Closed Fund

Glas Communities Fund

Closing Date
In partnership with:

The Glas Communities Fund is a €200,000 fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Ornua Co-operative Limited and the Irish Governmentvia the Dormant Accounts Fund. The Fund will back innovative solutions which are working to build green sustainable communities in Ireland.

The Glas Communities Fund will support proven social innovations with an environmental and community impact to grow and scale across the country. Projects with a focus on rural development will have an advantage. Please note that this Fund is only open to organisations that have already received funding from Rethink Ireland (previously Social Innovation Fund Ireland).

You can apply to The Glas Communities Fund via this online application form from 4th May 2021 to Tuesday 25th May 2021 at 5pm.

How Does It Work?

The Glas Communities Fund will provide a package of awards and supports to innovative not-for-profit organisations that are working to build green, sustainable and rural communities in Ireland. There will be up to five awards available in total, and each Awardee will receive a cash grant, mentoring support and a comprehensive six-month Accelerator programme.

Who Can Apply?

The Fund is open to previous Rethink Ireland Awardees who meet the criteria below.

Eligibility & Criteria

Projects must meet both Rethink Ireland’s criteria and the specific criteria for The Glas Communities Fund, as set out below:

Rethink Ireland Core Criteria

  • The project must be a green social innovation, i.e. have a combined environmental and social impact
  • The project proposed must be innovative in an Irish context
  • The project must be based on the island of Ireland and must make its main impact in the Republic of Ireland
  • The project must have the potential and desire to scale or replicate in Ireland (it may also have potential internationally, but this is not a requirement)
  • The project must provide evidence that it is up and running, or has been tested at least in a minimal way
  • Applicants must come from an entity that has a not for profit legal form e.g. charity, voluntary organisation, etc.

Glas Communities Fund Specific Criteria

  • The organisation must have a combined environmental and social impact where neither element is at the detriment of the other
  • The organisation must have previously received a minimum cash grant of €10,000 from Rethink Ireland (previously Social Innovation Fund Ireland)
  • The project lead cannot be actively engaged in another Rethink Ireland Accelerator Programme as of September 2021
  • The organisation must be able to demonstrate how they have implemented previous Rethink Ireland supports
  • Projects must be addressing one or more of the following Sustainable Development Goals:
    • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities- make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
    • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production – ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
    • SDG 13: Climate action – take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
    • SDG 14: Life below water – conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
    • SDG 15: Life on land – conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Advantageous Criteria

  • Projects that focus on measuring the economic, social and environmental impact
  • Projects with a strong research and evidence base
  • Projects working communities and groups experiencing socio-economic disadvantage or geographic isolation

What projects are not eligible?

Projects that are not eligible to apply are:

  • Projects seeking to fund capital items (such as buildings, vans or equipment)
  • Research projects
  • Projects promoting or aligned with a political party
  • Projects that only accept participants of a particular faith or religious denomination
  • Projects focused on animal welfare
  • Projects based outside the Republic of Ireland
  • Projects led by people under 18 years of age
  • Projects that are an idea (only) and that have not yet started
  • Organisations that have received support through Rethink Ireland’s Growth Fund

Which applicants cannot apply?

Applicants that are not eligible to apply are:

  • Applicants under 18 years of age
  • Commercial companies
  • Rethink Ireland or Ornua Cooperative Limited staff, directors and their immediate family members
  • Individuals, statutory or public bodies, local development companies, LEADER companies, companies limited by shares, and organisations that are funded 100% by state bodies or agencies and continue to be in receipt of that funding.

What Does The Fund Offer?

  • Cash grants (up to €50,000)
  • A business supports package
  • A place on an online Accelerator Programme, which will be conducted through webinars. The Accelerator Programme will run from September 2021 until March 2022.
  • Project performance management

How Do We Apply?

You can apply to the Glas Communities Fund via this online application form from Tuesday 4th May 2021 to Tuesday 25th May 2021 at 5pm. To complete your application form online, you will need to upload financial and governance information including a one-year budget for your project.


We have tried to make the application process as accessible as possible but we understand that there may still be some difficulties for applicants. If you have access needs or are struggling with the application form, please contact

Frequently Asked Questions

What can cash grants be spent on?

You may only spend the grant on the project which won the award. Rethink Ireland will agree on the specific use of the grant with you.

Please note: you cannot use the grant to pay off debts or buy land, buildings or equipment and it cannot be used for subsistence or scholarship payments to beneficiaries.

If my organisation has already or is currently in receipt of a grant from Rethink Ireland, can I still apply?

Yes. If you have previously been funded or are currently being funded by Rethink Ireland, you can still apply to the Glas Communities Fund with a new project.

Who will decide who wins the awards?

Final decisions are made by the Board of Rethink Ireland.

What is the selection process?

The selection process includes the following steps:

Stage 1: Open call for applications (4th May 2021 to 25th May 2021)
Stage 2: Review the applications
Stage 3: Shortlisted applicants invited to interview – week beginning 7th June 2021
Stage 4: Interview held – week beginning 21st June 2021
Stage 5: Final checks on short-listed applicants
Stage 6: Final decision by Rethink Ireland’s Board – week beginning 2nd August 2021
Stage 7: Inform successful applicants – week beginning 9th August 2021

Can organisations make multiple applications?

Yes, organisations can make multiple applications. These applications must be for different projects.

If my organisation is funded by a Government/state agency (HSE, TULSA etc) are we eligible?

Yes, you can apply if you are in receipt of funding from a government or state agency. However, if your organisation is 100% funded through state sources then you are not eligible to apply to the Glas Communities Fund.

Any further questions?

If you have any further questions or aren’t sure whether you are eligible please contact Ellie O’Sullivan at

Terms And Conditions

By applying for the Glas Communities Fund, you agree to the following terms and conditions.

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You have given full and truthful information, both verbal and written, at all stages of the application and selection process.
  • You are eligible to apply. This means that your organisation meets the criteria for Rethink Ireland and, as described.
  • You have the right to apply. This means that you hold the necessary rights to carry out the project.
  • By sending in your application, you accept these terms and conditions and our Privacy Statement. If you do not comply with these terms and conditions, you may be disqualified and may have to return any award granted.
  • Rethink Ireland will hold the personal details which you submitted with your application form. We will only share this information with the third parties administering the application and selection process unless we agree otherwise with you. Please see our Privacy Statement for full details.
  • The Awardees must take part in publicity about the grant. Rethink Ireland reserves the right to publish the names of organisations that are successful in their applications.
  • If you decline an award or if the award is taken back because you did not comply with the terms and conditions, the Directors may select an alternative Awardee.
  • Rethink Ireland reserves the right to disqualify any entrant, to change the terms and conditions without notice, or to cancel the application process at any stage.