Our Funding

Sir John Fisher Foundation invests around £1 million per year in communities around Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. We fund projects and organisations that serve needs and grow aspirations.

Our Criteria

The Foundation funds work that serves needs and grows aspirations in the area around Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. This includes organisations that are based elsewhere but can demonstrate significant benefit in our area of interest. We are unlikely to fund national or regional projects that cannot provide evidence of participants in our area of interest. This map indicates the areas that are eligible for funding. 

We fund registered charities, CIOs and social enterprises (Community Interest Companies and not-for-profit companies with an appropriate asset lock and mission lock). We only fund unregistered community organisations that have a separate bank account and a constitution with an appropriate dissolution clause. 

Applicants must submit:

  • A set of accounts for last financial year 
  • A safeguarding policy 
  • Completed application form.
  • If you are not a registered charity, you must also submit your governing document.  

Please ensure you can meet these criteria before submitting your application. 

What We Fund

The Foundation receives around 150 applications a year. Capital projects and revenue funding (core costs, salaries and project costs) are accepted for consideration.

For capital projects, we will only offer a grant for projects that can be delivered within the next 12 months. We will look for commitments from other funders and diversity in funding sources. The Foundation makes its funding decisions based on need. We prioritise projects working with the most disadvantaged members of the community and in the most disadvantaged areas. 

We do not fund projects that are considered a statutory responsibility. We will only fund extracurricular activities for schools and prefer applications to come from a PTA. Please contact us if you wish to apply and your school does not have a PTA. We conduct due diligence on all applicants. We look for evidence of high impact, good governance, financial sustainability, future planning and community involvement in the project.  

A girl picking up items from the beach with the sea in view

The Foundation considers applications within the following six categories:

  • Community 
  • Arts 
  • Music 
  • Education 
  • Health 
  • Maritime 
Two teenagers, using cameras, the right is looking into the distance at the right and the left is looking in the distance to the left. In the background the BAE Shipyard is visible and the water in the midground

Grants Meetings

Small Grants 

Up to the Value of £4000

Typically for projects, events, small peices of equipment, small groups and new organisations. 

A decision within 3 months. 

Main Grants

Maximum award is £20,000

Application deadlines: 1st March and 1st September every year.

Trustees make funding decisions at meetings in May and November. This is when you can expect to hear back about your application outcome.

People stood in low light, with water and a large rock in the foreground. there are two torch like lanterns lighting up the people stood in a horizontal line. a clear sky above.


The Trustees will generally not fund: 

  • Projects for the benefit of one individual 
  • Sponsorship 
  • Expeditions 
  • Promotion of religion and places of worship except when acting as a community centre 
  • Animal welfare 
  • Pressure groups and lobbying 
  • Retrospective funding (i.e. work which has already taken place when the grant is awarded) 
  • Work that is considered a statutory responsibility 
  • Projects whose main benefit is outside our geographical focus area 
  • Organisations working with young people or vulnerable adults who don’t have an appropriate safeguarding policy and procedures in place 

We partner with Cumbria CVS to offer face to face discussions around funding queries. 

A perfect opportunity to discuss your project proposal and speak to other funders at the same time:

Book a place via the link in the image or email: info@cumbriacvs.org.uk


Our Small Grants programme is up to £4000 and our Main Grants is up to £20,000.

If you would like to discuss, please contact us before applying.

Trustees wish to see evidence of an existing relationship in the area, longevity of support and working in partnership with other local organisations. Please contact us to discuss before applying.

Not at present, these grants are on hold.

If there are no local beneficiaries and the work is happening outside of our funding area, the application is likely to be unsuccessful. 

We make grant payments once a month and will pay your grant at the end of the month after receiving your completed paperwork (usually just confirmation of your bank details via a recent bank statement.) 

Main grants decisions are made in May and November every year. Applicants usually hear back from us within three months.

Small grants meetings are at the start of the year and over summer.

We will contact unsuccessful applicants and provide feedback on request. 

We conduct site visits where possible.

Please specify any key dates of events or suitable times to visit. 


We always acknowledge applications that have been received and will likely ask further questions about your application form. If you have not heard anything, please contact us

Please see our Evaluation form. We expect this to be completed within 12 months of receiving the grant, after all money is spent.