‘Build’ launches today, the 12th of January 2021. This is an exciting new opportunity to enable UK charities to test and develop digital solutions, with applications opening today and funding available from June 2021.
The Tech for Good programme was launched in 2016 to enable charities to utilise technology to deliver better services. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the need for organisations to further explore how digital and design capabilities can help transform or maximise their work in supporting vulnerable people.
The Build programme offers long-term funding to individual not-for-profit organisations, or those working in partnerships, to define, test and develop digital solutions, or re-purpose existing technology in order to meet a social need or challenge linked to Comic Relief’s Social Change Strategy. Applicants should be committed to work in one or more of Comic Relief’s four core issue areas: Children Survive and Thrive, Global Mental Health Matters, Fighting for Gender Justice, or A Safe Place to Be. More information on these themes is available here. Comic Relief also welcomes applications addressing challenges related to disability and inclusion outside of the themes specified above, in acknowledgement of the potential of digital technology to address these issues.
The Build programme will offer funding to up to 18 digital projects to a maximum of £70,000 per project. Funding will be available over a nine-month period commencing in June 2021. Alongside funding, successful applicants will have access to technical support from experts and advisors. Funding is open to UK not-for-profit organisations with incomes of between £75,000 and £10 million.
The programme aims to fund a portfolio of digital projects at different stages of development. ‘Build’ is suitable for organisations both at concept stage, as well as organisations who have already commenced digital development.
Applicants that seek to adapt or re-purpose existing technology are also actively encouraged. Re-use can be just as important and effective as building something new. Applications from partnerships between multiple not-for-profit organisations that aim to jointly address or improve a service delivery problem in their areas of work are also welcome.
The Tech for Good programme nurtures digital learning across organisations through the design journey. Participants are expected to collaborate, take part in relevant online training, and share learning at key milestones. Digital development requires distinct working practices, and for this reason, the programme is working with CAST (Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology) to provide an intensive package of support for the cohort of funded partners, which will include 1-1 support, collaborative workshops with peers on the programme, and online learning sessions.
Comic Relief and CAST will be running Q&A webinars and providing additional guidance over the application period. Sign up using the links below.
Tech for Good 2021 Programme Q&A – Thurs, 14 Jan (12:00 – 13:00)
Tech for Good 2021 Programme Q&A – Thurs, 21 Jan (14:00 – 15:00)
Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive, Paul Hamlyn Foundation:
“The Covid-19 crisis has forced charities to adapt their services at pace. We hope that our Tech for Good programme with Comic Relief will help them to explore and develop the digital solutions they need to improve the way they work and the support they provide to people and communities. The programme is not only about creating a new product or tool – existing technology can be re-purposed or adapted. It’s about understanding where and how a digital approach can make a positive difference for organisations and those they work with.”
Ruth Davison, Chief Executive, Comic Relief:
“The Tech for Good programme will offer organisations the opportunity to build and test a digital solution that could strengthen their services and ultimately better support people and communities. Taking a user-centred and learning-driven approach to designing services is more important than ever: we are so pleased to be able to work with Paul Hamlyn Foundation to make this funding and tailored technical expertise accessible to charities at such a crucial time. This year, we hope the re-design of the fund encourages organisations to also apply with ideas that adapt existing products to suit their needs. We know positively transforming services doesn’t always involve building a new product from scratch.”
Applications close at 12pm on 12 February 2021. Visit https://www.comicrelief.com/funding/funding-opportunities/tech-for-good-build-2021/ for further information.