Community Partnership grants


About Community Partnership grants

Applications for Community Partnership grants are currently closed.

All future funding opportunities for UK Aid Direct will be announced on this website. You can also keep up to date by following our Twitter (opens in a new window) and Facebook (opens in a new window) channels.

Eligibility for a Community Partnership grant

Community Partnership grants are currently closed to new applications.

Community Partnership grants are for small, non-governmental organisations.

To verify your eligibility online, you can enter the grant application portal. Simply complete the prompts and submit and you will be informed immediately if you are eligible to continue with your application. And don’t worry, you don’t need to be ready to complete your application at this stage. You will be provided with a login and password that will allow you to return to your application once you have read and watched all the guidance available to you.

In summary however, you will need to be

  • Registered as a not-for-profit organisation in the UK
  • Registered in one of the lowest 50 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI) or
  • Registered in a country considered by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to be of high or moderate fragility

When assessing where an organisation is based, the UK Aid Direct team look beyond legal registration and also consider where the organisation is controlled from and the level of autonomy of different offices. This relates to the governance and, in particular financial management of the entity. For instance if a grant applicant is registered in Bangladesh (an eligible country, in the lowest 50 countries in the UN HDI) but all management support functions take place in the United States Head Office (an ineligible country), with very little autonomy in the Bangladesh office, this will deem the organisation to be ineligible.

To be considered as registered in the UK, your organisation must:

  • have its own legal identity in the UK, and be registered with Companies House and/or Charity Commission;
  • have significant ongoing operations based in the UK related to the oversight and management of the UK Aid Direct grant

The status of the applicant organisation will be verified during due diligence.

The organisation must have an average income of less than £1,000,000 per annum for the past 3 years, as shown in approved organisational accounts. Relevant documentation may be requested as evidence.

New organisations with fewer than 3 years of accounts may also apply and in such cases, average annual income will be calculated based on the organisation’s length of operation.

There is also a maximum grant allowance per organisation. In the case of Community Partnership grants this is a maximum of two live grants at any one time (a live grant is a project with more than nine months left to run from the start date of the UK Aid Direct call for proposals).

The maximum combined grant model allowance is five live UK Aid Direct grants of different grant types.

Grant size

Applicants can apply for up funding for up to £250,000 per grant.


Alongside other factors, DFID will consider:

  • The financial capacity of an organisation to manage the size of grant applied for
  • The dependency that the applicant organisation has or will have on DFID funding
  • The diversity of organisations able to access DFID funding and market share.

Project countries

Projects can be set up in one or more of these project countries, made up of the lowest 50 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI) and countries DFID considers to be of high or moderate fragility.

UK Aid Direct funds cannot be used for poverty alleviation work or awareness raising activities in the UK.


All applicants will need to demonstrate how they are working with national level implementing partners to create and build partnerships that can drive relevant sustainable development results.

There is no set prescription for the number of partners you might need, it depends very much on your organisation and the project you are hoping to deliver.

What we will not fund

We cannot fund certain types of organisations or projects. Learn more on the what will not be funded page.


UK Aid Direct Community Partnership grants can be used to fund new, time-limited projects of up to 36 months (3 years) duration.

Matched funding

No match-funding is required for Community Partnership grants. It can be included in budgets where useful.

Additional components of on-going programmes must be clearly identifiable as discrete projects, with a well-defined project outcome, a clear, time-limited schedule for delivery, and a distinct budget.

Consortium applications

For the purpose of the UK Aid Direct programme, DFID defines consortium applications as those submitted by formal consortia only, i.e. where two or more organisations come together to create a new, formally constituted organisation, with its own organisational accounts.

Informal consortia, i.e. where two or more organisations work together on a specific project or initiative only, will be considered as partnerships, as defined in the Partnerships and Consortiums page.

All formal consortium members must meet the UK Aid Direct Community Partnership applicant organisation eligibility criteria.

To be eligible:

  • The average annual income of each consortium member organisation must be less than £1,000,000
  • The total combined income of consortium members may exceed £1,000,000
  • If registered as a separate legal entity, the average annual income of the consortium must be less than £1,000,000.

If the formal consortium does not have its own management structure, one member of the consortium will need to be elected as the ‘lead’ organisation, i.e. the organisation through which all funding would be channelled and who would operate as the main point of contact with DFID for the duration of the project.

Organisations may apply both as an individual organisation and as a member of a consortium at the same time. If successful, the consortium grant would be counted as a grant held by each of the consortium members and would count towards the maximum combined grant model allowance of five live UK Aid Direct grants of different type types.

Applying for a Community Partnership grant

Community Partnership grants are currently closed to new applications.

Applying for a Community Partnership grant is a two-stage process and all eligible applications are assessed by a team of independent reviewers:

  1. The submission of a concept note
  2. A full application (if an organisation is successful at the concept note stage).

All applications must be submitted via the online portal reached from this website. Applications sent via email or post will not be accepted.

Completing a concept note application:

  • Register online to apply
  • Complete an eligibility assessment
  • Complete a concept note.

Before starting a application, please:

  • Review your eligibility
  • Read all the guidance available
  • Visit our where we work page and specifically filtered by Community Partnership grants, to see what kind of projects have been supported in the past
  • Watch the short online application film on YouTube (opens in a new window).

Please refer to the news page on our website for the latest information. We also encourage applicants to follow the UK Aid Direct on Twitter (opens in a new window).

Community Partnership concept note

Eligible concept notes will be assessed in relation to the following criteria:

Project relevance

A concept note must demonstrate:

  • Clear analysis of the project context and justification for the project
  • Clear outline of proposed changes the project will make
  • Clear description of the way the project will engage with the target population
  • How the project will link with and work towards the UK Aid Direct priorities, the UK Aid Direct Theory of Change and the Global Goals.

Organisational capacity

A concept note must demonstrate that:

Sustainability and costs

A concept note must demonstrate that:

  • The project will have a sustainable impact
  • The intended costs are realistic.

The following documents will need to be uploaded with the concept note:

  • Annual Audited Accounts for the last three years
  • Draft project budget.

Please note: there is no limit to the number of concept notes that one organisation, consortium or family of organisations can submit during one funding round.

However, the maximum combined grant model allowance is five live UK Aid Direct grants of different types.

A live grant is a project with more than nine months left to run from the start date of the UK Aid Direct call for proposals.

Community Partnership full application

If your application has been successful and you have been invited to submit a full application for a Community Partnership grant, please read the information contained below to understand what is required of you. The closing date is Thursday 22 August 2019 at 17:00 (BST).

Simply select the + sign on the right hand side to expand the sections and read further. Here you will find the guidance and templates you will need. These are designed for you to read and share with your colleagues and partners before completing and submitting again.

General guidance for applying for a Community Partnership grant