Help Refugees – open call for funding applications

Help Refugees is delighted to announce the Spring “Choose Love” Pot: an open call for small grant applications.


The Spring ‘Choose Love’ Pot opens March 1st and will close March 31st, 2019.

What is the Spring ‘Choose Love’ Pot?

Through the Spring ‘Choose Love’ Pot, we aim to support grassroots refugee support groups operating in Europe (including the UK!) and the Middle East. Unfortunately the Pot is not available to organisations based in the Americas.

The Spring ‘Choose Love’ Pot can be used to fund work in any humanitarian sector. We will not be able to fund any political activities.

Though our primary aim is to support people who have been displaced including refugees, asylum-seekers, internally-displaced persons and local communities affected by migration, we understand the intersectionality of displacement and hope to reflect this through our funding. We have funded organisations working with people who are homeless, for example (in the UK this can often include those who have been displaced and now find themselves without accommodation), and are open to receiving applications from similar groups.

Who can apply?

Through the Spring ‘Choose Love’ Pot, we aim to support grassroots groups operating in Europe and the Middle East.

Help Refugees does not, as a rule, fund large International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs). We exist to support and celebrate small teams of dedicated people.

Where possible, we work with local organisations. We firmly believe in supporting a local response from affected communities, displaced and local people alike. If you are an international group, the more local staff or volunteers you have, the more sustainable you are.

More information about the Pot:

❤ Successful applicants will receive a one-off grant of up to 10,000 GBP.
❤ The submission period for applications is 1st to 31st March 2019.
❤ We will get back to you by Friday 17th May 2019.
❤ We will respond to every applicant, but unfortunately are unable to provide detailed feedback on every proposal that is not accepted.
❤ If your application is shortlisted, we will 1) contact you to ask any immediate questions about the application and to let you know we’ll be contacting your referees; 2) arrange a call to talk about your work further; 3) come and visit you to see the work in person.
❤ For those shortlisted, we will request an updated financial report, an impact report, details of your governance and reporting processes.
❤ In the grant agreement we will ask for full narrative and financial reporting, including photographs and case studies.

How to apply:

Please download and fill out this form, then email with the title ‘Spring Choose Love Pot Application’.


  • My group has already received funding from Help Refugees. Can we still apply?
    Yes, we’re happy for existing or past partners to apply for this grant.
  • Can the grant make up part of a larger overall budget?
    Yes, however we will need to know exactly which aspect of the budget it will be used for.
  • Can I apply to retrospectively fill a gap in our funding?
    No, the Spring ‘Choose Love’ Pot cannot be used to cover past gaps.
  • Can the grant be used to cover ‘core’ or operational costs?
    Yes, we’re happy to support these costs.
  • Will you be able to offer support with reporting, if we need it?
    Yes, we will be happy to help on this front.
  • Who can I contact to ask further questions?
    You can reach us at with any questions we haven’t answered. Please bear in mind that we are a small team and may take a few days to get back to you.
  • Which projects will you not fund?
    – We are not able to fund projects working inside Syria at this time.
    – Significant asset purchases (e.g. land).
    – Generally theatrical productions and art-based projects.
    – Funding is also not available for student expeditions, schools, councils, volunteer-tourism projects, academic studies, sponsored activities (e.g. walks, runs, challenges etc), fundraising initiatives, or event sponsorship. Similarly, events and parades will also not be considered.
    – Film production will not be considered.
    – Finally, we cannot fund businesses or social enterprises.

The submission period for applications is 1st to 31st March 2019.

Who are Help Refugees?

Help Refugees was founded in 2015 by a group of friends who wanted to help. When we arrived in Calais with a van full of donations and a load of cash, there were no formal actors to hand it over to. Together with a huge number of amazing volunteers, and in partnership with French charity l’Auberge des Migrants, we rented and set up a warehouse and distribution system. By continuing to fundraise back home, we were able to financially support a lot of the grassroots groups operating in ‘the Jungle’ camp in Calais – and started to hear about the needs further east along the European migration routes. We are now a team of 10 in London, with 4 field staff, working in 11 different countries, supporting 80 local and grassroots projects across all sectors.

Our work spans emergency response, long-term and inclusive solutions, and advocacy. We operate inclusively, supporting local and ‘host’ communities as well as newer residents.

Everything we do is motivated by our core values of dignity, hope, respect and humanity.