Closed Fund

Urban Uplift Fund

Closing Date
In partnership with:

Promoting equity of opportunity and access to employment for young adults living in Dublin’s most disadvantaged areas

Rethink Ireland and JPMorgan at the launch of the 'Urban Uplift Fund', which will support organisations tackling unemployment among young adults in Dublin. Pictured: Marc Hussey, Senior Country Officer and Head of Banking in Ireland for J.P. Morgan Bank SE, and Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Rethink Ireland. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan

The Urban Uplift Fund is a €762,821 two-year fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, IBM United Kingdom Trust and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. The objective of the Fund is to back innovative projects working towards youth employment and/or youth employability in Dublin’s most disadvantaged areas.

Following the last economic recession, Ireland had made great progress in reducing unemployment rates and barriers preventing people from entering the labour market. However, this progress has not benefited everyone in society on an equal basis and with the onset and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, these inequalities have only increased.

The Urban Uplift Fund aims to address these barriers and enable young adults (aged 18-30) to reach their full potential by supporting innovative projects in Dublin which aim to secure employment and/or apprenticeships for young adults at risk of permanent exclusion and enhancing their full participation in society. 

The Fund will aim to empower up to 120 young adults into jobs, apprenticeships or work experience programmes in the green and/or digital economy. In addition, it will aim to enable up to 75 young adults to complete certified training and up to 80 to progress on to further education.

You can apply to the Urban Uplift Fund via the online portal from Monday, August 22nd until Tuesday, 25th October at 5pm. 

Please join us for our application clinics to find out more and answer any questions that you have:

  • Wednesday, 7th September at 11am: register
  • Friday, 23rd September at 12pm: register
  • Wednesday, 12th October at 12pm: register

Each session will entail a short presentation followed by an open Q&A session, offering you an opportunity to bring any questions you may have regarding the application process to the Fund team.

How Does it Work?

There will be up to 4 awards available in total, and each Awardee will receive a cash grant (to a maximum of €64,250 each year across two years), mentoring support and placement on Rethink Ireland’s capacity building programme programme.

Who Can Apply?

This fund is open to organisations that have a not-for-profit legal form, e.g. charity, social enterprise and other voluntary organisations. 

Eligibility & Criteria

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

Rethink Ireland Criteria 

  • The project must address a critical social issue
  • The project proposed must be innovative in an Irish context
  • The project must be based on the island of Ireland and must make its impact in Dublin 
  • The project must have potential and a 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, eg:
    • A company limited by guarantee
    • A co-operative
    • Charity
    • And other not for profit legal forms.

The Urban Uplift Fund Criteria 

The Urban Uplift Fund Criteria Applicants to the Urban Uplift Fund must be operating and make their impact in Dublin City. Projects should also meet the criteria below. 

Projects/Organisations will: 

  • Focus on young adults aged 18-30 experiencing socio-economic disadvantage 
  • Provide a holistic wrap-around response to addressing the range of internal and external factors relevant to bringing young people closer to the labour market 
  • Support young people aged 18-30 into quality employment and/or apprenticeship programmes and/or full-time & paid work placements for young adults aged 18 – 30 through accredited and/or non-accredited training 
  • Projects and/or organisations that actively engage with young adults experiencing disadvantage in the design of their programmes. 
  • Projects and/or organisations who are focused on the Green Transition/ Economy or whose activities address the digital divide and the impact of inequality of access to technology.

The Urban Uplift Advantageous Criteria 

  • Projects and/or organisations that are led by a member of their end-beneficiary community

Which projects cannot apply?

Projects that are not eligible to apply are:

  • Research projects
  • Projects seeking funding for capital assets (such as buildings, vans or equipment)
  • 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.

Which applicants cannot apply? 

Applicants that are not eligible to apply are:

  • Applicants under 18 years of age
  • Commercial companies
  • Rethink Ireland staff, directors and their immediate family members
  • Any philanthropic donors supporting this fund 
  • 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
  • Any consultant currently working with Rethink Ireland
  • Any project currently being funded by Rethink Ireland. We define a current Awardee as an organisation and or project on one of our Funds that has grant payments remaining this year
  • Past awardees that have been recipients of cash grants are ineligible, except  where they are the parent organisation and the project is entirely different.

What Does the Fund Offer?

  • Cash grants up to €64,250 each year across 2 years
  • A business supports package
  • A place on our capacity building ‘Accelerator Programme’
  • Project performance management

How Do We Apply?

Complete the application via the online portal from August 22nd until October 25th at 5pm.  To complete your application form online, you will need to upload financial and governance information including a 2 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 Urban Uplift Fund with a new project. However, any organisation and or project on one of our Funds that has grant payments remaining this year are not eligible.

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

Stage 2: Review the applications 

Stage 3: Shortlisted applicants invited to interview – November

Stage 4: Interviews held – early December

Stage 5: Final checks on short-listed applicants

Stage 6: Final decision by Rethink Ireland’s Board – December

Stage 7: Inform successful applicants – December

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 Urban Uplift Fund.

Any further questions?

Please contact the Fund Team at

Terms and Conditions

By applying for the Urban Uplift 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.