Grants to Organisations 1

Women’s Urgent Support Fund Round 1 – CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

Round 1 of the fund will offer emergency funding for organisations delivering frontline services that are led by, for and/or serving women with an income of £1,000,000 or less. The funding will help them address the increase in demand for priority basic needs of women who are most vulnerable to poverty due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Click here for the application form

Click here for the guidance notes

Funding amount

Between £15k-60k to be spent over three years

Length of grant

Three years




Registered charities and not-for-profits with an income of £1,000,000 or less.

Deadline for Round 1

 5pm 19th May 2023

The Women’s Urgent Support Fund is supported by over £3.2 million of National Lottery funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to respond to the cost-of-living crisis. Thanks to National Lottery players, £3 million will be awarded in grants to 60 small, local community organisations led by and serving women, enabling 20,000 women to access vital specialist support services over five years.

Over two rounds of funding we aim to commit 50% of the grants to projects that support women experiencing racial inequality and/or women with disabilities.

In round one we aim to award c.20 grants from a total funding pot of £1,000,000 to be spent over three years.

Our aim is to protect essential services for women most impacted by poverty and the cost-of-living crisis that we know is disproportionately affecting women and the organisations supporting them.

Below are some examples of how funds may be used where there is a need for emergency support and basic needs for women over 18:

  • For organisational costs such as increasing or safeguarding the role of a key worker who is the first line of response to women in crisis.
  • For organisational costs such as covering increased rent for meeting spaces to allow and organisation to continue delivering services meeting basic needs of women in your communities.
  • For services such as emergency provision and distribution of clothing, food and welfare packs to offset the cost-of-living crisis.

Your organisation can apply if you:

  • Are delivering frontline services led by, for and/or serving women
  • Are responding to identified need and demand as a result of the cost-of-living crisis
  • Are based in England, with a turnover of less than £1,000,000

We encourage applications from smaller organisations and will do what we can to support the building of capacity in small organisations that fall within the Fund and Smallwood’s mission on gendered poverty. In a recent, similar fund that we ran in conjunction with Rosa, the Women Thrive Fund, 60% of grants were made to small organisations with annual income of less than £200k. Wherever we can, we will support smaller organisations with capacity building needs that emerge throughout the programme.

What will we fund?

Funds can pay for core and frontline staff salaries, running costs/overheads, provision of services and goods to women, and other organisational costs that will help meet the aims of the fund. You can find a list of the full eligible and ineligible items on page X of the guidance notes. (hyperlink)

How much can I apply for?

A minimum of £15,000 and maximum of £60,000 to be split over three years.

How many grants will be made?

Based on our previous experience of awarding emergency funding, we know that rounds like this are competitive. In similar, previous funding rounds we had enough funding to support:

  • 1 in 4 of every application for two different emergency Covid funds (Winter 2020)
  • 1 in 10 of every application for the Thrive Fund (Spring 2021)

We anticipate the Women’s Urgent Support Fund Round 1 will produce similar demand and encourage applicants to read the guidance notes carefully before submitting an application.

Our grants team will work hard to respond to applicant queries so organisations can make confident and informed decisions.

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on 19th May 2023. In Round 1 we aim to award funds quickly in line with the priority needs.

Round 2 will be launched in Autumn 2023 which will be co-designed will provide funding to help shore up the capacity of vital women’s and specialist services. This will enable them to continue to respond to economic shocks and enable financially vulnerable women to access support to increase their own financial security.

What is the timetable for the fund?

  • Monday 17th April launch
  • Friday 19th May close
  • End July decisions communicated

For unsuccessful applicants we aim to provide individual feedback via email.

How do I apply?

Please find the application form, guidance notes and FAQ attached below.

Completed applications and questions should be submitted to our Programme Manager Rosie Learmonth at

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