Early stage digital funding and tailored support over 12 weeks to help charities explore digital service delivery challenges and prototype solutions. If you're enrolled in Explore, visit training.wearecast.org.uk

Grant funding and 12 week support programme for charities and not-for-profit organisations to explore digital service delivery challenges. Programme closes 12pm, Monday 22nd June.

Does your charity have a service delivery challenge that you think could be solved using a digital approach? Would you like expert help and financial support to explore the challenge and prototype a solution?

Explore is an early stage digital funding opportunity funded by Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and delivered in partnership with CAST. A strand of the funders’ Tech for Good programme, it has been designed for charities looking to:

  • scope how a digital solution can improve outcomes for the people they support, and  
  • build the skills to develop a strong, user-led approach to digital service delivery.

Applications should align to one of Comic Relief’s core themes: Children Survive & Thrive; Fighting for Gender Justice; A Safe Place to Be; Global Mental Health Matters. Applications addressing challenges related to disability outside of the themes specified above are also welcome, acknowledging the critical potential of digital technology in tackling this issue.

What does the programme offer?

If successful you will gain access to:

  1. A rich 3-month structured and tailored support programme, helping you to:
  2. Carry out effective user research
  3. Examine whether a digital solution is the best idea
  4. Identify the key challenges of any such solution, and their implications
  5. Design a prototype which can be tested and made ready for further development
  6. Look at how it might be possible to obtain funding for further work.
  7. £5,000 grants for single organisations and £7,500 for collaborations to cover your staff’s time, and any associated costs developing your digital solution.

We expect to make 40-50 grants of £5,000-7,500, totalling up to £230,000.

The support programme will include practical learning, peer support and one-to-one expert guidance. It will give each participant access to the tools and resources needed for their specific project. All support will be delivered online or via video / phone calls.

(Please note that if successful you will receive funding from and be a grantee of CAST, not of Comic Relief or Paul Hamlyn Foundation.)

What are the programme dates?

The programme offers a choice of two start dates:

  • 20th July (finishing 9th October) or
  • 7th September (finishing 27th November).

Applicants will be asked to select their preferred date when filling out the form.

Who is eligible to enter?

Not-for-profit organisations with an annual income of between £75,000 and £10 million, operating charitable activities within the UK. To be considered for this programme, charities and not-for-profit organisations must fulfil all eligibility criteria as listed on the FAQs (which are also available as a PDF or Google Doc) and online application form.

Next steps

This is a one stage online application process. We will be open for applications from Wednesday 20th May to 12pm BST Monday 22nd June. We will not accept late applications, and urge that you complete your applications and submit it in advance of the deadline.

We may contact you to request further information on your application.

We’ll aim to notify all applicants of our decisions in early July 2020. Final decisions will be made in collaboration with programme staff at CAST, Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

If you are selected for Explore and expressed a preference to participate in the first cohort, please be advised that you will need to be ready to start the w/c July 20th as indicated above.

For more information, including details on how to apply if you are unable to access the online application form, please refer to our FAQs (which are also available as a PDF or Google Doc). If you have any further questions, please contact hello@wearecast.org.uk.

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