Funding available for research on volunteering in the community business sector

HOME 5 News 5 Funding available for research on volunteering in the community business sector
Grants of up to £50,000 per project are on offer as part of the Power to Change Research Institute’s open call for research.
3 Jan, 2020

Power to Change, the charitable trust which supports community business in England, is on the lookout for proposals for high-quality research projects on the theme of volunteering and how it relates to the community business sector in England.

Community businesses, the organisations that support them, academics and research organisations can apply from Monday 6th January 2020.

Ailbhe McNabola, Head of Research and Policy at Power to Change, said: “Volunteers occupy a central role in the running of community businesses – of the 9,000 community businesses in England, a total of 33,900 staff are employed, while they use 205,600 volunteers (according to the Community Business Market in 2019 report).

“The ratio of employees to volunteers varies widely according to the sector in which community businesses operate and their size, but the average community business has 14 employees and 32 volunteers. Yet to date, there has been little research exploring the role of volunteers within the community business model. We are keen to hear from researchers who want to explore this issue further.”

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects which consider volunteer motivations, pathways into employment, the structuring of volunteering and the economic and social impact of volunteering in community businesses.

The Research Institute is particularly interested in partnership bids between researchers and community businesses.

Power to Change’s Research Institute invests substantial funding in research into the community business sector, guided by a Research Advisory Panel which includes Community Business Panel representatives.

To ensure that the research programme meets the needs of community businesses in England, and in addition to a planned research programme, the Research Institute also offers grants for high-quality research projects, proposed by the community business sector and its close partners. The funding in 2020 will be made available in January and in the summer.

The open call will go live on the Power to Change website where further information about the theme and how to apply can be found. The deadline for expressions of interest is Monday 3rd February 2020.


About Power to Change

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.

Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £890m, and comprises 9,000 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2019)

From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015. @peoplesbiz

For more information please contact Research Associate Sophie Reid at

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.