Deciding Together Local Fund

The Network is 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. The process will be supported by Two Ridings Community Foundation and York MCN.

For more information or to get involved:
Ali Spaul


July 2021

Session 3 of the Deciding Together Participatory Funding Process is now complete

May 2021

In April 2021 we came together to start our work to design and decide a fund of £250,000 to enable systems change activity in York. We were a new group so we needed to build some relationships, but with limited time we quickly got onto the business of how do we allocate this money. Exploring, understanding and comparing models of participatory grant making.

April 2021

Yesterday was the first of six sessions that will bring together people in York.

The following video shows a recording of the first Local Fund Meeting which was held on the 16th March 2021.

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.

What could the Deciding Together Local Fund for York support?

Anything the fund supports should have long term impact in mind rather than meeting direct and immediate need.

The fund may allow people to take a step back, think strategically, explore who they could work with and how they learn from different approaches.  They may experiment, create a prototype and get things wrong.

People do not have to have a detailed plan in place and stick to it for the duration of their funding.  This fund gives people the space for the approach to fully form.  An idea could change and evolve over time as people discover/understand more.

So, it could support:

  • Ideas that are preventative (not crisis management)

  • Ideas that help people come together to make solutions for themselves

  • Ideas that bring people around an issue to address it from multiple angles

  • Breathing space that give people the time to explore systems and perpetuation of multiple disadvantage