Vital Priorities

Since we published Northumberland’s Vital Signs 2013, we have been asking you to tell us your priorities for Community Foundation grant-making. The % of votes cast for each theme are given below.



Strong communities 17
Work 16
Local economy 15
Healthy Living 10
Arts, culture and heritage 9
Fairness 8
Housing and homelessness 7
Environment 7
Learning 7
Safety 3

Supporting good people, great organisations and special places

When we published Northumberland’s Vital Signs in 2013 we talked a lot about the area’s problems. This time we wanted to look at our communities’ assets – good people, great organisations and special places – and how they could best be supported with charitable funding. We asked you to vote for those areas of grant expenditure that ought to be top priorities. Here is what you told us:

Good people


Encouraging and supporting people to volunteer in their communities 25%
Helping people who experience disadvantage to help themselves 17%
Providing training for voluntary organisation staff and volunteers 16%
Enabling voluntary organisation staff and volunteers to share their knowledge and ideas 16%
Supporting people who use local services to have a say in decisions that affect them. 15%
Backing people to lead and campaign on issues in their communities 11%

Great organisations


Funding particular projects or activities within organisations 22%
Supporting organisations’ everyday running costs like wages, rent or bills 21%
Supporting organisations with similar interests to work together better 16%
Assisting organisations to plan for the future 15%
Helping organisations do extra work to reach those in most need 13%
Making sure organisations are well managed and run 13%

Special places


Maintaining and improving community centres and village halls 21%
Protecting the environment (e.g. beaches, woodland or wildlife habitats) 20%
Supporting community events and festivals 19%
Making public spaces (e.g. parks) accessible, safe and enjoyable 15%
Promoting local history, museums and heritage sites 14%
Backing our theatres, galleries, music venues and culture projects 11%

Vital Resources

The Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is one of the largest outside North America.

Many of our donors like to give to causes near where they live, and not all parts of Northumberland have local voluntary organisations in place to undertake work with our funding. This means there are “cold spots” where the amount given out in grants per head of the population is lower than the average for Northumberland as a whole. These “cold spots” are shown in blue in the chart below:

Note: Data refers to grants made during the two year period 1/4/14 – 30/3/16 subsequent to applications and to donor nominated grants only. 68 county-wide grants, totalling £403,972, have been excluded from the area funding figures. These represent 18% of total funding.

Note: 208 people and organisations have taken part in polling to date. If you disagree with these priorities, there is still time to vote at!
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