Resilient Communities Fund

REPRO FREE 09/11/2017. Irish communities set to overcome any obstacle: Derval O’Rourke pictured at Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, at the launch of the new €500,000 Resilient Communities Fund, created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland in partnership with the Tomar Trust.  The deadline for applications is the 31st January 2018. Pictured are, Emma Lane-Spollen, CEO of the Tomar Trust, Eoghan Ryan, Resilient Communities Fund Manager and Derval O'Rourke, Former World Champion and healthy lifestyle consultant, at Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven, Co. Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Our Resilient Communities Fund closed for applications on Friday, February 2nd at 5pm. We will announce the awardees of the Resilient Communities Fund in June 2017. Please read below for more information. 

WHAT IS THe resilient communities FUND?

The Resilient Communities Fund is a partnership between Social Innovation Fund Ireland and Tomar Trust to find and back innovative projects that strengthen community resilience and have an economic, social and environmental impact. The Fund will provide critical supports to projects focused on making communities across Ireland safer, healthier, and more vibrant places to live.

Resilient Communities is a €500,000 awards fund, created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland in partnership with the Tomar Trust and the Department of Rural and Community Development. The Department of Rural and Community Development provides match funding for all philanthropic funds raised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland, via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

WHAT IS community resilience?

Community Resilience is a measure of the sustained ability of a community to respond to economic, social and environmental issues.

Significant development occurring across Ireland since the late 1990s has brought changes to settlements, transport patterns, and economic bases, and has altered the traditional rural/urban population balance. As a result of this shift, our rural and town communities are facing challenges to build sustainable economies, maintain public services, and retain young people; while our urban communities are burdened with increasingly unaffordable housing, longer commute times, more limited resources and stresses on infrastructure. Both urban and rural communities are facing potential impacts of climate change, such as adverse effects on water quality and increased risk of flooding. Community resilience thus represents the ability and effort of Irish communities to overcome all of these challenges for stronger, more vibrant communities that also deliver positive economic, social and environmental impacts.

WHAT does the fund offer?

Up to 8 Awardees will receive an award between €40,000 and €100,000. The award will consist of a 75% cash grant and 25% in accelerator supports. Bespoke accelerator supports may include mentoring, strategic growth planning and access to SIFI’s networks.

WHAT kind of projects are we looking for?

Social Innovation Fund Ireland are looking for innovative projects that can demonstrate how they are strengthening community resilience whilst delivering economic, social and environmental impact for their localities.

Projects might focus on:

  • Economy – providing greater self-sufficiency, sustainability, and stability, while also providing increased opportunities for more people thereby tackling urban migration
  • Environment – increasing sustainability and reducing resource usage
  • Social – generating a positive sense of belonging, particularly for marginalised and vulnerable groups

Applicant projects must meet Social Innovation Fund Ireland standard criteria and specific fund criteria as listed below.

social innovation standard criteria

  • The project must address a critical social issue
  • The solution proposed must be innovative in an Irish context
  • The solution must have potential and a desire to scale or replicate in Ireland (it may also have potential internationally, but this is not a requirement)
  • The solution must provide evidence that it is up and running, or has been tested at least in a minimal way
  • That it is based on the island of Ireland and will make its main impact in the Republic of Ireland
  • Applicants must come from an entity that has a not for profit legal form e.g. charity, social enterprise, voluntary organisations etc.

projects that demonstrate the following will have an advantage

  • Projects that demonstrate a track record of strong leadership
  • Projects that demonstrate a track record of strong community engagement
  • Projects with a demonstrated evidence base
  • Projects that can demonstrate economic, social and environmental impacts
  • Projects that have substantial impact in rural or town communities
  • Projects that are based in Munster

what type of organisations can apply? 

The Resilient Communities Fund will accept applications from:

  • Not for Profits
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Charities
  • Social Enterprises

how long is the fund open for applications?

The Resilient Communities Fund is open from 11th October 2017 until Friday 2nd February 2018 at 5pm.

how do i apply? 

Click here to commence your Resilient Communities Fund application form

what is expected of applicants? 

Applicants are expected to be available for interview in Dublin or Cork between the 13th to 23rd March 2018.

frequently asked questions

How do I upload a video link to my application?

Click here for our short and sweet guide to uploading video.

What is expected of the video?

Click here to watch a sample video that John Smith prepared.

Can you explain what you mean by output (model, impact, testing etc)?

Click here to see our handy one-page glossary of terms, and click here to see examples of how those terms can be applied.

What is expected of Awardees?

Awardees will be expected to participate in a 2 to 3 month accelerator programme; with a minimum of 2 days per week devoted to working on your awarded project.

How many Awards will be made?

Up to 8 Awards will be made as part of the Resilient Communities Fund.

What can the Awardee spend the cash grants on?

The cash grant must be spent on the project which won the award. The specific use of the cash grants will be agreed between Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Awardee. Cash grants may not be used to pay off debts or purchase vehicles, land or buildings.

Who will decide who wins the Awards?

Final decisions are made by the Board of Social Innovation Fund Ireland.

What is the Selection Process?

The selection process follows five stages:

  • Stage 1 – 5th to 16th February – An Internal Screen of the applications 
  • Stage 2 – 18th to 28th February – External Screen 
  • Stage 3 – 13th to 23rd March – Interviews 
  • Stage 4 – 1st to 30th April – Due Diligence 
  • Stage 5 – Early to mid May – Final Decision

How do applicants find out where they are in the selection process?

All applicants will be informed by telephone or email.

What projects are not eligible?

  • Projects seeking funds for scholarships
  • Projects seeking funding for capital items – buildings, vans, etc.
  • Research projects
  • Party political projects
  • Projects that screen beneficiaries in or out by faith or religious denomination
  • Projects that do not provide a benefit to people or the environment e.g. projects that benefit animals only
  • Projects where the main impact is outside Republic of Ireland
  • Projects that are an idea (only) and that have not yet started

What applicants are not eligible?

  • Applicants must be over 18 years old.
  • Applications must come from an entity that has a not for profit legal form e.g. school, charity, or social enterprise.
  • Social Innovation Fund Ireland and Tomar Trust staff, directors and their family members are excluded from applying.

*Immediate family members include sibling, parent, spouse or civil partner or child.

terms & conditions of the fund

  • By applying for the Resilient Communities Fund, all applicants have agreed to the Terms.
  • All applicants warrant that they are over 18 years of age.
  • All applicants warrant that they have engaged fully and truthfully with the application process and will engage fully and truthfully with the selection process.
  • This includes providing full and accurate information, both written and verbal, at all stages of the process.
  • All applicants warrant that they are eligible to apply.
  • All applicants warrant that they have the right to apply.
  • This means that they hold the necessary rights to carry out the project.

Please contact: with any questions.