How it Works


Within our 5 properties

Funding areas, applications need to specifically illustrate:


Orbit will want to understand how your model is designed to grow. It is important to understand what assumptions you have made in your chosen model and how you plan to deal with risks and challenges especially in activities that are in early development. It is important to Orbit that applicants understand their environment and how they plan on being viable in the future.


Ideas will need to illustrate clearly how they are adding to their chosen field. There should be specificity about how they are innovative and why this represents a significant improvement or shift that is better than what exists. Orbit is conscious that innovation does not always mean a new idea and may be a better way of doing things for example; utilising technology to deliver greater engagement and therefore provable reduction in unitary costs per outcome. Note that this excludes ideas that directly challenge public services


Orbit will want to see that applicants are willing to participate in a innovative programme that is open to being both challenged and supported by Orbits management team. This should include to ability to be adaptable, flexible and above all open and transparent. Especially with early stage projects where success is not assured, Orbit wants relationships based on the principle of failing fast and learning fast. Partners should be prepared to share learning and learn from others openly.

Connecting Communities:

Activities and ideas that mobilise our customers to think of ways of sharing local resources as well as reciprocal models of support that enable people to get the help they need around issues that are a priority in their community. Creating enabling factors that allow for local individuals and groups to prepare for or respond to challenges within communities creating a community resilience.

Digital Action:

We are also keen to see ideas that acutely harness the opportunities available through digital technology. Methods of harnessing talents that are aligned to the 21st Century lifestyle, particularly around the +55 age segment becoming more digitally engaged.

Priority Beneficiaries:

As the source of funding comes from our customers, activities that can illustrate how Orbit customers are the main beneficiaries of the programmes will be prioritised. If your idea is based on an existing piece of work you will need to demonstrate you have the appropriate networks or channels to reach communities within Orbits management areas.

Impact and public benefit:

Though we are interested in activities that can evidence improvements to our priority community investment themes, we also want to hear from groups and organisations which are outside of the third sector and feel that they can make positive contribution to the public benefit. Orbit is also keen on hearing about how you and your partners deliver currently in terms of social and public benefit.

Existing and New Ideas.

Orbit envisages that this will attract many applicants looking to try something different and new. However we ask that you look at the criteria below and understand the subtle differences in what applicants will need to be able to evidence in regards to whether they are looking to expand on an existing idea or suggest something completely new. We should emphasise that in exceptional cases already established projects will in effect represent something innovative to Orbit in addressing a niche that we have not considered. We encourage partners to research our current projects as you may find that there are elements that we have not considered in our current project line up.

New Ideas:

We actively encourage people to apply with concepts and ideas that are completely new. However we do expect applicants to have done some work in advance of their proposal. Therefore we are keen to see proposals that have demonstrated some very early stage development. You may not yet have a proven concept or have yet secured funding however it is important that these applications:
  • Illustrate clearly how their ideas align with Orbits community investment priorities.
  • How does this idea illustrate something new or innovative in comparison to what is already out there or within Orbit.
  • Established some benchmark evidence of need, as well as evidence of impact for the beneficiaries.
  • Have the structures, pipelines of networks within the local areas in which you wish to work.
  • Have capacity and appetite to work within the timelines and framework of the BDF.

Existing Ideas:

Existing ideas will be assessed in line with the criteria set for new ideas, however here there will be a need to provide performance measures based on existing work and how this supports your application.

Both new and existing idea proposals will be selected according to how well they can illustrate:

  • Sustainability
  • Innovation
  • Impact
  • Seeding civic structures of support and creating resilient communities.
  • How well they align to Orbit community investment themes

Seeding civic support structures:

Essentially about how your project will pay it forward by encouraging peer to peer support structures. This includes the active use of volunteers to leave behind resilience within the communities. Depending on how far into the project cycle your idea is we will want to understand how you intend to mobilise the use of volunteers to your programme. We are looking for projects that make communities more resourceful and as well as more empowered to take action. We are also keen to ensure that there is more widespread knowledge of where people can obtain help if needed.

Management areas:

We can only support projects that are in our community management areas.

Advance public benefit:

We can only fund projects that advance public benefit. This includes public bodies, charities, TSOs, social enterprises. For profit organisations may apply for this funding so long as they have strong evidence of how their proposals will have public benefit.

Individual Applications:

Orbit will also consider applications from individuals. Orbit may place conditions on the grant award requiring you to form an incorporated entity or membership association. Note that Orbit may impose restrictions and conditions on how funds are dispersed. Orbit will not pay individuals and customers directly.

Joint proposals:

A number of organisations can put forward a joint proposal, where one organisation is designated as the lead and takes responsibility for the other organisations.

Limitations on funding:

Organisations should ensure that they are conscious of limitations on their ability to source funds and ensure that they are not in breach of receiving funds that constitute approvable state aid. Grant awards can only fund limited paid for marketing and advertising. This must be clearly laid out in the proposal and financial statements of the application.

Religious and Political Parties:

We cannot fund innovations that are party political or which support or promote religious activity.