The National Coalition for Independent Action, which believes the capacity of the voluntary and community sector to "become actively involved in dissent" is in jeopardy, has been awarded £30,000 a year for the next two years.
The coalition was formed two years ago, but became active only recently. Retired sector academic Colin Rochester, the New Economics Foundation and the Public Law Project have all pledged their support.
"We want to speak out and expose what sits behind words like partnership," said Penny Whitehouse, a sector consultant and spokeswoman for the coalition.
"People have this sense of very explicit cooption of voluntary action by state interests and state agendas. We are trying to find people who are willing to resist the cooption of voluntary action by state interests and state agendas.
"In Hackney, we are showing what independence can be. We have been successful in convincing the council not to put all the money for independent advice into a commissioning pot, and they are now going to maintain a grants programme."