Aviva Community Fund opens

Four out of five community groups are ‘not confident’ they can raise sufficient funds to remain active in the next financial year

• £3,697 is the average sum local groups and charities need to sustain annual funding
• The Aviva Community Fund launches today; 362 projects will receive funding awards from £1,000 up to £25,000

More than four out of five (85%) of the nation’s local groups and charities are not confident that they can secure their minimum funding target to remain active in the next financial year* according to new research by the UK’s largest insurer, Aviva.

A survey of 2,000 people involved in local community and charity organisations, commissioned to mark the launch of the Aviva Community Fund - a new initiative launching today offering funding and support for inspirational local causes – calculated that the average additional sum required to sustain the annual day-to-day running of such groups is £3,697.

Almost half (47%) of local community groups, charities and organisations across the UK believe that additional funding of £1,000 or less would suffice.

Jacquie Irvine of Good Values, an independent consultancy that works closely with charities and companies on their community programmes, said:

“Local charities and community groups have a hugely positive impact on our society, and while many are concerned about their long-term future, finding the funds to sustain themselves over the next financial year is the biggest worry. Many are working under pressure to raise funds and secure their future.”

“But Aviva’s research shows that as little as £1,000 can make a huge difference to grassroots charities and community groups.”

Heather Smith, Director of Aviva’s UK Direct business, said:

“From today, anyone in the UK can enter the Aviva Community Fund to nominate a community group, club or charity for one of 362 different awards, ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000. The different levels of funding mean that everyone has the chance to make a difference to their local community and support a cause close to their heart.”

Director who worked on award-winning documentary films local stories on smartphone

To support the launch of the Aviva Community Fund and inspire local groups, Aviva has produced three short documentaries by director Heidi Greensmith who produced a BAFTA award-winning documentary. Captured using just a smartphone, the documentaries demonstrate how anyone can use everyday technology to tell their story**.

The films - entitled ‘Community’ - tell the inspirational human stories of the work done by three different local groups and organisations that have previously received funding from Aviva: a boys’ football club in the Outer Hebrides, a Belfast charity offering support for families affected by suicide and a Battersea inner-city activity group, for underprivileged young people.

Get involved

To view Heidi Greensmith’s Community films or submit a project for funding, simply visit www.aviva.co.uk/community-fund. Anyone can enter the competition by submitting an idea for a project that will make a real difference to their community cause and then rallying their local community to vote for their idea.

The entries with the highest number of votes will be selected as finalists to go through to the judging phase where, if they are selected, they will be awarded funding in July 2015.

In addition to the funding available, an online toolkit has been created by an expert panel: the Aviva Community Fund Team. The toolkit provides specialist support for local groups on how to tell their stories and secure votes. The team comprises media experts including filmmaker Heidi Greensmith, leading mummy blogger Alison Perry, and Maria Purcell and Nick Pestell of Facebook.

Together they have created a free online resource that gives inside tips, tricks of the trade and beginners’ guides on everything from how to write a compelling entry and content creation to driving awareness through social media and PR advice on how to get into local news.