Funders Spotlight: Henry Smith Charity – Strengthening Communities


The Henry Smith Charity aims to use its resources to help people and communities at a time of need and to bring about positive change. It achieves this by funding organisations that work with people to reduce social and economic disadvantage.

There are two main grant programmes – Improving Lives and Strengthening Communities – as well as a number of small grant programmes including Holiday Grants for Children, Christian Projects, and the Kindred (descendants of Henry Smith). Each programme has separate guidelines, application material and assessment process; these are all available on the website, which also offers details of grants provided over the past three years to give an idea of the type of projects supported.

The charity is especially keen to promote the Strengthening Communities Grant Programme to North East groups.

This programme will cover running costs for small, grassroots organisations embedded in the community and working within the most deprived areas. Services should be widely accessible to the whole community and respond to – and address – the needs of the people living in it.

Grants of £20k-£60k per year over up to three years are available (most are for three years). There are no deadlines and decisions will be made within six months.

Community-led charities and other not for profit organisations are eligible, provided they

  • have an income of £20k-£500k
  • are both physically based and working within, or immediately next to, one of the 10 per cent most deprived areas
  • are established, with a track record of delivering services directly to beneficiaries.

The charity wants to fund work that enables

  • people from across the community to participate in activities that improve connectedness, opportunities and wellbeing
  • people who are excluded, vulnerable or facing other forms of hardship to have access to community-based services that support positive, lasting change
  • a stronger, active, more engaged community.

Find out more