Skip to content

Rapid Response Fund: application guidelines

Please read this background information about how and why the Rapid Response Fund was established, and review the application guidelines below carefully before proceeding with an application. We are receiving increasing numbers of applications that do not meet the criteria, in particular applications responding to situations that were not unanticipated, or to address cash-flow issues specific to the applicant organisation. We will not be able to accept such applications as they do not fit with the purpose of the Rapid Response Fund.


Urgency: EFN welcomes applications for work that will help your organisation, collaboration or initiative seize an unexpected opportunity or react to an unexpected crisis that is external to your organisation, allowing you to secure a significant environmental ‘win’ that would not otherwise be possible. In the past, applicants have responded to Covid-19, the cost of living crisis and unexpected changes in government policy. The specific event or situation to which your organisation is responding must not have been possible to anticipate, and it must be the case that action needs to happen quickly in order to be effective. Actions must be implemented within three months of securing funding.

Location: Work can be anywhere in the world, but the applicant organisation must be UK-based.

Issues: We welcome applications for work on all environmental issues, but will give preference to work on thematic issues that EFN research has found to be less well funded, in particular a) trade and finance, b) consumption and waste, c) toxics and pollution, d) transport and e) fresh water.

Approaches: EFN research has indicated that the UK environment sector thinks more resources are needed for a) policy and advocacy work, b) ‘movement-building’ involving work engaging with the grassroots and civil society coordination, and c) communications work with a greater focus on attitudes, behaviours and values. In addition, our conversations with sector leaders have indicated that funds are often needed urgently for work related to legal action. We will give preference to proposals for work using these approaches.

Exclusions: We will not accept applications that are intended to address funding crises specific to your organisation (e.g. emergency cash-flow funding); the emergency you are seeking to address must be external rather than internal. We will not accept applications to provide match funding, except in cases where the rest of the criteria are met.

Maximum request: £25,000, noting that the average amount requested is around £15,000 and the average amount raised is £10,000.

View the online application form. The form cannot be saved part way through, so once you begin, you will need to answer all the questions and submit the form. We recommend preparing your answers offline and copying and pasting them into the online form when you are ready. Applications should be completed in England.

Apply here.