Grassroots Grants distributors announced

The Government has appointed 63 local organisations in England to distribute grants and set up endowment funds as part of its £130m Grassroots Grants programme.

Under the Grassroots Grants programme, which runs from 2008 to 2011, local funders will award grants of £250 to £5,000 over the three years to local projects and community groups.

The programme, funded by the Office of the Third Sector and administered by the Community Development Foundation, is divided into £80m of direct funding grants and a £50m endowment scheme. The latter is designed to encourage organisations to reach fundraising targets that will be matched by the Government.

Ella Sips, development manager at Telford and Wrekin Council for Voluntary Service, which has been awarded a £67,500 grant and endowment programme funding of £32,000 for the first year, said the endowment scheme was timely.

"In our current economy, individual donors are thinking very carefully about whether they want to donate or who they want to donate to," she said. "It's an incentive for them to give if they know their money is going to be matched pound for pound by the Government."

She said CVSs often missed out on funding and that the new scheme would help them. "We have 710 different groups on our database, all of which could apply for funding," she said. "It's amazing what small groups can do with little funds and how effective they can be. This will help them think about developing while also being able to provide the service they want to provide."

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