South Yorkshire Community Foundation's volunteers are an important part of our grant giving process, helping community groups to make a difference

Distributing funding to community groups over 36 years would not be possible without the passionate and dedicated effort of our volunteers, whether as a grant panel member or their expertise as a Trustee.

With the support of the staff team at South Yorkshire Community Foundation, volunteers have learnt about the impact grant funding has had over the region, thanks to their input in assessing applications, for example.

With SYCF since day one

Anne has been with South Yorkshire Community Foundation since 1986 after being asked to join the Sheffield panel by a Trustee, sensing the opportunity to contribute to community development and to make a difference.

She has played a great role as a volunteer, on our grant panels reading the passion of our community groups.

Volunteers Week 2023 saw her presented with a bouquet of flowers.

"I have learnt so much about people and places in Sheffield and in visiting groups am constantly reminded and amazed at what can be achieved with relatively small amounts of money" 

SYCF volunteer, Anne, smiling whilst holding a bouquet of flowers

Beyond a place on our grants panel or becoming a Trustee, you can develop through wide ranging volunteering opportunities, which you can find out below.

As a volunteer with South Yorkshire Community Foundation, you will get from us:

  • An introduction about the Foundation
  • Details of the responsibilities of your specific volunteer role, the support and training available
  • Potential panel members also attend a relevant grants panel as an observer to gain an overview of the role
  • If still interested, then invited for further training to learn about the process

Variety through volunteering 

Join a grants assessment panel

  • Join our independent decision making panels to ensure our grant funding goes to the community groups making the most impact


  • Project Work: helping with new or existing campaigns
  • Case Studies: writing inspirational stories
  • Social Media: assisting in managing social media sites


  • Helping with our day-to-day office needs with administrative support
  • Admin duties including minute taking, transcription, editing and proof-reading

Bid writing

  • Learn the ropes of bid writing
  • Help SYCF to bring in more funding opportunities to South Yorkshire


  • Passionate about fundraising? Have a chat about how you can utilise that through SYCF 

Project Planning

  • Support to streamline and create more effective campaigns and projects


  • Using databases, or using your research capabilities to support project work at the Foundation

South Yorkshire Community Foundation are keen to recruit people from ethnic minorities throughout our volunteering opportunities, to truly represent the diverse make-up of our communities in the region.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of our volunteering offer, then please get in touch.

Meet Jess

Jess is responsible for leading the team that delivers effectively and efficiently the SYCF's Grants Programmes and identifying improved ways of working and streamlining. Jess will be the lead officer for managing SYCF's proactive volunteer recruitment for its panels, recruiting and increasing diversity, training and providing on-going support including an annual panel members event. Her working days are Tuesday to Friday.

Jess O'Neill

Grants and Partnerships Manager

Jess O'Neill's LinkedIn page
Jess O'Neill