Total: £0.00


Log In

Twitter YouTube   

Invitation to rural leaders to apply for funding



Invitation to rural leaders to submit THEIR idea and apply for funding to support the development of a stronger civil society in rural communities


Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Henry Smith Charity are two major independent charitable trusts.  Several years ago they jointly created the Northern Ireland Development Fund as a very innovative funding programme in order to support individual leaders to contribute to a stronger civil society and funded 15 individuals over the course of 3 years

The 15 individuals – across three disciplines, communities, backgrounds and approaches – have decided that by collective action, they can make a distinctive and powerful contribution to building a better society in Northern Ireland.

These individuals have worked together to create a dynamic project called The Xchange.  There are three elements to the programme. 

1.      A Spot and Invest programme, to award grants to individuals to create positive change both within and beyond the confines of their own organisation

2.      Mentoring programme, to support those awarded grants with a relevant Mentor.

3.      Xchange Summer School, which is a platform for discussion and debate on the key challenges and opportunities facing civil society. 

Opportunity for You

We can offer you the opportunity to apply for an average grant of £10K to deliver a project or idea you think can make an impact in this sector, and change things. 

This will be the fourth Spot and Invest programme that the Xchange has facilitated.  In order to achieve a stronger geographical spread we will not accept applications from within the Greater Belfast Area or Derry/Londonderry. We are focusing  on grantees who have a strong rural focus and are committed to a stronger civil society by supporting development in rural areas.  We want to see applications which clearly demonstrate how their work and contribution will support and help communities to make a real difference. 

This will be a competitive process.   

Up to three grants will be awarded through this process.  We can also offer successful applicants our contacts, experience, support and mentoring to help your idea take off, through Mentoring and Peer support. 

We are looking for people who have adventurous ideas and can make a distinctive and powerful contribution to building a better society in rural Northern Ireland, are ready to challenge accepted wisdom and have the skills to influence others.

We expect applications from leaders across the Third Sector and with a strong rural focus. 

We do not prescribe what needs to be done or how to go about it.  We welcome novel ideas and are happy to support a wide range of different kinds of activity.      

The closing date for completed applications is close of business Thursday 19 May.  

You will find below more details about the Fund and how to apply in the attachments below.

Information for Applicants

Spot and Invest Timeline

Individual Application form

Organisational Application form