Environment and Nature Fund- Sustainable Communities
08 Jul 2019

Environment and Nature Fund- Sustainable Communities

This year, the Community Foundation of Ireland committed to further supporting our Environment and Nature Fund and match-funding from the Environmental Protection Agency we have established a fund of €100,000 to focus on creating Sustainable Communities through the Circular Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Waste. We are inviting community groups to apply who are interested in or already working towards these elements of sustainability through implementing local actions focused on national ‘Circular Economy’ priorities.

The benefits of reducing consumption and improving waste practices will assist communities socially, environmentally and economically by increasing the significance of all reusable resources. This grant has been developed with the Sustainable Development Goals in focus specifically Goal 12 which seeks to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Within the scheme, three strands of grant funding will be offered:

  • Strand 1: Grants of up to €3,000 to develop a Community Action Plan focused on reducing consumption and waste in the areas of food waste, plastic and packaging, clothing/textiles and electrical items.
  • Strand 2: Grants of up to €5,000 to support community groups to trial new and innovative approaches around reducing consumption and waste in the areas of food, plastic and packaging clothing/textiles and electrical items.
  • Strand 3: Grants of up to €10,000 to support community groups to grow current small scale initiatives to reduce consumption and waste in the areas of food, plastic and packaging, clothing/textiles and electrical items that reach a larger number of users and could act as a viable demonstrator for other groups.


The grants scheme has been devised to reduce consumption and waste in communities throughout the country by supporting the experience and enthusiasm of local community groups.


Grants will support community groups who wish to reduce consumption and waste in their local areas with a view to achieving a measurable local impact.

Priority will be given to projects that focus heavily on engaging the wider community and demonstrate an intention and capacity to work closely with local people, businesses and institutions. Assessors will take into account a proportional geographic spread of funded projects and priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate an intention to engage with a wide group of stakeholders within the community.

Applicants are asked to consider how they can measure impacts of their project to demonstrate its effectiveness and how these measures will assist in managing into the future. Applications are invited for projects that offer actions and approaches that are suitable for replication in other communities around Ireland. Applications that reduce consumption and waste by promoting sharing of products and equipment will be favoured for funding.

A list of useful links, resources, templates and case studies are available at the end of this document including a Sustainable Communities Toolkit produced by The Wheel in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency.


The ultimate aim of the funding scheme is that successful community groups will develop new or existing waste prevention measures that will ‘act local but think global’.

The Fund Will Not Cover:

Core or ongoing overhead costs of grantee organisations, Equipment costs, Promotion of religious causes, Work that has already taken place, Non-charitable activities, General political donations, Sponsorship or fundraising events, Work taking place outside the Republic of Ireland.

Applicant Requirements:

  1. Groups may apply for only one strand of funding
  2. Applications must be from community and voluntary groups that possess charitable aims and are not for profit
  3. Applicant organisations should have an annual income of not more than €2,000,000
  4. Where relevant, you must submit either your organisation’s Annual Accounts or most recent set of Audited Accounts
  5. Applicant organisations must have an organisational bank account
  6. A copy of a recent bank statement must be submitted with your application. This is for account verification only and all financial transactions may be redacted before submission
  7. Proposals must include clear, detailed, realistic costs and timescales
  8. Applicants must be prepared to evaluate and learn from their work as well as to share project learning and outcomes through the participation in a grantee learning event in 2020
  9. We encourage applicant organisations to consider adopting the Charities Governance Code    
  10. A commitment to equal opportunities must be demonstrated
  11. Organisations working with cohorts under the age of 18 will be required to produce a copy of their Child Protection Policy
  12. Organisations working with vulnerable cohorts over the age of 18 will be required to produce a copy of their Vulnerable Adult Policy/ Safeguarding Policy

Reporting Requirements:

  • Successful applicants will be expected to:
  • Acknowledge the support of The Community Foundation for Ireland and the EPA on any materials associated with the grant
  • Submit a Progress Report in March 2020
  • Submit an Outcome Report in October 2020
  • Participate in a grantee learning event in 2020 (Date TBC)

How to Apply:

Once you have ensured that you meet all of the grant criteria above, you can then make an online application by clicking on here.

Closing Date: 4.00pm on 02nd August 2019

NOTE: Your application will be acknowledged. If you do not receive an acknowledgement e-mail, please contact us at info@foundation.ie or on 01 874 7354.

To download the full criteria and useful resources document click here.