Funding sources, Fundraising

Great Grant Making Series: Corporate Funding with FirstGroup & Great Western Railway

Find out if you could benefit from corporate funding from FirstGroup, the UK's leading transportation group supporting causes such as health issues, education, people with disabilities and environmental projects.

The right kind of corporate funding for your charity can make for an effective partnership.

With over 6,000 buses transporting around 1.6 million passengers every day and two UK rail franchises, FirstGroup have become part of the fabric of our roads and rails.  What you may not know is that as well as the roads, FirstGroup also take responsibility for supporting local communities and charitable causes across the UK.

What type of grant do they support?

As a leading transportation group operating in the UK and abroad, FirstGroup are committed to providing sustainable travel solutions and making a difference to communities in which they operate in the UK via a wide range of charitable causes. Support has been given to causes such as health issues, young people, education, people with disabilities and environmental projects.

Contributions to the community

The 2015/16 charity of choice for FirstGroup is Prostate Cancer UK, as chosen by an employee vote. £25,000 was raised by employees alone through team and individual challenges, with a further target of raising at least £1 million over three years through employee fundraising, corporate donations, free advertising space and more.

Great Western Railway: Customer and Communities Improvement Fund

With £2.25 million available (spread over three years until 2019), First Group’s subsidiary company Great Western Railway’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund supports projects in the local communities that they operate within. Schemes are nominated by its customers and stakeholders before being narrowed by an independent steering group and finally approved by the Department of Transport. Community investment is focussed on developing long term partnerships with charitable organisations as well as encouraging employees to support these partnerships via personal fundraising programmes. In 2015/16 40 schemes benefitted from this programme. Successful funding examples include help offered to disabled adults and children traveling with their adaptive bikes, and work to renovate a disused 1859 station building for the community.

Application tip

Make sure that you research thoroughly on the FirstGroup website and Great Western CCIF page. Large corporations can sometimes have several streams of grant making, so ensure that you apply for the one that is the best fit for you.


Searching for more corporate funding? Take a look at our funding website which contains information on over 850 companies giving around £850 million in funding to charities.