Seeking Funding

Seeking Funding

Organisations may be funded through grants, donations, membership fees, contracts, social finance or a combination of any of the above. In this section, we have compiled information that may be helpful for Ireland-based organisations seeking funding. Please contact us with any suggestions for this section.

Social Finance

Social Finance is an innovative finance mechanism that enables micro-businesses and communities to achieve their aspirations and, in the process, deliver social returns. Social Finance lenders offer repayable loans at affordable rates to community-based projects, as well as to start-up businesses generating employment. Social Finance lenders provide economically viable and socially beneficial projects a way to access finance when they may not have been able to do so through mainstream financial institutions.

Those applying for a loan from a social finance lender will be assessed not just on their capacity to deliver meaningful benefit to individuals or communities but also on their ability to repay the loans.

Key social finance lenders in Ireland include

Clann Credo (specialising in community enterprise and social infrastructure throughout Ireland)
UCIT Ireland (specialising in community enterprise and social infrastructure in Northern Ireland)
Social Innovation Fund (specialising in community enterprise and social innovation throughout Ireland)
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (specialising in community enterprise and social infrastructure throughout Ireland)
LEDP (specialising in community development and micro-enterprise in the Limerick region)

Those interested in accessing social finance should visit the Web sites of the lenders above for details on lending criteria and submitting an application.

This section has been prepared with the assistance of the Social Finance Foundation set up in 2007 and responsible for sourcing and distributing funds to social finance lenders.

Benevolent Funds

Benevolent funds give financial help in the form of a grant, to people in need who qualify. This is a sum of money, given as a gift or award, so it doesn’t have to be paid back.

Please click here for our full directory of benevolent funds.


Directory of Philanthropy Ireland You may find some useful contacts here, including contact information for Philanthropy Ireland members. offers a subscription service for Irish voluntary and community organisations looking for funding. Subscribers can access information on funding programmes run by government organisations, the European Union, independent philanthropic organisations and businesses. This Web site is for non-profit organisations seeking grant funding. The site is devoted to providing free resources for both advanced grant writing consultants and inexperienced nonprofit staff.

European Foundation Centre The EFC’s grant seekers page contains many links that are worth exploring.

The Foundation Center The Foundation Center provides many free resources for fundraising organisations. While this organisation is based in the United States, it contains many tips that are relevant for grant seekers in Ireland.

Other Resources on Seeking Funding

Please note that Philanthropy Ireland cannot guarantee the accuracy of information on these Web sites.

Charities Institute Ireland exists to support and enable charities to create positive social change.

Effective Fundraising for Voluntary and Community Groups Produced by the Carmichael Centre, this leaflet contains helpful information and links to resources for fundraisers. Below are links to Web sites that may be of interest.

Everyday Hero The new My Charity, enables everyone to connect with and support causes, to enable them to set their own giving and volunteering goals, to make giving easier, more accessible and more enjoyable for people around the world.

Regulation and Best Practice

The Little Blue Book: NPC’s guide to analysing charities, for charities and funders. At a time when many charities are having to make tough decisions, this Guide can help them to assess their own performance, to identify successes and failures, and to understand how they can improve. It can also help funders make thoughtful funding decisions, by better understanding charities’ strengths and areas for development.

Collaboration for Greater Impact was prepared by The Ireland Funds, The Irish Heart Foundation and 2into3 to provide an overview of the options, opportunities, and challenges inherent in collaborative working, including some examples of those who have engaged in collaborative working. It is intended to give some ‘food for thought’ for organisations in the non‐profit sector in Ireland. It is not intended as complete and comprehensive coverage of the issues involved, or as a substitute for professional advice for non‐profits considering collaborative work.

Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising Following its feasibility study on voluntary codes of practice for fundraisers, Irish Charities Tax Research Ltd.developed its Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising, which contains a set of overarching principles and guidelines for fundraisers in Ireland.

The Wheel The Wheel’s website provides information on regulation and good governance.