RAISE Challenge Fund

Status: Open to applications
Application Deadline:31 May 2015


Fund Value:£ 125,000
Maximum Value:£ 10,000
Minimum Value:£ 2,500

Value Notes

Grants of between £2,500 and £10,000 are available. RAISE envisions awarding around half of the grants in the £2,500 - £5,000 range and around half the grants in the £8,000 - £10,000 range. In exceptional circumstances, however, larger amounts may be considered.

In addition to awarding grant funding, optional support packages are on offer to applicants before, during and after the application process. This support could include, but is not limited to:

  • Signposting and making initial introductions.
  • One to one meetings to provide advice.
  • Coaching to address specific needs.
  • Subject-specific presentations or tutorials.
  • Hands on support.


Grants are available to support voluntary and community groups in the South East of England to develop innovation, leadership, creative thinking, resourcefulness and inventive activities.

Extended Description

The RAISE Challenge Fund has been established in partnership with the regional charity RAISE and Community Foundations across the South East of England, and is being managed by the Community Foundation for Surrey. RAISE works to ensure there is a thriving, vibrant and growing voluntary and community sector in the South East, and has developed this fund to support aspirational thinking and innovation in the voluntary and charitable sector.

The fund aims to help groups and organisations to achieve greater results for their local communities by supporting them to grow, develop and overcome barriers. The funders are looking for examples of leadership, creativity and resourcefulness that will enable organisations make a step change and embrace new ways of working or engaging with people.

Latest Information

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 31 May 2015.

Key Criteria

Voluntary groups and charitable organisations are eligible to apply.

Priority may be given to organisations that may find it difficult to find funding elsewhere because of restrictive application criteria.

Eligible Expenditure

Funding is available to enable significant change to occur in the capability of voluntary groups or charitable organisations. This change must result in demonstrated benefits being delivered by the group or organisation to the individuals or communities they support. Examples of change include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Diversifying services.
  • Enhancing skills or knowledge.
  • Strengthening a group’s own structures and processes (eg formalising a group into an organisation).
  • Building local connections.
  • Increasing the organisation's reach.
  • Strengthening reputation or connections.

Overall, the Fund aims to unlock potential in groups or organisations, to support good ideas, aspirational thinking and initiative.

Short term projects that can be shown to deliver significant change in a group’s capability will also be eligible for funding.

Applications will be assessed on their creativity, reach and predicted benefits.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Unspecified expenditure for general appeals.
  • Fund raising events/activities.
  • Organisations with significant financial reserves.
  • Funding towards reserves.
  • Retrospective funding.
  • Political activities.
  • Statutory organisations.

Application Procedure

The Expression of Interest form is available to complete online at the Community Foundation for Surrey's website.

Applications will then be by invitation only following the initial screening of Expressions of Interest. RAISE staff can provide support to groups invited to apply, to help them develop a strong application which meets the Fund criteria.

Applicants will be notified by the Community Foundation for Surrey within two - three weeks of submitting the Expression of Interest Form as to whether they have been selected for the application stage.

Further information can be obtained from a RAISE Partnership Manager by completing the online contact form.

Addresses and contacts

Contact details:
Grants Officer Community Foundation for Surrey
1 Bishops Wharf
Walnut Tree Close
Telephone:01483 409230