#iwill Fund

The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

#iwill Fund

This Fund is now CLOSED. 


The #iwill Fund supports the broader #iwill movement – a collaboration of over 1000 cross-sector organisations and over 300 young people who are united by a shared belief that all children and young people should be supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.

A definition of Youth Social Action: “Young people taking practical action in the service of others in order to create positive social change that is of benefit to the wider community as well as to the young person themselves.” (Young Foundation)


Groups must be local to Dorset. We do not fund national charities but can fund local branches if they are managed separately and financially independent.

Organisations that can apply:

  • Registered Charities
  • Constituted Community and Voluntary Organisations
  • Community Interest Companies (must be limited by guarantee – please also check additional guidance for CICs in appendix 1 of our full grant-making policy here)
  • Social Enterprises (companies limited by guarantee that have a clear not-for-profit clause in their governing document and clear charitable or social objectives)

To be eligible the organisation must have:

  • At least 3 unrelated people responsible for running the organisation (for registered charities these are your Trustees, for CICs/Social Enterprises these are your Directors)
  • A written constitution or set of rules that sets out the purpose and management of the organisation
  • A bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two unrelated cheque signatories required for payments
  • An appropriate Safeguarding Policy


  • Schools are not eligible but we can fund PTA groups if they meet our eligibility guidelines
  • We cannot fund the promotion of religion or political causes
  • We cannot fund public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations
  • We cannot fund animal welfare organisations
  • We cannot offer retrospective funding for items already purchased or work completed
  • Organisations with more than 12 months’ unrestricted reserves are usually not funded


The #iwill Fund supports Youth Social Action activities that create opportunities for young people aged 10-20, or up to 25 for disabled people, to develop their potential and capacity to significantly contribute to their community. Youth Social Action includes volunteering, fundraising and campaigning. Such activities have huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, and in turn benefit local people and places. We can also fund skills development and confidence-building projects, which help young people be ‘social action-ready’.

We will prioritise projects/activities that:

  • Seek to increase participation from young people from socio-economically deprived areas and communities who might not usually take part in volunteering, campaigning and fundraising activities or have been hit especially hard by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Are working with young people at the younger end of the spectrum (10-14 years old)
  • Build the appetite of young people to continue with campaigning, fundraising and/or volunteering after the grant period
  • Involve young people in consultation, planning, delivery and evaluation
  • Give young people the opportunity to learn new skills and develop their character and confidence
  • Give young people the platform to get their voice heard
  • Compliment some of the six principles of youth social action, which can be found on the #iwill website here

 What can I apply for?

  • Grants from £1,000 to £7,500 are available.
  • The activities funded must start within 2 months of the award and groups have up to 12 months to spend the grant.
  • We will fund costs relating to the project/activities including: staff costs, volunteer costs, activity costs (including refreshments, venue hire, insurance etc), organisational development costs (e.g. staff/volunteer training or consultancy), small scale equipment costs up to 10% of the grant requested, and reasonable contributions to overheads or core costs.
  • Grants should deliver campaigning, fundraising and/or volunteering opportunities for young people aged 10 to 20 years old, or up to 25 for disabled people, or skills development and confidence-building projects, which help young people be ‘social action-ready’
  • Established groups with existing youth provision may apply for NEW projects or an expansion and development of an existing project (e.g. recruiting new young people)
  • Continuation funding for previously funded organisations is available where the organisation can demonstrate impactful use of the previous grant, learning and adaptation of processes

Monitoring and reporting

You should have tools in place to measure and record the intended outcomes of the grant. We do not expect complex or multiple methods – examples may include feedback forms/questionnaires, interviews or discussion groups, recording observations, attendance logs or other relevant data.

Completion of a 6 month progress report and an End of Grant report is a requirement of funding, including how funds were spent, the outcomes achieved (for beneficiaries and/or your organisation), learning during the grant period and individual case studies where relevant.

Pre-application support

Pre-application support is particularly encouraged for groups who have not applied to our grant programmes before but is available for anyone in need of advice about the application process, or if you are unsure whether your project/activity is suitable. Please email our Grants Manager to arrange a 20 minute phone call.

Please also contact us if you need the application form in an alternative format.

How to Apply

This Fund is now CLOSED

You will need to attach the following supporting documents to your online application, or send them via email to grants@dorsetcf.org

  • A copy of your constitution/governing document, if not registered at Companies House or the Charities Commission
  • A copy of a recent bank statement no more than 3 months old
  • A copy of your latest annual accounts, or in the case of new groups, please send a financial forecast or budget for your first year if you have one
  • Your Safeguarding policy and Equality & Diversity policy *our guidance notes may be helpful

Apart from the bank statement, you do not have to send these if you have already sent these documents in the last six months.


* For support with policy development or reviews we recommend you contact one of the local support agencies for voluntary sector groups – Community Action Network offers free support to groups across the county of Dorset, and low cost training & events. Dorset Community Action  provides support to groups in the Dorset Council area.

Safeguarding policy – there are helpful online resources such as the Charity Commission’s guidance on Safeguarding and the NSPCC website. New groups or those without any current policy may find it helpful to watch this short video ‘Safeguarding adults in the voluntary sector’  introducing what Safeguarding is and why it is relevant for all voluntary sector groups, no matter how small or who you are working with.

We also recommend groups consider adding their details to the helpandkindness website, which provides a map of services in Dorset to help people find local support when they need it.

Equality & Diversity policy – we recommend this should include as a minimum: reference to the Equality Act 2010 and explicitly covering all protected characteristics, equal access to services & employment and ways you achieve this, preventing harassment or discrimination and how complaints are dealt with fairly.

In order for us to follow our decision-making process, the information given in your application will be shared with our independent panel members and/or donors as appropriate. Panel members are subject to a confidentiality agreement. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information on data sharing and storage.

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