The Virgin Money Foundation love helping local communities thrive, so every three months they're working with the Virgin Money Lounges in Glasgow, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Norwich, Manchester, Cardiff and London to give three local community organisations the chance to receive £2,000 – with awards of £1,000 and £500 for two runners-up.
The awards will go to the community organisations with the most votes from Virgin Money customers and Virgin Money Lounge members. There is a voting unit in each of the Lounges and visitors can pick up a small red heart when they visit, to put into the tube named with the community organisation they'd most like to support.
Through the Heart of the Community Fund the VMF support projects:
- Run by smaller local community organisations. That means annual running costs of less than £500,000.
- Working in the parts of the city that need money the most.
- With strong local roots.
- Benefiting the wider community.
Funds can be used to buy materials and equipment, make improvements to a community building or sports facility, clean up an area of wasteland or support an event. The money could also pay for staff to run an activity.
In Manchester they are only accepting applications from community organisations working in Greater Manchester South (Manchester City, Salford, Trafford, Stockport and Tameside).
There are some causes they can’t support, like:
- General appeals. So they won’t be able to award £2,000 towards a very big appeal.
- Sponsorship or marketing – like their name on a football shirt, or advertising in a magazine.
- Projects looking to raise money that’s already been spent.
- Appeals that only benefit one person.
- Animal welfare. They're big animal fans, but the Foundation’s all about people.
- The day-to-day costs of schools and other educational facilities.
- Medical treatment or research, hospices and medical centres.
- Promotion of religious, political or advocacy-based groups
For more information on The Virgin Money Foundation and the Heart of the Community Fund, or to begin your application, click here.