Circle of Change - Greater Belfast area

Purpose of the Fund

The Circle of Change is a group of people from all backgrounds across Northern Ireland who have come together to talk about and learn from each other about the root causes of issues affecting our communities, and over 6 months to pool some of their own money and make grants to organisations working on those issues.

The Circle of Change Fund can provide unrestricted ‘core’ funding, based on us seeing evidence that the funding will contribute to the work of the organisation that is aligned to the criteria.

The Circle of Change particularly seeks to fund projects that are innovative or new, and that could not be funded by statutory sources of income.  We want to support projects that are addressing the systemic causes of poverty in Northern Ireland; or that recognise the legacy of underlying sectarianism that influences many of our social problems.

We will fund:

  • Charities and constituted organisations but not individuals

  • Core funding (if the organisation could demonstrate how what they were doing met our criteria) and project funding

  • We will fund organisations with a turnover of up to £300K

  • We will fund projects in the Belfast Metropolitan Area (a grouping of council areas which include commuter towns and overspill from Belfast, Northern Ireland, combining the Belfast, Lisburn, Newtownabbey, North Down, Castlereagh and Carrickfergus districts).

Grants available:

Grant size: typically £7,500 or below; but in exceptional circumstances the group may offer an award of up to £10,000


We will fund organisations and projects under the following themes:

  • Mental health and the associated risks of suicide and addiction

  • Homelessness and housing

  • Minority communities – including LGBT+ people and migrant communities

  • Projects that are enabling leadership and positive role models amongst groups that are vulnerable

Applicants must have a signed, locally adopted governing document as well as associated paperwork such as accounts, current account, management committee, relevant policies, in the name of the applicant organisation.

The Fund is managed by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and will open for applications on Wednesday 23rd January 2019 and close for applications on Monday 18th February 2019 at 5:00pm.

For more information and to apply please visit