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Apply for our DUCK Fund

Apply for our DUCK local charities Fund


DUCK (Durham University Charities Kommittee) exists to support students and staff in raising money for and awareness of an array of charities throughout the UK and beyond. We offer extraordinary opportunities to meet new people through our events, explore the world through our expeditions and test your endurance levels to the limit in our challenges. What makes this all so fantastic is that whilst doing this we raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities across the globe!

As the fundraising arm of the Durham Students Union we are the sole core activity in Durham that offers such incredible opportunities all in the name of charity – and the best part is, we’re completely student led. In 2014, DUCK was credited with an award for being the Best Student Fundraising Group of the Year and it is something we’re incredibly proud of. However, we can’t do it without your help. So, scout out an event that takes your fancy and get involved! We promise you’ll enjoy every second of it. Together, with your help, we can make this year even bigger and better!

The DUCK Local Charities Fund (previously DUCK Allocations) was designed to help charities fund specific projects which benefit the local community and has existed in its current form since 2012.

Although it is not a necessary requirement, we particularly welcome applications which can specify exactly how the money will be spent to support a specific project or goal – for example: to pay six months’ rent for an art group, to pay for a new piece of equipment in a hospice, to fund a ‘sports day’ for a youth group. However, we understand that it is not always possible to be this specific, and we encourage charities to use our fund in whichever way will best fulfil their needs. Typically, DUCK distributes grants of between £100 and £1000 through this fund.

Only local charities can apply to the DUCK Fund, where ‘local’ is defined as working within a fifty mile radius of Durham or TeessideThis is part of DUCK’s commitment to the local community.

Sadly, we cannot accept applications from international charities, even if they are based locally (so a charity based in Newcastle, yet working in Africa, would not be eligible to apply). However, we can accept applications from local branches of national charities (for example, from ‘Durham and Chester le Street Mind’).

Giving Statement: 

When considering which charities to support DUCK prioritises those which make the maximum impact in the lives of those who need it most. We understand that different programs aim for different sorts of results and we do not hold to a single universal rule for determining what specific ‘impact’ we are looking for. Ultimately, we support charities which run relatively inexpensive yet highly effective and sustainable programmes, thus successfully fulfilling a demonstrable need in the world.


DUCK's Giving Strategy:

1 We are open-minded about the charities that we support. DUCK will consider any application or cause. If a charity is working to fulfil a genuine need and improve lives, then the race, age, gender or ethnicity of the people being helped is irrelevant; DUCK considers every human life to be of equal value.

2. We give to charities which can provide evidence of their positive impact on people's lives. We want charities to make a case that what they do works, and works more effectively than other organizations which have similar goals. The best charities will rigorously test their programmes, monitor outcomes and make changes were applicable. They will have experts in their management committees and board of trustees, ensuring that their programmes are carried out in the most cost-effective way in order to achieve the best possible results. We ask questions such as: how many people have benefited from the work of this charity? What would have been the likely outcome for such people if the charity had not carried out its projects? Does the charity follow up its work and ensure that the projects continue to be sustainable and successful?

3. Transparency and accountability. The charities that DUCK works with must be willing to share enough in-depth information about their work that we can assess them on the above criteria. We favour charities which provide clear statistics and information on their websites, demonstrating exactly how our money will be spent. We use this information to assess cost-effectiveness, and also to ensure that the charities we support minimise administration costs and do not pay excessive salaries or bonuses to staff.

4. We are proactive. Although many charities contact DUCK asking to work with us or applying for funds, we also conduct our own research and contact charities which we think could benefit from our support. If DUCK only gives to the charities which contact us, then we are arbitrarily rewarding the most proactive charities, and overlooking many others which could benefit from our support.

5. We love to see progress. DUCK stays in the contact with the charities that it supports – we like to see evidence of progress and change, ensuring that our donation was spent in the way that we intended and that the outcome was as we had hoped. This also helps us to decide whether we wish to continue working with the same charities in the future.

6. We consider ‘capacity for more funding’. An organization which has capacity for more funding will have a pressing need for money such that additional donations will allow it to expand services and maximise impact in the immediate future. A charity that does not have capacity for more funding may already have enough money in the bank such that our donation will only grow an already-safe level of reserves, or it may have another regular source of income/funding which fulfils its needs. Alternatively, the organization may be so small that money isn’t the bottleneck to expansion, and it can’t effectively expand even with more money.


Fundraising for our Local Charities Fund occurs throughout the academic year through a variety of events.


The deadline for 2017 Fund applications is 22nd May. Please download a copy of the application form available here: and send it to Rachael our Charity Liaison Officer at .  If for any reason you are having trouble downloading the form, a copy can be emailed to you if you contact Rachael on the aforementioned email.  We look forward to receiving your application!




Last year DUCK raised over £11,000 for local charities. 

DUCK Allocations 2014/2015. 

If you have any questions please get in touch: