Grant funding done differently

by the people, for the people

reframe mindset.jpeg

We are inviting people from across the city of York to take part in a participatory funding process.


This process will make sense of where £250,000 should be allocated to help the city better respond to people facing multiple issues.


These issues include: homelessness, addiction and recovery, mental health and wellbeing, poverty and offending. 

"What if the people closest to the need

decided how to resource it?"  

We are looking for people with: 


 knowledge and experience to bring

Whether you have insight gained from experiencing these issues yourself, from a professional role, from the communities you belong to and care about, or from any other perspective, we want to hear from you. 

 a willingness to listen to others and learn

Whether you're interested in learning new skills or care about improving the way the city responds to multiple and complex needs, we would value your input.

Together you will design a way to allocate the funding to people and groups to help the city better respond to these issues.


Taking part will give you:


  •  An understanding of how funding does and could work 

  • The opportunity to make decisions about funding that enables people to re-imagine the way things could be done

  • New skills and capacities that will be useful in many different settings.

  • The chance to meet and connect with others in the city with different life experiences to your own.

shift in decision making.jpeg

You will need to commit around a day a month: 

  • There will be a monthly online meeting, usually 2-3 hours

  • Time in between meetings to understand relevant documents and information 

  • Time to consider and think

  • Occasional other meetings

Register here...

Making participation possible:

  • If digital access is an issue for you please call on the number below and we will do all we can to help you be involved

  • There will be a Bursary Fund to support and enable participation but we don’t expect everyone to need to access it


There will be an open meeting online on Tuesday 16th March 12.30-2.30pm for anyone interested in getting involved. 

If you  have any questions or access requirements, please contact Ali Spaul on: 07979 895103 or

There are a few different examples of participatory funding already established. You can read more about them in the Grassroots Grantmaking: Embedding Participatitory Approaches in Funding report (by Hannah Paterson, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust).

Rolling Collective Model

All grant recipients are involved in the process of both receiving and giving funding. Those who receive funding will then make decisions for the next round of funding.

Closed Collective Model

Most appropriate for a small place or sector. Involves bringing all relevant organisations together to collectively understand needs and decide how best to spend funding available through consensus decision making.

Illustrations by Hannah Paterson


How it all works...

The money used in this process has been provided by the Lankelly Chase Foundation, a funder who has been gifting money in York for a number of years and has supported various projects.

Lankelly Chase want to change the way in which money is donated and distributed, so they are working with Two Ridings Community Foundation  to begin this process of “participatory grant making”. 


A group of people will first come together as a working group, meeting on a regular basis to steer the process of how money is distributed, and how decisions are made.


These meetings aim to build people’s skills and capacities, and enable all local voices to be heard. The ultimate aim is to create an flexible and fluctuating group of people in York who have the capacity to hold this process on their own in future.


It's imagined that there will be one, possibly two rounds of funding – and the aim is to allocate the first round of funding within the next 6 months.

York MCN

15 Priory Street



Site artwork created by Jon Dorsett, Visual Facilitator