Exeter Connect can respond to your group or organisation in a customised way depending on your circumstances and needs, however it can be helpful to know about some places to start when investigating funding.

We can also help if you do not have a bank account, offering to hold up to £1,000 for you, to allow your project or activity to progress. Please contact us to discuss this further if this could be of help to you.

Exeter City Council Grants Funding Options

The Exeter City Council Grants Programme offers support for community groups and organisations to work on local projects that help make Exeter such a great place to live.

You can find out more and apply on the Exeter City Council website. If you would like any support with applying, Exeter Connect can support you with this so please contact us.

A small fenced off garden with a sign in front which reads 'St. Thomas Community Garden'
St Thomas Community Garden

Community groups can apply for a maximum grant of £500. A Ward Grant can support a community project, a local community festival, a local theatre production or a craft group. Examples of costs that could be supported include equipment or resources, publicity, materials, and refreshments. Applicants for a Ward Grant will need to demonstrate that there is community support for your project.

Ward grants are for one-off purchases or events and cannot be used for on-going running costs such as wages, utility bills, rent etc. You can apply for a ward grant for a project to cover one ward.


Community Associations can apply for a grant for up to three years to contribute to the annual running costs of your community centre. You can apply for a maximum of £5,000 per year: £15,000 over the 3 year period. The aim of the 3 year funding is to help Community Associations with their financial planning.

This fund is to contribute to the everyday running costs of community centres such as wages, utility bills, rent etc.

Community Building Fund Grants will be for a maximum of 50% of the funding target unless your Community Centre is in one of the 20 target communities in which case you can apply for up to 80% of your annual running costs.

Five people holding bags of food in front of a building that says 'Exwick Community Centre' on the front.
Inclusive Exeter
Three people standing on a patch of grass and smiling
Wonford Planters

The Exeter Small Grants Fund will support groups and organisations with a one-off grant of up to £3,000 to help run events, festivals and projects that aim to encourage community participation.

This fund can also be used for a one-off purchase or repair of equipment.

Awards will be for a maximum of 80% of the funding target.

As part of your match funding, Exeter City Council will consider counting the projected hours of volunteer involvement for the delivery of the project. A volunteering hour is valued at £10. You will need to estimate the amount of volunteer time your project will generate. For example if you are having four volunteers each giving five hours to help support your project, simply times 4 x 5 = 20 hours at £10 = £200 contribution to your project.

The Exeter Large Grants Fund will support groups and organisations with grants of up to £30,000 to pay towards building or refurbishment costs of your community building, or the purchase of equipment.

You will need to demonstrate a minimum of 50% match funding to secure this grant, unless you are in a target community in which case you may be able to receive up to 80% of the funding target up to £30,000.

This is where crowdfunding may be really helpful, especially if you can identify a particular aspect that you would like to raise funds for.

Group of people wearing visors and sorting through boxes of food
St Katherine's Community Larder

Devon County Council Funding Options

Devon County Council provides the latest information on funding opportunities to support business, environmental and social projects in Devon.

Councillors can also use their locality budget fund to support projects or activities that benefit the communities they represent. Any constituted not-for-private-profit voluntary or community group can apply to their local county councillor for a grant.

General funding tips and support options

GRIN is a Devon based organisation which sends out a daily funding bulletin with information about upcoming local and national funding.

Devon Community Foundation (DCF) provides grants to local groups across Devon. The majority of grants it awards are between £1,000 and £5,000 and the DCF is particularly interested in supporting smaller community groups. 

My Funding Central is a regularly updated funding database with customised search options. Membership is free for organisations with incomes of under £30,000. 

Crowdfund Devon supports community groups and charities across the County to raise money from the crowd. Crowdfund partners may be able to match-fund your project.

NCVO membership is free to charities with under £30,000 annual income or a small annual charge for larger groups. NCVO run a range of training courses and the KnowHow section of their website has toolkits and guides for all aspects of charity development and management.

Membership to Small Charities Coalition is also free for charities with incomes of under £1 million, however their specialism is working with ‘not for profits’ that have an income of under £350,000. You do not have to be set up as a charity to register. Small Charities Coalition run the Charity Setup website as well as a range of other resources and training.

The Directory of Social Change provide training courses, publications, online funding databases, research, conferences, a bookshop and resources such as the New Charity Checklist.

For more information on any of these please contact us.

Exeter Connect is also subscribed to various grant finder and search services, some of which are only available as a paid subscription. If you would like us to make a search on behalf of your group, please get in touch.

We promote short term funding opportunities we hear about through our social media and newsletter.

Do you have an idea?

If you have an idea that you would like to discuss, we would love to hear from you!