South West Foundation invests in local communities through small grants, research and   training. The Foundation also offers training for people in communties to  undertake their own research.

New - video library - films by Southwest Foundation showcasing small community groups

Services Currently offered

For Funders

The Foundation undertakes to develop and manage grant programmes for other funders

For Groups

The Foundation currently offers a small grant programme of grants up to £1,000 for small charitable organisations

For the Sector

South West Foundation trains community members in research techniques to enable them to undertake their own research into community needs and seek their own solutions.

South West Foundation Creating Friendships from Jan Crawley on Vimeo.

This is a new video from the most recent in the Women in Communities events.

The next meeting of women involved in communities is on 19th July from 10-12.00

at Oriel Hall, Larkhall Bath, BA1 6RA.

There is also a networking lunch from 12 noon onwards.

More information on flyer below.

Women and communities Bath event flyer
Women and Communities Flyer.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [612.8 KB]

Small Grant Programme Supported by Esmee Fairbairn Opens for Seventh Year

Please see below criteria for the Small Grant Programme aimed at supporting those small charitable organisations working with people most in need in communties.You do not need to be a registerd charity, but we are unable to consider applications from CICs,sports groups and fundraisng organisations for this small grant programme.

Esmee Fairbairn 7 Criteria.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [204.8 KB]

Foundation hits £5 million target in distributing grants to the Voluntary and Community Sector

South West Foundation has been offering services to funders and the Voluntary Sector since 2002.We are delighted to announce that this year we have hit a level of £5million in grants allocated to 1,692, mainly smaller,  community sector organisations.

South West Foundation is an exempt charity, totally independent and does not receive direct funding from government or local authorities.


Women in Communities:New Free Events now booking

For more information and to book your place on the Women in Communities events please contact South West Foundation at:

A series of new events celebrating women's contributions to communities through their involvement in small community groups. Now Booking.

  • Torbay: March 6th:Acorn Centre Torbay: FULLY BOOKED
  • North Devon: 26th March :Barnstable Library: Still Booking
  • More events to be arranged
  • Mells near Frome 
  • Weston Super Mare: North Somerset

Funding for Groups: author Jan Crawley on behalf of South West Foundation - updated October 2017


Latest updated version of publication from South West Foundation with information on funders active in the South West region.Thirty-seven pages of information on funders many with an interest in smaller voluntary organisations.

Please click on link below to download  your free copy.

South West Funding Booklet: author Jan Crawley on behalf of South West Foundation
South West Funding Booklet Oct17.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]
Funding South West Funders Information Booklet
List of funders and their contact details who are currently members of the regional funders' network
Funding South West Funders.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]

Cafe Conversations

South West Foundation has just completed a series of Cafe Conversations. Over 280 members of the Voluntary sector attended the six cafes.These events enabled members of the Voluntary Sector to come together over lunch to discuss hot topics, share their skills and knowledge with other members of the Sector. There was no agenda, no presentations just the opportunity to network ,to link up with others  and enjoy the lunch.

The Foundation would like to thank the Community Cafe's who provided us with such excellent lunches. The Albemarle Centre in Taunton, The SWALLOW Cafe in Radstock, the Olive Tree Cafe in Swindon and Mind in Bath and North East Somerset.

Investing in Local Communities:Foundation Services

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Small Grants.

This grant scheme is aimed  at small charitable community groups supporting people most in need,operating in the rural areas, market and small coastal towns of the South West Region.Maximum grant is £1,000 Please see our Grants Plus Page for more information. 



Support for Groups

South West Foundation invests in local communties. We do this by providing support for Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations and individuals in communities who wish to be involved in community action.The Foundation offers small grants, events and training. The Foundation has trained over 300 individuals from small community groups in the past three years through local seminars and workshops.Useful sample documents and material can be found on the

'GRANTS AND RESOURCES' tab of this website.


Support for funders

Alongside supporting community groups, the Foundation also offers services to funders. We specialise in robust but quick turn around grant processes. Currently on small grants, our turn around time averages 7 days. As well as undertkaing grant management, we also offer funders participatory evaluation and impact assessments on grant programmes.More information can be found on the 'SERVICES' page of this website.


Support for the Sector

Since 2002 the Foundation has been undertaking research into the needs of the sector and its value. Our research has been utilised by the Third Sector Research Council and in Government reports.We aim to keep up the profile of the sector and the people involved in it through this research.Reports can be found on the 'RESEARCH' page of this website and we hope that the evidence contained in these reports may help others with their applications for funding.


Community Based Participatory Research

South West Foundation also specialises in Community Based Participatory Research. The Foundation has trained over 400 community members in community research and participatory evaluation. We are also currently working on a Community Research Project with the University of Bath,Community Matters. Information on this can be found at


Contact Details: email:

Telephone: 01373 813088

Address: The Old Dairy,Woodlands End,Mells, Frome, Somerset BA11 3PE


South West Foundation is registered under The Industrial and Provident Services Act, 1965 as a Charitable Society. Registration number 29124R


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