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The Phoenix Way

Transforming Grant Funding for Black and Racially Minoritised Organisations  

The Phoenix Way, led by The Ubele Initiative and supported by Global Fund for Children, is a grant-making initiative aimed at transforming Black and racially minoritised communities. Established in partnership with six Regional Leads and with the support of several new UK funders, including The Youth Endowment Fund and the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales.  

What is The Phoenix Way? 

The Phoenix Way (TPW) is a national collaborative partnership created during the Covid-19 pandemic as a response to the structural inequalities which Black and racially minoritised communities and community-led organisations face in relation to influencing and accessing grant funding in the UK. Its principal aims are to: 

  • Transform the relationships between funders and Black and racially minoritised organisations

  • Tackle systemic race inequalities, and

  • Develop shared leadership, which actively invests in these communities and empowers them to make decisions about funding processes, priorities and allocations.  


Quotes from project contributors

The Phoenix Way seeks to ensure that no community is left behind

The Phoenix Way will develop a pioneering model that can be replicated by others to ensure that communities facing poverty, exclusion and discrimination influence decisions that impact their lives. By putting communities in the lead, The Phoenix Way seeks to ensure that no community is left behind.  

To find out about the current round of grant funding as well as eligibility criteria and information about how to apply, click here

Apply Here

The Phoenix Way origins 

The Phoenix Fund was launched in 2020 in order to put racial justice at the heart of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund was devised and led by Black and racially minoritised community group leaders from across England and established with the support of The National Lottery Community Fund and Global Fund for Children.  

The fund was targeted at Black and racially minority-led community groups impacted by COVID-19. £2.4 million was distributed (£0.4 million in infrastructure support and £2 million in grants to 184 community groups) across all regions of England. Around 1400 applications were received, demonstrating the high demand for this targeted funding opportunity. 

In response to this unmet demand, the Phoenix Way Partnership was formed in 2021 by the community members who led the development of the Phoenix Fund as a way of building on this work and creating a process which would support systems change. 

Aims of The Phoenix Way 

The Phoenix Way exists to drive transformational change at regional and national levels by adopting a racial equity and social justice lens and creating learning which impacts the wider funding ecosystem and Black and racially minoritised communities and community organisations.  

The wider aims of The Phoenix Way are to: 

  • Raise awareness of the unique challenges facing Black and racially minoritised communities across the UK.  

  • Offer flexible grant funding to Black and racially minoritised grassroots groups across the UK and working in their communities by developing and delivering a number of collaborative grant funding rounds designed and led by Black and racially minoritised communities, over the next five years.  

  • Strengthen regional Black and racially minoritised infrastructure support organisations by 2026. 

  • Challenge the funding sector to review its grant-making processes and track record of providing funding for Black and racially minoritised communities and to become more transparent by sharing data on funding allocations.  

  • Encourage and support funders to work within a restorative justice model by transforming their systems so they are more able to respond to structural inequalities and develop a shared leadership. 

  • Actively empower Black and racially minoritised communities to collaborate with funders in decisions relating to funding processes, priorities, and funding allocations. 

  • Develop strategic and innovative solutions to address the needs faced by communities, and work with a range of stakeholders including national, regional and local government, voluntary, social enterprise and community sector leaders, corporations and community groups.  

  • Commit to truly equitable grant giving across all strands of grants - from the smallest to the largest grants.  

In 2023, The Phoenix Way will launch and begin disseminating targeted funding to Black & racially minoritised community-led groups impacted by the Cost of Living Crisis across England. The partners will establish a regional infrastructure support to deliver The Phoenix Way’s funding opportunities.  

What you can apply for now 

The Phoenix Way 2023 Round 1: Emergency Grants for Groups Working with Black and Racially Minoritised Children and Young People  

The first round is open to applications now. It is a £1m emergency grant funding round for Black and racially minoritised community organisations who may already have or will suffer disruption to their programmes due to current inflation and the Cost-of-Living Crisis.  

Successful organisations will be working with young people or women and girls who are at risk.  

TPW will also award Regional Infrastructure Grants to the following 6 English regions: North West, North-East and Cumbria, South West, The Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and London and South East. 

The Phoenix Way’s future funding rounds, including multi-year funding, will open in the summer of 2023 and will also include organisations and groups located in Wales. To register your interest in future funding rounds, please click here

Round 1 was launched on the 30th of March 2023. Applications will be accepted until midnight on the 8th of May.

Eligibility criteria 


The Phoenix Way 2023 – Round 1 Emergency Grants will support non-profit groups, organisations or charities that: 

  • Are led by representatives of Black and racially minoritised communities and work within Black and racially minoritised communities. 

  • Work with participants and communities that are primarily 18 or under and are at high risk of becoming involved in violence. 

  • Have annual operating budgets of up to £150,000 per year. 

  • Are located and work in England. 


  • Need additional financial support due to the Cost of Living Crisis. 

Applicants can be registered, unregistered, incorporated, unincorporated, and/or unconstituted or newly formed groups. 

Who we are looking to fund in this round: 

  • Organisations and groups that are Black and racially minoritised-led. In this round, we are only looking to fund groups where at least 70% of their leadership, volunteers and beneficiaries are from Black or racially minoritised communities

  • Organisations and groups whose primary focus is working with Black and racially minoritised children and young people to prevent or reduce violence in their communities and lives. 

  • Organisations and groups that take an asset-based approach to their work with children and young people. This might include:  

  • meeting young people where they are 

  • using trust-based, relationship-driven ways of working 

  • amplifying and partnering with children and young people to shape your organisation and the work you do 

  • recognising and valuing the strengths and possibilities of the children and young people you work with 

  • Organisations and groups that prioritise children and young people that are most impacted by systemic issues such as poverty, racism, gender-based violence and wider structural disadvantage. This might include children, young women/girls and young people who have experience of:   

  • the care or youth justice systems 

  • abusing or misusing substances 

  • abuse, maltreatment or neglect  

  • negative educational experiences such as exclusion  

  • trauma 

  • Organisations or groups that have been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis, including: 

  • organisations/groups that are struggling to pay for increased core costs including rent, utilities, cost of living increases in salaries; 

  • organisations/groups that are struggling with increased costs of direct activities with children and young people at high risk of becoming involved in violence; OR 

  • organisations/groups that have had to adapt or increase existing activities with children and young people, or create new activities to meet the needs of children and young people at high risk of becoming involved in violence due to the impact of the Cost of Living Crisis on their lives.  

Grants given through this round can be used flexibly to cover core and/or project costs that the cost-of-living crisis has impacted. Grants made in this Phoenix Way round will be one-off payments of £20,000.         

The Phoenix Way is not able to support: 

  • Local offices, affiliates, or projects of large NGOs, governments, or intergovernmental organisations 

  • Efforts to support or oppose candidates for public office 

  • Programmes that try to convert participants to a particular region or require adherence to or conversion to religious doctrine 

  • Organisations that, in policy or in practice, discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation 

  • Groups that conduct or support violent activities or violate criminal law 

  • Groups that have more than 12 months of reserves  


What is the Phoenix Way? 

The Phoenix Way is a national collaborative partnership created during the Covid-19 pandemic as a response to the structural inequalities faced by Black and racially minoritised communities in influencing and accessing grant funding. Its principal aims are to transform the relationships between funders and Black and racially minoritised organisations, tackle systemic race inequalities and develop shared leadership, which actively invests in these communities and empowers them to make decisions about funding processes, priorities and allocations.   

How much is available in this round of funding?  

There is £1,000,000 available in this round of funding for one-off emergency grants. Future Phoenix Way rounds of funding will also offer multi-year grants.   

Can I apply for a Cost-of-Living grant if my organisation does not have a bank account? 

Yes. You can apply if your organisation does not have its own bank account. Another organisation that can hold funds on your behalf can serve as your fiscal sponsor. 

Does my organisation have to be a registered charity to apply for a Cost-of-Living grant? 

No. Both registered and unregistered groups are eligible to apply. 

Does my organisation have to work with children and youth to be eligible for this grant? 

Yes. For this round, the main work of your organisation or group must be focused on children and young people under 18 and at risk of becoming involved in violence. Future Phoenix Way rounds will have different thematic focuses.  

Can an organisation that has been around for less than a year apply for this grant? 

Yes. Any organisation impacted by the cost-of-living crisis can apply, regardless of when it was established. 

My organisation is not eligible for this round, what should we do? 

You can still register on our application site and add a few details about your organisation - we will get in touch when future Phoenix Way funding rounds open. If you don’t want to register, keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube.

What can my organisation use a Phoenix Way grant for? 

The Phoenix Fund provides core emergency funding. This means you can apply for funding for whatever you need. For example, this may include staff costs, running costs, activities, equipment, and other resources needed to support your organisation with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. 

What is the maximum amount my organisation can apply for through the Phoenix Fund? 

This grant round provides one-off emergency grants of £20,000.  

I do not understand a question in the application form, what should I do?  

Check out our application guidance! It has lots of helpful hints and tips about what our panels will be looking for. You can also join us for our application webinar on Wednesday 12th April at 10am to learn more about the process and ask the Phoenix Way team questions. Keep an eye on our social media to register for the webinar!

Where do we apply for funding?  

You can apply for funding by clicking on this link. We are using an application platform called Evalato and the application process will be supported by Global Fund for Children.  We have created a video that explains how to use our application platform, which you can watch here. 

Where can my organisation seek outside help to complete my Phoenix Fund application? 

Information on fundraising and grants for voluntary organisations, as well as how-to guides, is currently available for free for all organisations on the NCVO Knowhow centre. 

Who is funding this round of the Phoenix Way?  

This round is being funded by the Youth Endowment Fund, Fondation CHANEL and supported by Global Fund for Children.  

Do you have another question?

Please email us at and we will be happy to respond. 

How to apply 

To apply, please follow the link below to the application platform.  

Apply Now

If you have any questions, please use one of the following contacts. 

Global Fund for Children:

The Ubele Initiative: 

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