Grassroots Action Support (GAS) Fund

Funding campaigners that are working in creative and innovative ways

The Grassroots Action Support (GAS) Fund is a joint initiative between the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation and SMK to ‘provide fuel for emerging and pioneering voices and influencers’.

It can be very difficult for new campaigners or campaign groups to secure even small amounts of financial or other support that can be so vital in the early stages of their campaign planning and development. Because of this, we created the GAS Fund, which aims to support emerging grassroots campaigners that are working in creative and innovative ways to create change- either by tackling new issues or deploying new tactics.

  • The GAS Fund application process was fluid enough to allow us to learn, & improve our bid/Pitching skills as we went.  We were such rank amateurs that we don't think anybody else would have given us this kind of a chance. Just the possibility of receiving some backing from The GAS Fund spurred us on to get stuck in to some positive organising. We had to concentrate on exactly what we stood for, & form a clear idea of a plan for the future.

    Salli Booth, Haringey Disabled People’s Community
  • The opportunity itself to meet with a large funding body and discuss your project is really helpful. It allows you to focus on what the key message is of your campaign and how you intend to drive it forward. The pitch provides a forum to reference your ideas and help you learn to sell your campaign to a wider audience.

    Pat Davies, Frack Free Lancashire
  • Being able to present in front of a professional panel was excellent and no doubt will prove very useful experience this coming year. The funding itself is a total game changer for us, and has already meant we've reached a wider audience, and will continue to do so and to grow next year.

    Giselle Cory, BALU
  • The programme's aims are excellent in encouraging campaigners to think realistically about the outcomes of their project and to give them the necessary support not only financially but also in terms of the practical feedback that is so valuable.

    Michael Tye, Aston Vision Association
  • Not only were we able to secure funding, which will make a huge difference, but we gained in confidence.

    Lisa Marie Taylor, FiLia
  • It was pretty quickly, flexible, personal and direct. Easy process with simple application form and criteria. Being able to pitch gave me focus and drive. I found the environment very supportive. Being able to talk to funders instead of sending a written application helped both funders and applicants to understand more about each other. It made it less bureaucratic and more human. I felt a sense of trust that you don’t get with funders. I have been applying to so many funding and not getting support that being able to win gave me back more confidence.

    Sergio Lopez, Public Renting
  • I really think this is a vital programme and the perfect partner for SMK's professional campaign training. In the political environment we are facing, civil empowerment is more important than ever. It's easy for the problems of the world to feel too big even to get started. The GAs fund enables that first step to doing something achievable.

    Masie Tomlinson, Crustacean Compassion

The GAS Fund will offer an opportunity for new and upcoming campaigners in close network with SMK, to pitch for a small grant of between £1000 and £5000, in front of a panel of funders in a “dragons’ den” format. The opportunity will also provide you with the chance to improve your pitching and communication skills.

Those selected to pitch to the panel will have been shortlisted via an application process. To find out more, please email megan.poyiadzis@smk.org.uk.

KarenGrassroots Action Support (GAS) Fund