Youth Genesis

#iwill Fund

The #iwillFund aims to increase youth volunteering and social action by 50% by 2020 and is being delivered by community foundations across England. 

Please note that applications for the #iwillFund are currently closed. Check back here for more details in future.

Local groups can apply for grants between £1,000 and £5,000 for youth social action projects which last up to a year (they can be one-off events). Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities. Social action develops the skills and knowledge of young people that employers look for and benefits the local community. The definition of young people is between 10 and 20, and up to 25 for disabled young people.

Projects (they don’t have to necessarily be led by a youth group) can deliver opportunities in a range of contexts and settings: for example online, extracurricular, in clubs and groups, informally, or as part of structured programmes. Groups should engage young people in ongoing regular volunteering OR demonstrate how another youth-led method will be as effective at engaging young people in social action (for example regular ongoing volunteering may not be achievable for the young people you engage).

Core costs are eligible if the other criteria are met, including how the project meets the principles of great youth social action. Groups must demonstrate that their programme can meet the following quality principles of great youth social action: reflective, challenging, youth-led, socially impactful, progressive, embedded.

We will fund:

  • Staff costs - Budget for staffing, including full-time staff, part time staff and other related expenses
  • 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.

We will prioritise projects that:

  • Seek to increase participation from young people from less affluent social economic groups, hard to reach groups and people who might not usually take part in social action;
  • Are working with young people at the younger end of the spectrum (10-14 years old)
  • Build the appetite of young people to continue with social action; support habit forming behaviour; leave a legacy of behaviour/activity after the funding stops
  • Involve young people in planning, delivery and evaluation
  • Give young people the opportunity to learn new skills and develop their character and confidence
  • Give young people the platform to get their voice heard.

We will not fund:

  • Statutory services
  • Activities promoting party political activity
  • Capital costs / large equipment costs – small scale equipment, such as tools are acceptable up to 10% of the requested grant
  • Individual sponsorship
  • Activities generating private profit
  • Faith groups are welcome to apply but activities which evangelise or proselytise religious beliefs will not be eligible. Projects that only work with one faith are also not eligible.

We are looking to fund projects ranging:

  • From traditional social action such as regular youth volunteering at a care home
  • To newer ways to create positive social impact such as micro-volunteering activities where individual young people decide what they want to do. For example, a group of friends might create a social media campaign promoting positive body image


  • Involve young people in planning, delivery and evaluation
  • Sociable enjoyable activities work well
  • Opportunities to learn useful skills and demonstrate reliability are valued
  • Flexibility and responsiveness is key
  • Bite size events are a good option

How to apply

  • Applications for this are currently closed. Check back here in the future for more information and updates.

Case Studies

Read about Exwick Youth Council who received funding from the #iwill Programme. 

If you are unsure about any of the above criteria or have any other queries, please contact our Grants Team on 01884 235887 or email


The money for this fund has been provided by The Big Lottery and the Government Office for Civil Society.