The EMPOWER programme is open to infrastructure charities only, regional or subregional, that support voluntary & community groups. 

To be eligible for this fund, your group must be registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. If you are registered with another charity regulator in the UK/Ireland, it must show that you operate in Northern Ireland.

Applicants must have at least one year of annual returns published on Charity Commission NI website.

Applications must be strategic/transformational in nature. Projects must not duplicate activities supported by or the responsibility of government departments.

EMPOWER closes on Friday 28th June 2024 at 12noon. Awards will be made in August, with a start date of September 2024.  

Applicants must have a pre-application call with a member of the Grants Team prior to submitting an application. To book a call, please contact grants@halifaxfoundationni.org


FLEXIBILITY COMMITMENT – We recognise that costs you need supported at the time of application may not be what you need throughout the lifetime of your grant. Should you be successful with your application, we would encourage you to speak to your grants officer should things change and we will endeavour to be as flexible as possible (Please note: You must receive confirmation of approval before changes are made.)


Your groups needs to be a registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or other charity regulator within the UK or Ireland.  Your application must support people or groups from Northern Ireland.

We will not ask you to provide your accounts, as we can view then on the charity regulator website. Accounts must be uploaded within 10 months of your financial year end, as per charity commission guidelines. If you have not uploaded your accounts within this timeframe, your application cannot be considered.

In addition, you must follow the rules around the minimum number of Trustees/Board Members as set out in your governing document.

If you work with children, young people or vulnerable adults, you must have a safeguarding policy in place. For further information published by NSPCC, click here

You will not be able to submit an application if you do not have adequate insurance cover to

run your charity and activities contained in your application.

For guidance published by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, click here

We do not accept applications completed by a professional fundraising consultant. If you need support to complete this application, sign up for one of our monthly support sessions at grants@halifaxfoundationni.org



You will need an electronic copy of the following documents to attach with your application:

  • Your governing document (signed by an office bearer)
  • A recent bank statement (within last 3 months) unredacted
  • We will check the Charity Commission NI website for your accounts, so make sure they are up to date. 


In the application form, we will be asking you questions about:

  • Contact details of a main contact and your Chairperson
  • The activities of your charity
  • The funding you need, including details of your beneficiaries
  • The budget
  • Most recent financial information, including income, expenditure and reserves


Scroll to the right to view the timeline.

You must contact us prior to submitting an application to discuss the project. Contact grants@halifaxfoundationni.org to book.
Application phase
Once your application is received, it is checked for completeness and an eligibility check is carried out. Should something be missing, we will email you and give you one week to send the outstanding information to us.
A Grants Officer will be assigned to your application and will contact you to discuss your application further. The Grants Officer’s report is presented to the Grants Team. The team will agree a recommendation.
Your application will be presented to our Grants Committee who meet approximately every 7 weeks. The recommendations are sent to our Board of Trustees for final ratification. We ask that you give us 10 weeks from the submission date to process your application, carry out the assessment and share the decision with you.
A Grant Acceptance email will be sent to you. The chair of the lead collaborator must sign up to the terms & conditions of grant on behalf of the collaborating charities. You must also sign the collaboration agreement prior to payment being released. Once received, your grant payment (in full) will be made to the lead charity bank account.
You are expected to retain all information relating to the grant including financial records. For more information, see our Financial Management Factsheet You may be asked to provide us with progress reports.
When your funding comes to an end, you are required to complete an evaluation form, highlighting the impact of your grant and how you spent the grant. You may receive a visit from a member of the grants team to close off the grant. You may then be eligible to reapply for further support.
Step 1 of 7
Step 2 of 7
Step 3 of 7
Step 4 of 7
Step 5 of 7
Step 6 of 7
Step 7 of 7

The EMPOWER programme is coming in June 2024

The EMPOWER Programme is now OPEN

Other Grants Programmes

Open to groups who are recently set up (within last 2 years). Groups must be registered with Charity Commission NI. It provides funding to support a charity to get started

This programme is open to registered charities with an income of under £500,000, supporting people in greatest need.

This programme is open to 2 or more registered charities with an income of under £500,000, who are coming together to tackle a social issue at a local level.

Open to registered charities with an income of £250,000 or under, supporting those in greatest need.

In addition to our range of funding opportunities, we are proud to offer our grantees a range of additional support programmes in partnership with our funder Lloyds Banking Group.

The EMPOWER Programme is now OPEN