£15m Digital Fund launches

A man and an older women sitting together on a couch and working on a laptop
Digital Buddies

We’re excited to open our new Digital Fund today to offer dedicated digital funding support to voluntary and community groups across the UK!

The £15 million Digital Fund will run for two years and will award grants of up to £500,000. The first phase is open to applications from today until 3 December 2018 and has two funding strands:

  1. Digital Pioneers – for established charities, with an income of over £500,000 per year, that want to use digital to take a major leap forward;
  2. Digital Natives – for more recently-established organisations that are successfully using digital, but now need help scaling this up.

This first phase is specifically about accelerating and upscaling existing digital services. However, in the New Year, we’ll also be announcing how the Digital Fund will help build digital skills within smaller organisations.

Wondering how you can get involved or interested in applying? Here’s what you need to know:

Who can apply?

1. Digital Pioneers

Your organisation must be incorporated within the UK and work primarily in the voluntary and community sector. It also needs to have an income of over £500,000 per year (if you had an income of over £10m last year, we’ll ask for a matching contribution that will be tailored to your size).

2. Digital Natives

Your organisation must have been incorporated after the year 2000, and you need to currently operate a product or service that is functional and being used by the type of people and communities you plan to serve in future.

When can I apply?

The first opportunity to apply is from today – the Digital Fund is initially open for six weeks until 5pm on 3 December 2018. Future opportunities to apply will be announced in early 2019.

How much can I apply for?

Grants are up to £500,000 each and there’s no minimum grant! In the first phase we expect to only make a few relatively large grants.

How long can our grant last for?

You’ll need to tell us how long you think your work to take, but we expect grants to last from one to four years.

How do I apply?

The first stage is for you to submit an expression of interest via the website. We may contact you to discuss this in more detail. A team of experienced staff will decide whether to invite you to the second stage of the application process, where we’ll have a conversation with you about your fuller proposal or plan.

How long will the application process take?

We’ll aim to give you an indication by phone or email within one month of whether we want to pursue your expression of interest. If we feel the Digital Fund could work for you, we’ll ask to submit a full proposal and you’ll receive a decision on this within three to six months.

Will you only fund projects/organisations that work across the whole of the UK?

No – while our UK-wide funding programmes typically only fund organisations operating across every nation in the UK, for the Digital Fund we expect to fund some organisations that operate in only one UK nation (e.g. Scotland).

However, if you work in just one nation, we suggest you look at the funding available in that area first, before you apply to the Digital Fund.

Should any project with any digital aspect apply for funding via this new digital funding programme?

No – applicants should look at our other funding programmes too. Our main funding programmes also accept applications that use digital tools and approaches to succeed, and may be more relevant for many project ideas!

Interested in applying? Visit our website to find out more and submit an expression of interest.

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