an issue.


I am also looking at a few other grants which total approx £500,000, but again need a degree of collaboration.


I am only interested in CIC's who could offer something tangible, so if you are a Business Advisor, Mentor or whatever else you like to be known as, with respect, this is not for you.


Anyone can contact me by email.

Hi Paul

If any collaborative grant opportunity arise again I/we will be interested. Thanks Subra (Subrata Saha)



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