Minister Joe O’Brien announces fresh funding call for groups that support disadvantaged

  • Call for applications under Community Services Programme (CSP)
  • Programme benefits groups providing services and creating employment for disadvantaged
  • Workshops to assist organisations applying for scheme

Minister for Community Development, Integration and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD has today, (Monday, 6th March 2023) announced a new Call for Applications under the Community Services Programme (CSP). The CSP currently supports over 420 community-based organisations.

Announcing the new call at Recycle IT in Clondalkin today, the Minister said: 

“I am delighted to launch a new Call for Applications under the Community Services Programme. The purpose of this funding is to support social enterprises and community/voluntary organisations with an additional strand focusing on circular economy projects that are either Traveller led or ones that will primarily employ members of the Traveller community.”

Funding of €1 million will be available for this new call in 2023 which will provide new organisations with an opportunity to access support to employ additional staff in line with the programme’s re-defined sub-programmes and new vision, which were approved in 2022.

Pre-application support workshops will be rolled out to ensure organisations are fully equipped with the information that they need to apply for this funding. As a first step, an Information Event will be held for organisations interested in applying for the programme on week beginning 20th March 2023. Details will be shared on the Pobal CSP webpage and on the Department of Rural and Community Development social media channels. Organisations that wish to be notified about the workshops can also contact

Following the pre-application supports, organisations will be invited to submit a short concept note to Pobal outlining their proposal for assessment against the objectives of the call and organisations will then be informed whether their proposal fits with the call.


The Minister continued:

“The CSP supports a range of services, facilities and activities that enhance the quality of life for specific disadvantaged groups within our communities.

“This open call will be essential in broadening the range of services available and bringing new organisations onto the programme.

“I am delighted to say that we will also have a range of support workshops to assist those organisations in applying to the CSP Programme.’’




The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

01-773 6843 / 087-1734633

Notes for editors:

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports over 420 community-based organisations, to provide local services through a social enterprise model, creating employment opportunities for specific disadvantaged groups and individuals, such as people with disabilities, Travellers, recovering drug misusers, ex-prisoners and long term unemployed.

The purpose of this funding is to support social enterprises and community/voluntary organisations that:

  • Are addressing a local priority and evidenced need, particularly for those most disadvantaged in their community
  • Are delivering tangible and practical benefits for those most disadvantaged in their community
  • Are moving towards a sustainable social enterprise business model through trading.

Applications will be accepted from all organisations under two strands:

Strand 1:

  • Organisations operating in the circular economy which are owned and led by traveller organisations and/or provide employment primarily to members of the traveller community.

Strand 2:

  • Demonstrate their proposal meets one or more of the CSP strategic objectives and the horizontal principles of the programme.

The CSP contribution is not aligned to the minimum wage and does not meet the full salary cost of supported posts, rather it is a fixed annual contribution towards the salary costs of managers and employees in supported organisations. The CSP contribution must be co-funded by the organisation concerned from other sources, for example, from income received from the public use of their facilities and services.

As part of the restructuring process, a new funding rate allocation model for the CSP has been introduced from January 2023, as an alternative to the previous flat rate payment model. CSP organisations that are operating in areas of high disadvantage, employing individuals from the prescribed programme target groups and having limited earning potential will benefit from the higher funding rate category.

A total increase of €4,000 for both full time positions and managers has been provided for those organisations in the high funding category, with €2,000 per full-time position and manager provided to those in the medium funding category.

No change is proposed for the small number of organisations in the low funding category, these are organisations identified with the strongest earning potential and operating in less disadvantaged areas.

The strategic objectives of the Programme are:

  • To address community needs through supporting services and community assets ensuring these are inclusive and responsive to those experiencing disadvantage or marginalisation.
  • To provide employment opportunities and improve the employability of individuals most distant from the labour market/or in disadvantaged areas.
  • To strengthen and support community organisations operating as social enterprises to deliver improved facilities and services and to pilot innovative social economy initiatives.

The horizontal principles of the Programme are:

  • Promoting social inclusion and equality
  • Building sustainable communities
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