Long time Tech for Good Funders
Comic Relief and PHF are two of the UK’s largest grant makers.
After successful co-funded rounds of the Tech for Good programme, Comic Relief and PHF extended their commitment to the programme until 2021, with total funding of £2.4 million.
The first UK Tech for Good funding programme of this 3-year partnership opened in February 2019, which supported 8 not for profits to develop digital services.
In 2020, Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation worked with CAST as an intermediary on the pioneering Explore programme. Explore disbursed 45 small scoping grants of £5,000, plus an intensive package of coaching. This helped funded partners to start conducting user research and work out where and how digital could best be used in their service delivery.
In 2021, the final round of funding in the 3-year partnership, Build, opened. Over £1.3 million was awarded to 20 organisations (up to £70,000 each) through this digital development fund. It will support them to strengthen their services in light of the continued impact of Covid-19.
Olly Dawson leads on and oversees Comic Relief’s social tech strategy; Dalia Abu Yassien leads on the fund delivery for the Tech for Good and Tech vs Abuse programmes. They work closely with Jake Leeper from PHF, ensuring the Tech for Good fund remains effective for those it serves.
Alison McKinley oversees the programme evaluation. She’s Comic Relief’s Evaluation & Learning Lead for social tech and works with Andy Curtis, PHF’s Research and Evaluation Manager, to use the programme’s learning to help both funders make tech grants.
The Support Acts
The programme uses CAST (Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology) to support funded projects on their Tech for Good journey. You’ll see Dan Sutch and other members of the team appear on the blog.
Each funded organisation gets an expert digital mentor from CAST. CAST also coordinate more specific support from other agencies for grantees in response to more specialised needs organisations have.
For example, they work with Snook, who support organisations with best practice around user research and product design. Founders and Coders are a digital development training agency focusing on peer support and capacity building.
IVAR (Institute for Voluntary Action Reserch) have worked closely with Comic Relief and PHF over the 3-year duration of the programme to run the evaluation. IVAR gather key learnings and insights about digital funding and organisations’ experience. They ran the 2019 programme and Explore evaluations, and are in the process of undertaking the 2020-21 Build learning piece. Build grantees will receive support from them MEL when doing digital development.
Its worth checking out Tech for Good 2017’s theory of change developed by InFocus, if you want to see how it all joins together.
Joe Roberson is the programme’s content producer and responsible for making sure this website delivers on its mission: to help people and their organisations get ready to seek funding and funders feel more confident about funding tech for good project.
About Comic Relief
Comic Relief is a UK charity, which aims to create a just world, free from poverty. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredibly tough lives, both at home in the UK and across the world.
About Paul Hamlyn Foundation
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK.
PHF’s mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. One of the ways they do this is as a tech for good funder with Comic Relief.