Step Change Fund

The Step Change Grants fund was established by the generosity of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.  The programme has had a positive impact on those groups funded. So some were able to change their finance software to save them time. Others applied for funding for a dedicated fundraiser to support their diversification of income streams. Some looked at training of staff and trustees. (You can see everything that has been funded at the bottom of this page.)

The cost of living crisis and the effects of the pandemic continue to have a significant impact on the sector. We know organisations have worked hard throughout to adjust their services and continue to support those who need it. So this funding could support your organisation to formally make some of those changes. Or you could  take a pause and review what your next steps will be.

What is funding for?

You can apply for funding to make a necessary ‘step change’ to support you towards sustainability or resiliency. Therefore, you must be able to demonstrate how funding for running costs will help move your work forward. How will your organisation be better off if you are successful? As part of this, you can also apply for a contribution to running costs.

Organisations should be working towards at least one of the following priorities:

  • No poverty
  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Decent work and economic growth

Some examples of what the fund can support are below (this list is not exhaustive):

Organisational development

  • Staff training
  • Trustee training
  • Volunteer training and management
  • Fundraising
  • Business planning and development
  • Developing monitoring and learning
  • Marketing and communications
  • Purchasing software to support your organisation


  • Rental costs
  • Heating, lighting, water rates
  • Core staff costs
  • Stationery, small capital items, internet
  • Volunteer costs

A ‘step change’ can be something small, or big, which helps move your group forward towards sustainability.

Size of grants

You can apply for up to £10,000.

Who can apply?

Please read our ‘How to Apply’ page for information about who can generally apply.

You can apply if you are based in or serving the people of:

  • Hull
  • York
  • Rural North and East Yorkshire.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to be successful if you are based in urban areas of East or North Yorkshire.

Success rate

Available funding means that we expect to award seven grants in rural North and East Yorkshire, six in York, and two or three in Hull. So, unfortunately, we do expect to be oversubscribed. If you are not sure if you meet the criteria, please do phone us for a chat.

How to apply?

Before applying, please read the Step Change Guidance 2023 carefully. These tell you more about what you need to know to apply.

Then follow the link below to apply.

Next, attach your supporting documents to your application. Or you can email them to the office. Your application is only complete when we have received all your supporting documents.

Finally, if you need any support with your application, please do get in touch.

When to apply?

The Step Change Fund is now open. The deadline is the 9th of January 2024. We will contact you with a decision in March 2024.

Apply now

Recently awarded grants

Please see the document below for grants awarded through Step Change over the last couple of years.

Step Change Grants Awarded