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The Bristol Impact Fund

The Bristol Impact Fund

What the Bristol Impact Fund is

In 2017 Bristol City Council set out a new strategic approach to grant investment aiming to tackle inequality. This brought together 8 of the council’s grant funds to create a new programme called the Bristol Impact Fund (BIF).

This programme offers:

  • four-year grant funding to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations in the city 
  • smaller grants for 18 months to encourage new ideas and involvement from more diverse communities

Bristol Impact Fund first round, 2017 to 2021

The first round of the Bristol Impact Fund provided grant investment to projects that deliver support to people facing disadvantage and inequality in the city, and aimed to: 

  • reduce disadvantage and inequality 
  • improve health and wellbeing 
  • increase resilience 

Current grants run until: 

  • 30 September 2021 for medium to large grants 
  • 31 December 2021 for small grants 

Bristol Impact Fund second round, 2021 to 2025

The goal of the second round of Bristol Impact Fund is to grow the power of local communities that experience the greatest inequality.   

The second round of Bristol Impact Fund will have a budget of £1.45 million in year 1 and then £1.65 million for years 2, 3 and 4 each, totalling £6.4 million over 4 years.

Over these 4 years, the Bristol Impact Fund aims to help equalities-led groups, neighbourhood communities and people experiencing the greatest inequality to: 

  • self-organise and pursue collective priorities
  • access trusted, empowering support
  • build strong organisations taking forward community priorities  
  • collaborate and bring about meaningful changes 

Types of grants available

Medium and large grants 

Medium and large grants will run for the full 4-year funding period, from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2025.

Medium grants range between £10,001 and £49,999 per year.

Large grants range between £50,000 and £200,000 per year.

There’ll be an upper limit of £200,000 per application and the average grant to a single organisation is expected to be about £50,000. 

Applications for over £100,000 will need to come from more than one organisation and show very strong community building principles that will make a significant impact. 

We also propose up to £355,000 per year for a collaborative application to support people and communities who experience hate crime and discrimination.

Small grants 

The purpose of the small grants fund is to encourage new ideas and involvement from more diverse communities.

Existing small grants end on 31 December 2021. New small grants will start on 1 July 2022. 

Small grants are between £2,500 and £10,000 per year. 

There'll be two funding rounds of small grants, each lasting 18 months and with £150,000 available in each round: 

  • round 1 is from July 2022 to December 2023
  • round 2 is from January 2024 to June 2025

More details on how to apply for a small grant will be published in late 2021.

Information sessions and workshops

Bristol City Council information sessions

The grants team held 3 online sessions on how you can apply in early to mid-March. Two more sessions were also held in late March in partnership with Black South West Network.

If you were unable to attend the sessions, you might find it helpful to look at some of the resources below:

Voscur support workshops

Voscur have support workshops to help with your application on topics such as:

  • good governance
  • basic bid-writing
  • online surgeries
  • monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • collaboration

Apply for a grant

Medium or large grants

The deadline for applications is 12noon on Monday 17 May 2021.  

You must register your organisation on the ProContract system if you want  to apply for a medium or large grant, under the category ‘Other community, social and personal services’.

How to apply:

  1. Read the Overview of Bristol Impact Fund: Growing the Power of Communities (pdf, 4MB) (opens new window) and the more detailed Guidance on how to apply (pdf, 697KB) (opens new window) .
  2. Register on ProContract, and register your interest in the Bristol Impact Fund opportunity (Ref:DN522274).
  3. Complete all parts of the application (Part 1 and Part 2) and submit on ProContract allowing plenty of time ahead of the deadline.

We use an electronic system to manage this Bristol Impact Fund grants round and to communicate with applicants. There’ll be no hard copy documents issued to applicants and all communications with us about the grants, including the submission of applications, will be through ProContract.

We have put together a step by step guide (pdf, 1.3MB) (opens new window) to applying for Bristol Impact Fund using ProContract. You can also watch video tutorials on the ProContract Help Centre for help with using the system.

Small grants

More details on how to apply for a small grant will be published in late 2021.  

Baseline standards

We've developed a set of baseline standards to protect our investment in the voluntary and community sector and make sure that all council funded organisations are well managed and provide good quality services.

All Bristol Impact Funded organisations are required to meet these standards, or to work towards them within the first 6 months of the programme.

You can find out more about this in the guidance on how to apply.

What we have funded so far

The first round of the Bristol Impact Fund offered: 

  • medium or large Bristol Impact Fund  grants, funding projects for 4 years, from July 2017 to September 2021 
  • small Bristol Impact Fund  grants, funding projects for 2 years, from July 2017 to June 2019, and January 2020 to December 2021 

Since its launch, 70 organisations have received grants and 7,000 volunteers have been involved in projects that have: 

  • reduced financial, food and fuel poverty 
  • tackled unemployment 
  • improved people’s access to technology 
  • enabled people to better participate in their community 
  • reduced social isolation 
  • improved wellbeing

You can find details on projects that: 

Evaluation 

In 2020 we commissioned an independent evaluation of the first 2 years of the Bristol Impact Fund (pdf, 857KB) (opens new window) to show the impact the funded projects are having.

VCS Prospectus 

Our approach to grant funding in the first round of Bristol Impact Fund is explained in the: 

If  you any have questions, email investmentandgrants@bristol.gov.uk