Capacity Building for the Environmental Volunteering Sector

Information from Funding Central Website
Open to applications
Application Deadline:
15 March 2013

Contact me to discuss the subject of applying for grant funding in General


One-off grant available for the development and delivery of volunteer management training to boost environmental volunteering.


Maximum Value:
£ 200,000

Value Notes

Defra intend to award a single grant and the maximum funding available is £200,000 split into £100,000 per year over a two year period from April 2013 to March 2015.

Extended Description

The scheme is focused on enabling environmental volunteering organisations to build capacity to create more volunteering opportunities and also to support local community volunteering for environmental action.

The overarching aims of the grant are:

  • To build the capacity of the environmental volunteering sector in England in order to increase the volunteering opportunities the sector is able to provide and thereby ultimately increase the numbers of people volunteering for the benefit of the environment.
  • That this work should benefit the environmental volunteering sector in England as widely as possible (ie rather than just the organisation awarded the funding), in terms of the outputs being widely accessible and used, the contribution to building the sector’s capacity to increase volunteering and providing a positive and tangible legacy.
  • That this work should also support local community volunteering, tapping into the potential power of people wanting to look after and improve their own local environment. The work should therefore contribute to helping enable and empower communities to get involved, take responsibility and make a real difference to local people and wildlife.

The specific objective of the grant is to:

  •  Enable development of a common resource for the sector, comprising development and delivery of training modules on environmental volunteer management designed to enable volunteering organisations to train staff and others (including volunteers) to manage volunteers. This will assist the sector in increasing its capacity to manage and deploy greater numbers of volunteers.
  • Include an element of ‘training the trainer’ to create a cadre of trained individuals within environmental volunteering organisations able to sustain provision of the training beyond the period of this grant.
  • Improve and expand the infrastructure of support from environmental volunteering organisations for local community action.

Latest Information

The application closing date is 12pm on 15 March 2013.

Key Criteria

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be UK based.
  • Be run on a not-for-profit basis.
  • Have expertise in the field of environmental volunteering and the organisation(s) involved must be engaged and influential in this field.

Eligible Expenditure

Costs associated with eligible projects.

Match Funding Restrictions

Up to 100% of the agreed eligible costs for a project may be funded. However, contributions from other organisations and eligible funding sources are encouraged.

Application Procedure

Grant applications will only be accepted via the Bravo, Defra’s e-Application portal. Interested organisations must be registered on Bravo to access this opportunity.

The document ‘Applicant Instructions: How to Register on the Defra e-Application Portal – Open Process’ gives infomration on how to register and apply.

Applicants are required to submit a detailed Project Plan setting out information including the milestones within the project, the timescales for delivery of the project and the spend profile throughout the project period. This Plan will be submitted to the Authority for assessment and will be inserted into any resulting Grant Agreement for signature by the successful applicant and Defra before the project commences.

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this funding opportunity locally, please contact the following:

Contact details:
David Morley Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Procurement & Commercial Function – Grants, Room 401,
Foss House,
Kings Pool
1-2 Peasholme Green,
01904 45 4516
Email contact

Is your shop door open?

I heard a debate on the radio this afternoon about whether leaving a shop door closed puts customers off. Amongst those giving their opinions was an organisation called ‘close the door‘, and there was also mention that keeping doors closed when it is either very cold or very hot is compulsory in New York.

What do you think? Is it a myth with no evidence? Is it company policy? Do you work in a draughty shop?

Well, my personal preference is to avoid waste, whatever the proven impact on global warming. So I respect a shop that keeps doors shut but also understand that the business decision is to pay today’s bills, whatever happens to the climate in 30 years time. With my business hat on the issues are:

  1. Do more customers come in if you have the door open?
  2. Is the profit from those extra customers more than the cost of the heating?

How do you get more retail customers?

In short, you need to understand your customers and what they prefer. In this case your role in running the business is to get accurate answers to the two questions above.

  1. The ideal situation is that people know about you, have decided to buy from you and therefore they will come into the shop. So ‘regulars’ are less likely to find a closed door to be a barrier. The focus is to find out why passers-by would notice your window and what would make them come into an open door. Now we are getting to some quality, focused questions:
    1. What makes a casual visitor slow down?
    2. What do I want to say to them?
    3. What extra difference does the open door make?
    4. What can I do that will be as powerful as an open door, in encouraging people to come in?
    5. Could part of my brand be a green or environmental policy and the fact that my shop avoids waste?

      Notice that we are making an assumption that shop windows are to attract new customers; service and value keep them.

  2. To know whether the profit from the extra customers is worth the expenditure on fuel, you need to take careful note of the number of people who come in, at what times, what percentage of those people buy something, how much they spend on average and what your fuel costs are. If you are not measuring this you are only guessing.

    Now you can get back to the kind of questions that will help you find the best answer for your shop:

    1. How can I make those who do come in, more likely to buy something?
    2. Am I open for the most effective hours? Should I work earlier, later or even reduce my opening hours?
    3. Can I get a better deal on my heating, either by better equipment or fuel supplier?
    4. Do the casual customers turn into long-term supporters?

There is no  right answer – what works depends on how your customers behave. Your job is to use focused questions to understand what makes your customers behave like the do, and become an expert on customer psychology.

Have fun finding out, and use my enquiry form if you would like me to help in your decision-making.