Tech for Good 2018

Tech for Good planning

13th November 2017

Midday, 20th December 2017

12 grants of up to £47,000

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We are inviting proposals to develop or scale web, mobile or internet based technologies which deliver new or improved services to beneficiaries.

Funding available

From November 2017, Comic Relief with Paul Hamlyn Foundation is launching another UK Tech for Good funding programme. This will fund up to 12 digital projects each with grants of up to £47,000. We know that digital development requires distinct working practices and for this reason we have adapted our model of funding to also provide an intensive package of support for grantees. The projects will last for nine months and will include:

  • A two month soft development phase (July-Aug 2018)
  • An intense four month hard development phase (Sept-Dec 2018)
  • A three month launch phase (Jan-Mar 2019)

Projects must address one of our four programme areas: Empowering Women and Girls, Investing in Children and Young People, Building Stronger Communities or Improving Health and Wellbeing. Find out more about how we make grants.

This is the third Tech for Good programme run by Comic Relief. We know funders have a vital role to enable charities to engage with digital, and to increase the range of digital products and services available to their beneficiaries. We are delighted to announce that Paul Hamlyn Foundation are working with us again to achieve this. Details of the 6 projects funded in the 2015 programme and the 10 funded in the 2017 programme can be found at A theory of change has been produced for this new programme which can be found here. Further information on the theory of change and the evaluation of the 2017 Tech for Good programme can also be found at

What we will fund

This programme aims to provide the opportunity for not-for-profit organisations, who already have some technological capacity, to take their digital innovation projects forward. We are looking to fund teams to make a significant digital step forward within nine months.

A wide range of digital interventions will be considered and our aim is to fund projects that:

  • Are focused on specific user needs in their design, delivery and development
  • Make best use of web, mobile or internet based technologies
  • Can scale effectively and offer economies of scale
  • Disrupt and challenge existing ways of delivering services
  • Are sharable with other parts of the not-for-profit sector

We are looking to fund more than just good ideas. We want to fund projects that will deliver bigger, better and more ambitious services to users and beneficiaries. Applicants need to demonstrate that they understand how to manage a successful digital project, and that they have sound internal or external technical expertise in their management and delivery team. We would expect that some development work will already have taken place.


Proposals to this initiative must meet Comic Relief’s general eligibility requirements (see our policies).

Organisation criteria:

  • Applicants must be based in the UK
  • Applicants should have a tech development partner on board at the time of application
  • Organisations with an existing Comic Relief grant can apply as can holders of a previous Tech for Good grant
  • Organisations can submit more than one proposal to the initiative and tech development partners can be associated with more than one bid
  • All applicants must identify a project sponsor at senior level i.e. CEO

Project criteria

  • The work to be delivered must take place in the UK
  • Grants are available for between £15,000 and £47,000
  • The maximum project duration is 9 months

What we won't fund

These are the activities we will not fund through Tech for Good:

  • Upgrading of internal IT such as CRM systems
  • Large scale capital costs
  • Hardware development
  • Updating websites and routine social media campaigns
  • Exploration events or hack days
  • Staff or volunteer training
  • Capacity-building to make an organisation more ‘digital ready’
  • Monitoring and evaluation platforms
  • Buying equipment to get people online
  • Digital inclusion, digital literacy or computer skills training

What type of grants

Grants are available to deliver the project and demonstrate digital innovation for the benefit of society or the specific service users targeted by the not-for-profit organisation. The grant can only cover expenditure incurred and activity done during the grant period (i.e. after July 2018). We will provide successful applicants with specialist support or mentoring. Projects will be expected to:

  • Attend a bootcamp in July/Aug 2018
  • Present their new digital product/service at a public wrap-up event in January 2019
  • Actively take part in regular online (and possibly face to face) meet-ups
  • Fully engage with their grant manager, any external support they are provided with and the programme evaluators

Funding process

We require all applicants to submit a number of documents as part of their proposal to support our due diligence and assessment. You can find out more about these here.

Proposals will be by completion of a short form and submission of a video application (maximum of 4 minutes long). It should be more than a ‘talking head’. Rather it is the visual version of a traditional written application form making a strong case for funding. More detailed guidance on the video can be found in the Guidance Notes, available through our on-line grants management system, GEM. The video should be posted on a publically accessible site such as YouTube or Vimeo noting their Terms and Conditions in posting. You will need to supply us with the URL to access the video which must not be password protected.

We will be open for proposals from Monday 13 November to midday UK time Wednesday 20 December. We will not accept late proposals and strongly urge that you address any questions you have in order to complete your proposal and submit it in advance of the deadline.

Once we receive proposals, we’ll shortlist the strongest proposals to go through to an assessment. We’ll aim to notify all applicants of our decisions at this stage in January 2018 and if shortlisted, you will be expected to attend a pre-assessment advisory event in February and submit additional information and documents to support our assessment as noted above. If your proposal is unsuccessful at this stage, we’ll be unable to provide any additional feedback. Assessments on the proposals which pass this stage will take place over February/March 2018 and final decisions will be made by our Grants Committee and Trustees. We aim to inform all applicants of the final decision in May 2018. If your proposal is unsuccessful at this stage we’ll write to you explaining the reasons why and may offer further feedback by phone.

Information to be published

In line with our previous Tech for Good programme, we intend to place in the public domain a longlist of the 50 best proposals/videos. This should happen in Feb/March 2018. By submitting the video proposal, you are agreeing that it can be placed in the public domain. By publishing this long list, we seek to encourage people working on similar projects to join together and collaborate where appropriate, to explore ways not-for-profit organisations can use digital to deliver better products and services, and to see if other bodies are interested in funding these proposals.

The full terms and conditions of applying to Tech for Good can be found here

Apply now