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The 12 Grants of Christmas


With Christmas around the corner, we haven’t just been eating endless mince pies. Well, we have been, daily, but we’ve also used our grants data search engine GrantNav to bring you some festive funding and grants yule love to get you in the Christmas spirit 🎄

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev

By David Kane and Anna Scott

It’s been a brilliant year for the open grants movement, with many new funders publishing their grants data to the 360Giving standard, and helping to give us all a fuller picture of the voluntary sector in the UK. 

We thought we’d celebrate with a festive foray through the £30 billion worth of grants data that’s being shared. We’ve got creative with some seasonal searches using our search engine, GrantNav, to bring you… the 12 Grants of Christmas! 

Twelve drummers drumming 🥁

A corps of drums for the TS Stirling Sea Cadets, from the Heart of England Community Foundation (£1,000)

Eleven pipers piping 🎶

Music therapy and piping tuition for Friends of Pilrig Park School, from the Robertson Trust (£5,000)

Ten lords a-leaping 🤸🏾

A leaping gymnastics trial at a primary school in Derbyshire, from The National Lottery Community fund (£9,900)

Photo by Aditya Ali

Nine ladies dancing 💃

A programme of dance for girls, by Spirit of 2012 (£22,000)

Eight maids a-milking 🐄

Support for the Pasture-Fed Livestock Milk initiative, by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (£20,000)

Seven swans a-swimming 🦢

Support for SWAN, the advocacy network for individuals with physical or mental ill health, from Wiltshire Community Foundation (£5,000)

Photo by Scott Van Daalen

Six geese a-laying 🥚

Support for Geese Theatre to deliver a programme with women prisoners, from the Heart of England Community Foundation (£8,006)

Five – gold – rings! 💫💫💫💫💫

A pop-up boxing ring to help young people learn to box, from the Greater London Authority (£10,000)

Four calling birds 🦚

Support for the Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground, from Oxford City Council (£10,000)

Three French hens 🇨🇵

A 2-day French cultural event put on by the Altrincham French Festival, from Trafford Housing Trust (£4,100)

Two turtle doves 🕊️

Support for North York Moors National Park to conserve visiting turtle doves, from The National Lottery Heritage Fund (£64,000)

… and a partridge in a pear tree 🍐

Funding for early years at the Pear Tree Special School near Preston, from Garfield Weston Foundation (£25,000)

Photo by Thomas Kelley

More festive fun-ds…


And because Christmas is a time for giving, here are some other festive grants and a bit about ho- ho- how we found them.

In GrantNav, we searched for Christmas to begin with, and then searched Christmas Santa to generate more results. As GrantNav’s Help section tells you, if you put several words together in the search-bar, it will generate all grants that feature those terms (whether one or more).

Photo by erin mckenna on Unsplash
Photo by erin mckenna

So, searching Christmas Santa Jingle Turkey will generate a long list of grants that include any of those terms – some might be grants for Santa suits, others Christmas dinners.

The ‘total GBP awarded’ amount will be for all of them – including grants related to Turkey the country, which as you might expect are more common than grants about turkey the bird.

If you wanted to find grants about, say, sherry for Santa’s elves, you’d search sherry AND santa AND elves…

(Though sadly for the elves there don’t seem to be any such grants. Honestly, won’t someone please think of the elves?)


Grants yule love

(Some are more tenuous than others, but bear with us…)

Why not try for yourself? A search-engine for grants data, GrantNav lets you explore and download in detail where and how much funding goes, across billions of pounds of grants. 

Happy holidays!