The Government's Grassroots Grants programme has paid out more than £34m in grants and £11m in match funding in its first full year, according to figures released today by the Office of the Third Sector.
The £130m, three-year fund is split into two parts: an £80m small grants programme for community organisations working with vulnerable people, and £50m of match funding to double donations by others to locally-based endowments that will provide long-term support for small organisations beyond 2011.
The figures show that nearly 13,500 grants worth an average of £2,500 each were distributed between September 2008 and September 2009.
Endowments received 8,500 donations from individuals and businesses worth an average of £1,600 each, amounting to a total of nearly £14m. Topped up with the programme's £11m match funding, they have grown by just over £25m.
The discrepancy between the local contributions and match funding results from the fact that distribution of the match funds has been devolved to local managers, some of whom have decided - because of a high level of local donations - to allocate them at a level of less than one for one in order to make their pot go further.
Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector, welcomed the figures and encouraged other organisations with annual incomes of less than £30,000 to apply for the grants, worth between £250 and £5,000 each.