About the Calor Rural Community Fund

It's all about your community and your local project!

From the buzz of a beehive fully equipped for over 80 beekeepers, to the calming hues of a refurbished living room for those living with Alzhemier’s and Dementia, Calor’s Rural Community Fund has already met the needs of hundreds of people across the UK. Over the last 4 years we’ve supported 214 community projects with over £460,000 generated through donations and Calor contributions. This year we want to do even more for your communities, and continue to support projects all across the UK.

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Funding schedule

start crowdfunding
Get funded
Get funded
Get funded

How will the community fund work this year?

Projects will have the opportunity to use the crowdfunding platform to raise awareness for their initiative, giving them the chance to raise money for their project through the crowd. We want to encourage communities to come together and support each other’s ideas – the more ambitious the better!

On top of Crowdfunding, Calor are also giving away a large funding pot, totalling an amazing £85,000! Let’s make your plans a reality.

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New Prize for 2021 – Rural Hero of the year! 

Find out more


Take fundraising into your own hands, and make the most of crowdfunding. When you set up your community project you can actively raise money through crowdfunding. Your project receives 1 point for every like or share, and if someone is feeling generous and makes a donation to your project, it will be awarded 10 points for their pledge.

These points will help set you up for the next stage, as the projects with the most points in their funding category are the ones that make it through to the final. Better still, your community project will receive even more funds!

If you reach the funding amount that you applied for, you’ll need to ask Calor’s Rural Community Fund for further funding for your project.

What type of funding is available from Calor?

If your off-grid community project is in need of financial support, you can apply for funding from Calor’s Rural Community Fund to give your project the additional boost it deserves.

Now in the fifth year of running this amazing fund, we’re on a roll and we’re ready to give power to communities like yours with our £85,000 funding pot.

We have three levels of funding available, depending on the size of your project. We’ll be dishing out 11 x £5,000 grants, 6 x £2,500 grants and 5 x £1,000 grants to the winning rural projects. Even if you’re not a winner, your community spirit won’t go unnoticed - every finalist will receive £500. 

Don’t forget, the level of funding you are applying for is at least 50% of the total project

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Is your idea eligible?

  • It will make a positive difference to your rural community; benefitting the wider community and not just one individual, or a one off event
  • It is connected with a community organisation or charity and is not-for-profit
  • It will take place in either England, Scotland or Wales
  • It is capable of being completed within 12 months of receiving funding if successful
  • The level of funding you are applying for is at least 50% of the total project cost
  • It is based in a rural off mains gas grid location and is not connected to mains gas
  • It is a non-political project
  • Operates on a non-discriminatory basis
  • The funding would not be used for employment expenses (for example salary and day to day overhead costs)
  • If relating to the provision of alternative energy/heating solutions, the funding would not be for an energy/heating source other than LPG
  • For more information about our eligibility criteria please visit our terms & conditions.

The ins and outs of supporting a project

The butcher, the baker, the movers and shakers – get them excited about your community project and shout it from the rooftops! Drumming up support from within (and outside) your community is crucial. On top of raising money through the crowd, you’ll also have the opportunity to win funding from Calor; those with the most public support in each funding category make it through to the finalist stage.

Finalists will then be scored by a panel of impartial judges who will select the winners.

The supporting stage will start on Wednesday 26th May. Register for updates so you don’t miss out! Register for updates so you don't miss out!

How the scoring works

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Your project receives 1 point for every like or share. Remember to sign in and hit share on the Rural Community Fund project page itself  (this will take you to your social media to publish), rather than sharing somebody else’s share on social media.

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If someone is feeling generous and decides to donate to your project, your project will be awarded 10 points for their pledge. 

Here's what to expect, step by step:

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Natter, write, send

Applications are now open until 21st April. Check to see if your project is eligible for funding and register for news.

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Time’s up

And stop. Fingers off your mouse. Application submissions close at 5pm on the 21st April 2021. If you meet and pass our eligibility criteria and diligence checks, it’ll soon be time to publicly make some noise about your project.

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Form a community huddle

From 9am on 26th May 2021, involve all of your community and ask them to support your project. Getting donations through crowdfunding will start you off well, but to add an extra cherry on the cake, your project will receive 1 point for every like and share and 10 points when someone pledges (donates)*. Projects with the highest scores will go through to the finals and will be in with a chance of winning a slice of Calor’s £85,000 funding pot.

*see terms and conditions for more info.

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Feet up and wait 

And that’s a wrap. At 5pm on 23rd June 2021, the supporting stage will come to an end. The digital whizzes will be hard at work to get everything in line for the next step and further due diligence checks will take place on all shortlisted projects.

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A peak at the finalists

On 21st July 2021, we’ll announce our finalists for each of the three funding categories. 

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Judges do their thing

A panel of impartial judges will decide which projects will receive funding from the Rural Community Fund’s £85,000 pot.

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The great reveal

And the winners are… On 4th August 2021, this year’s winners will be announced.

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Splash the cash

Projects who’ve received funding through the crowd will be awarded their donations. And once the winners have been announced, the funds from Calor will be distributed. It's then time for your community to spend, spend, spend! The finalists who aren’t successful will also receive a £500 pledge from Calor to help them along the way.

Take raising money into your own hands and make the most of crowdfunding

start crowdfunding

When you set up your community project, you can then actively raise money through crowdfunding.

Get the word out

For every pledge (donation) that you receive during the supporting stage, your project will receive 10 points. 

Get funded

These points will put you in good stead for the next stage, as the projects with the most points in their funding category will make it through to the final. Better still, your community project will receive even more funds!

How are the winners chosen?

After the supporting stage, the projects with the highest number of points in each funding category will go through to the finals. A panel of impartial judges will then vote for their favourite projects, based on the following: 

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40% Impact

Judges will consider the potential impact of the project on the local community:

How urgent is the need in the community? How many people will be impacted by this project? Is the idea appealing to a broad cross-section of the community?

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35% Project sustainability

Judges will look at how long the project will last and how long it will benefit the community for. They will also consider how sustainable the project will be once it is launched:

How long will the project’s impact last in the community? Does the project only need funding from the Calor Rural Community Fund, or does it also require funding from alternative sources? Does this project have clear volunteer support? How likely is the project to achieve its goals?

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15% Submission

Judges will review the entry itself and how well it explained the project:

How much effort has gone into preparing the entry and supporting information? How well considered and clearly explained is the entry?

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10% Originality

Judges will consider how original the project is:

How original is your Calor Rural Community Fund project compared to the other projects submitted for funding