Five ways City Hall supports local charities

13 December 2018

Local Charities Day recognises the fantastic work that local charities do to build thriving communities across the country. 

This year it will be celebrated on 14 December, and there are lots of ways to get involved. Find out more on the Local Charities Day website or follow #LocalCharitiesDay on Twitter - you can share stories or photos of a local charity you want to champion! There is also an interactive map where you can list a local organisation or find volunteering opportunities.

With tens of thousands of voluntary organisations and non-constituted groups, London is home to a large and vibrant civil society. London’s local charities have a wealth of assets, experience and networks that mean they are important partners for City Hall. The Mayor recognises the importance of local charities in supporting communities, delivering services and making London the thriving vibrant place that it is.

Here are a few things City Hall is doing to support local charities in London:

Grants available to small charities

City Hall runs a wide range of grant programmes for small charities. Examples include:

Young Londoners Fund

  • Culture Seeds Fund - communities can now bid for grants ranging from £1k – £5k, to be used to support community-led cultural projects in every London borough.
  • Crowdfund London - anyone can pitch new ideas for community-led projects to make their local area even better. The best ideas could attract a pledge of up to £50k. For 2018 the Mayor has pledged to support 26 community-led crowdfunding campaigns. 
  • Young Londoners Fund - this £45m fund is helping children and young people to fulfil their potential, particularly those at risk of getting caught up in crime. It supports a range of education, sport, cultural and other activities for children and young people. The fund will see £30m made available for projects in local communities.

Connecting local charities with volunteers

Team London’s volunteering website connects local charities with volunteers – from one-off events to longer-term roles. There are thousands of opportunities to choose from, including:

Globe volunteers


Becoming a data savvy organisation

Data has an important role to play in helping organisations understand their impact, plan work and support advocacy. Below are some of the ways we are supporting charities to use data more confidently. Find out more about our data work by emailing [email protected].  

Data expedition

  • The London Datastore is a free and open data-sharing portal, To make this platform more accessible to local charities we are developing resources and workshops. 
  • We recently hosted our first ever Data Expedition, exploring London's sports data. We brought together charities, policy makers, data scientists and funders to highlight the role civil society can play in helping understand data.  
  • We also ran our first Data Surgery with the GLA’s Intelligence Unit. Six charities came and received advice to help them make the most out of the data they hold.

Team London Awards

The annual Team London Awards celebrate the individuals, teams and corporate volunteers who are making outstanding contributions to their communities and helping to make London the best city it can be. The categories for 2018 were:

Team London Awards 2018

  • Social Integration - Volunteering which brings people from different backgrounds together and them to create bonds with each other
  • Social Mobility - Volunteering which helps people from disadvantaged backgrounds access London's opportunities. 
  • Community Engagement - Volunteering which supports communities and help them to solve local issues.
  • Young Londoner Award - this recognised young people who are volunteering in their community to tackle youth violence – one of the Mayor’s priority areas.

Get skilled with Skill-UP

Skill-UP matches skilled business volunteers with staff from small charities to help them develop their skills. This helps small charities to become more efficient and therefore have an even greater impact on London’s communities. Some of the businesses we work with are:


  • Twitter - Providing tips and guidance on how to run campaigns on Twitter. 
  • Portland Communications - How to communicate in the right way to the right people by creating bespoke strategy.
  • CIPD - An overview of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to exit interview. Includes performance management, staff development and how to link training into your business plan.
  • Elixirr - Help charities create a tailored business strategy, vital for the success and sustainability of any organisation or business.  

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