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19 July 2021

Our hubs funding: what you need to know

Jannat Hossain
Information for those applying to our new funding round to support expert legal ‘hub’ organisations.
Strengthening Civil Society

At the end of June, we launched a new fund to support the work of expert legal ‘hub’ organisations. The purpose of the funding is to support these organisations to scale their hub activities to enable greater collaboration and increased used of the law by civil society when it is most appropriate to do so.

Here are some key things you need to know about this funding.

Hub activities
We know there is a lot of excellent legal action being led by civil society across the UK. This funding is for a specific approach to undertaking legal action which we define as ‘hub activities’. We agreed a definition of hub organisations and hub activities after extensive research and thought – we know there will be debate and discussion over what a hub organisation is – but these are the definitions we will be using in our work going forward.

We define a hub organisation as a civil society organisation that meets all three of these characteristics:

  • has specific and demonstrable legal expertise relevant to their social change goals;
  • offers expert legal information, advice and/or representation to civil society organisations;
  • and collaborates to:
    • support others to recognise when, where and how legal action can be an effective tool of social change; and/or
    • use legal action to achieve social change.

We describe these forms of collaboration as ‘hub activities’.

Please note that you need to meet these criteria at the time of application. We know of many organisations already undertaking hub activities – this funding will support them to scale their activities while remaining cognisant of and flexible to external changes. For organisations which are working towards becoming a hub organisation, we hope we might be able to support you in the future.

Check out our application guidelines in detail
To ensure we are not wasting organisations’ precious time, we include all the information you need to know about eligibility and the application process in our guidelines.

We have given a lot of thought to the eligibility criteria for this fund and are unable to make exceptions for organisations that do not meet all these criteria:

  • Fulfil all three criteria in our definition of a hub organisation;
  • Have hub activities as one of their main areas of activity;
  • Can demonstrate pre-existing plans for scaling their hub activity;
  • Are a legally registered not-for-profit entity in the UK, preferably a charity;
  • Have at least one full year’s accounts;
  • Have an income of under £1.5m per year; and
  • Will undertake activities with this grant which delivers benefit in the UK (applications for international work will not be considered).

Three stages
We have a three-stage process for this funding – an initial 300-word expression of interest, a more detailed written application from longlisted applicants, and a short informal interview with shortlisted applicants. This is so we can understand your work in depth and get a greater appreciation of your plans to use hub activities to challenge discrimination and disadvantage. The three stages have been designed to reduce the number of organisations who have to write longer, detailed applications. We also wanted the process to enable shortlisted applicants to ask us questions about our approach to supporting hub organisations. We have shared the dates for each stage in the application guidelines.

Get in touch!
We are always happy to hear from potential applicants to learn more about your work and discuss eligibility. If you have any questions about this funding which are not answered in the guidelines, please do get in touch.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest (Stage 1) is Wednesday 28 July. Read our application guidelines and email us if you’d like to discuss your eligibility.