Community Investment Scheme Round 3

Please note that applications for this third round of funding have now closed.

On this page:

About the scheme  

The Community Investment Scheme is part of NHS Blood and Transplant’s commitment to build support for donation amongst Black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic communities.  

The scheme funds community and faith/beliefs organisations to drive awareness, understanding and behaviour change. We know that trusted local organisations can be effective at achieving these goals due to their specialist knowledge, understanding and footprint in the community. 

You can read more about the first 25 projects funded in the our Community Investment Scheme evaluation report, or read a summary of the projects funded last year (PDF 271KB).

In its latest round of funding the scheme has broadened its scope to cover a range of health inequalities. Having previously focused solely on organ donation after death, it is now focused across three areas of activity: 

Projects engaging Black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic communities in deceased organ donation (Total funding pot of £250,000)

Projects engaging Black African and / or Black Caribbean communities in blood donation (Total funding pot of £150,000)

Projects covering a combination of blood donation and deceased organ donation (funded using a combination of the above funding pots) 

Community Engagement Leads initiative: a new arm of the Community Investment Scheme, funding strategic location-based partners to lead on engaging local networks in blood and deceased organ donation (Total funding pot of £200,000) 

Applicants for the third round had to consider the uncertainty around COVID-19 and the possibility of further periods of lockdown in any applications. For this reason, they were asked to focus on projects that used digital delivery. All projects needed to include a digital contingency plan for any face to face work.

Why the scheme is needed

Ethnicity is a multidimensional concept with many links to health. The joint blood and organs Community Investment Scheme will help tackle some of the health inequalities affecting people from Black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic backgrounds. It aims to address the shortage of Black blood donors, whose blood is used to treat conditions like sickle cell, and the shortage of ethnically matched organs for those waiting for a transplant in all BAME communities. 

Establishing and building trust in these communities is key. Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and research shows they are less likely to view government policies in a positive light or trust government messages.  

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is not immune to these systemic challenges, as highlighted by June 2020 report. A number of initiatives are now in place to address the issues identified in the report, recognising the role of ethnicity in our work around blood and organ donation.   

Through the Community Investment Scheme, we look to work with grassroots organisations to engage, educate and recruit more donors as clinical data shows that ethnically matched blood and organs provide the best treatment. 

We want to work with trusted and authentic voices in the community to deliver these messages and make a real change for those whose lives will be improved or saved by blood and organ donation.  

It is with building trust in mind, that for the latest round of funding we launched our Community Engagement Leads initiative, funding community organisations to create grassroots networks to promote organ and blood donation in partnership with NHSBT. This work is highly focused, working with organisations in specific locations, and with specified ethnic groups. 

Applying for funding 

Applications for the third round of funding closed on Sunday 6th December 2020. For more information, please email the team

See a full list of projects funded in the third round of the Community Investment Scheme (PDF 147KB)