Sources of funding for oral history projects

There are a vast number of organisations, including major charities, that provide funding for projects, from a few pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds. The difficulty is to find the level and type of funding that is right for your project. Funding organisations also have their own set of criteria which can change from year to year – it is therefore important that you are quite clear of the objective of your own project.

The main priority is therefore to give time and thought to a number of areas such as:

  • WHAT is the purpose of your project? What end result are you aiming to achieve? What is the potential impact of your project on your local community?
  • HOW does your project tie in with any local initiatives – community/social/environmental?
  • WHO will be involved in your project? Will it be an individual or small group or will the wider community be involved? Is the group an existing one? Do you need to formalise it - for example with a constitution and a bank account? Who do you need in your group?
  • DO these people already have the required skills, or is one of the project’s aims to teach new skills or enhance existing ones? There are many award schemes that provide both funding and training.

There are many possible areas of available funding, all of which have their own specific criteria. Don't be put off if at first you don't succeed. There are a huge number of award schemes. A few are listed below - talk to them at the very beginning of the planning stage. Also shown are a number of websites that provide a wealth of information.

Sources of funding


For an idea about grant-giving organisations, a good place to start is the FunderFinder website

Awards For All

These are grants of between £300 and £10,000 for people to take part in art, sport, heritage and community activities, and projects that promote education, the environment and health in the local community. Applications can be made at any time, and you will be notified of the decision within eight weeks. See the Awards for All website.

Heritage Lottery Fund

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust awards grants across coalfield areas in Britain. Projects must fit into one or more of the following themes: Supporting communities; Learning communities; Enterprising communities; and Supporting people into work. 'Bridging the Gap' offers £500 - £10,000, while the main grants programme covers requests between £10,000 and £300,000. See the Coalfields Regeneration Trust website.

Rural Community Council (Leicestershire and Rutland)

The RCC provides a range of services including help and advice in developing community projects. It can signpost the way to organisations that can provide expertise, funding and other means of support. See the RCC website for more details.