Nationwide Building Society was founded to help people into homes of their own and its ambition that everyone should have a place fit to call home stands firm today. The Nationwide Community Grants programme awards up to £500,000 across eight UK regions annually and is looking for local housing projects that will strengthen your local community by supporting the most vulnerable, finding new approaches to increasing the supply of housing or by reinventing renting for both tenants and landlords.


How it works

Charities, Community Land Trusts and housing co-operatives can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 to make a change in your local area. The applications will be reviewed and voted on by a regional Community Board, made up of Nationwide members, colleagues and local housing charities. And it’s more than just money, the funded projects will also get community and volunteering support.


Who we will fund

This fund is open to registered UK charities, Community Land Trusts and housing co-operatives.

Partnership and consortia are encouraged to apply. There will be a lead partner that submits the bid and will manage the funds if successful. Lead partners must be an eligible entity but can partner with: statutory organisations, housing associations, companies limited by guarantee with charitable objectives, community interest companies, constituted community or voluntary sector groups. Partnerships should be established before applying.

As a building society, Nationwide takes all necessary steps to prevent financial crime. To do this, they will instruct their third-party payments provider to run due diligence checks on successful organisations before any payments can be made.


This fund is not open to:

  • Projects run by organisations which are not UK registered charities, Community Land Trusts or housing co-operatives. Organisations who wish to gain charitable status before the Nationwide Community Board meets to assess projects will be considered. Your local Community Foundation may be able to support with this
  • Individuals or individual sponsorship
  • Activities connected to a political party
  • Activities generating private profit
  • Organisations operating outside the geographical boundaries of the fund
  • Organisations with a religious affiliation are welcome to apply but we do not fund religious activities and we will prioritise projects which benefit all possible target beneficiaries irrespective of religious belief.



For the shortlisting process we will prioritise organisations that:

  • Are based in the local community
  • That can evidence knowledge of local issues and have a network of local connections
  • Illustrate a clear link to Nationwide’s ambition for everyone to have a place fit to call home and can demonstrate the impact their project will have on the local community
  • Plan to use original and creative approaches to address local need
  • Have robust plans to measure and report on the difference the grant will make
  • Can demonstrate sustainability beyond the life of the grant, by building the skills of staff and volunteers, diversifying funding streams and providing long-term solutions for the people they are helping
  • Have projects/ideas that have the potential to be used by others across the country
  • Support the creation, evaluation and research of new ways to challenge the housing crisis in the UK

Before you submit your application you may find it useful to take a look at some of the projects previously funded by the Nationwide Community Grants programme, you’ll find a summary of these at


What we will fund

  • Core costs – budget for running and facility costs, office equipment, supplies, any travel and accommodation, printing etc.  (No more than 20% of the awarded grant should be spent on core costs. This does not include staff costs which should be treated separately).
  • Staff costs for the lead partner – budget for staffing, including full-time staff, part-time staff, project delivery staff costs and other related expenses, e.g. translation. (Staff costs will not be funded for statutory organisations, housing associations or constituted community and voluntary sector organisations, that are applying in partnership with an eligible entity).
    All staff costs must be paid at least the Real Living Wage determined by the Living Wage Foundation
  • Development and capacity building costs – budget to help build capacity and sustainability of organisation e.g. staff/volunteer training, external consultancy fees.
  • Volunteer costs – budget for reimbursements of expenses, e.g. telephone calls, travel and meals.
  • Activity costs – budget for resources to facilitate a project/activity that fall outside capital, volunteer or staffing costs, e.g. catering, insurance.
  • Small-scale capital costs – budget for small-scale set up costs including one-off expenses for equipment or fixed assets that may have use or benefit beyond the life of the grant/one financial year, such as computer hardware. This can also include perishable capital, which are items that are required for the delivery of a project, such as paint, paintbrushes and gardening equipment.
  • Building works and refurbishment costs will be considered where they are essential to the successful delivery of the project.

The funding period is between one and two years. Nationwide will part-fund project costs of over 50% of the total project cost, but organisations must be able to secure the remaining project costs within two months of the award.


What we won’t fund

  • Major/large-scale capital costs – vehicles, land, property.
  • Retrospective costs – reimbursement for costs already incurred.
  • Over 25% of your annual income.
  • Less than 50% of a total project cost, project costs of over 50% will be part funded if the organisation can secure the remaining project costs within two months of the award.


Click here to download the full eligibility criteria and to apply to the Nottinghamshire Building Society Community Fund