IGNITE provides funding to support a charity to get started.

Open to organisations recently set up (within last 2 years).  Groups must be registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. (if registered with another charity regulator in the UK/Ireland, it must show that you operate in Northern Ireland.)

Priority will be given to charities with limited funds available to them.

In line with the priorities of The Halifax Foundation, your charity must support people in greatest need. For example, supporting people living in poverty; those who are unemployed; those with disabilities or mental ill health. (This is not an exhaustive list – other areas of need will be considered.)

IGNITE is a rolling programme, however it will close when the budget is reached. This is a pilot programme with the potential to support 20 – 40 applications. 

FLEXIBILITY COMMITTMENT – We recognise that costs you need supported at the time of application may not be what you need throughout the lifetime of your grant. We 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.)



Social and Community Welfare

Community Services: Family centres, youth clubs, senior groups, after school clubs, self-help groups, childcare provision, preschools and playgroups.

Advice Services: Homelessness, addictions, bereavement, family guidance, money advice, helplines, suicide awareness.

People with disabilities: Residences, day centres, transport, carers, information, advice and advocacy.

Promotion of health: Information and advice, mental health support, independent living, day care.

Civic Responsibility: Young people at risk, crime prevention, promotion of volunteering, victim support, mediation, rehabilitation of offenders.

Cultural Enrichment: Improving access to the arts and heritage for those in greatest need.

Education and Training

Employment: Employability skills, personal development support, interview and job coaching.

Training and Education: Accredited, vocational, personal development training, life skills.

*We have developed additional guidance for PTAs. Click here for further information.




Your group 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 residing in Northern Ireland.

If you currently hold a grant, you cannot be considered for an IGNITE grant.

Your group needs to be newly set up to be eligible for this funding. The date your group was formally set up is the date your constitution was adopted and signed. If this date is greater than 2 years, you cannot apply for IGNITE but you may be eligible for support via our Community FLEX Programme

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

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
  • Minutes of the Board meeting in which the constitution was adopted


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 and why it was set up
  • The funding you need, including details of your beneficiaries
  • The budget


Scroll to the right to view the timeline.

We offer monthly pre-application sessions online as well as one to one pre-application calls. Contact us on grants@halifaxfoundationni.org to book in.
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 will produce a report on your application which 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 date that you submitted to process your application, carry out the assessment and share the decision with you.
A Grant Acceptance email will be sent to you. Your chair must sign up to the terms & conditions of grant and send payment details. Once received, your grant payment (in full) will be made to your 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.
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If you are sure the IGNITE Programme is suitable for your organisation

If you are sure the IGNITE Programme is suitable

Other Programmes

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.

This programme is open to infrastructure charities, both regional and sub-regional who provide advice and support to voluntary and community organisations.

To celebrate 40 years of grant-giving, we are launching a multi-year programme open to charities with an income of £250,000 or less.

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

If you are sure the IGNITE Programme is suitible