Intermediary Funding to reach grassroots community-led organisations in England

Currently open

Midday 8th January 2019



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The Opportunity

This is an exciting opportunity for intermediary funders in England to work with Comic Relief in supporting and investing in grassroots community led organisations to bring about lasting social change. Our approach for working with intermediary funding organisations is part of our drive to support change at different levels in the most effective and sustainable way. We believe that grassroots, community-driven change is critical both to support individuals in need and to develop a vibrant, strong civil society that fosters local resilience and sustainable, positive change.

We are looking to invest in, and partner with, an intermediary funder which has the expertise, networks and local knowledge to work with community-led grassroots organisations to bring about lasting change in England. We believe that funders who are rooted in community-led development and understand the context and need within the nations they are based, are best placed to support the kind of grassroots organisations that can drive that change, both through their knowledge of issues and organisations and the additional locally-relevant support and capacity they can provide beyond funding.

We are therefore inviting proposals from intermediary funders to help us invest across all four of our strategic themes:

  • Children Survive & Thrive
  • Fighting for Gender Justice
  • A Safe Place to Be
  • Global Mental Health Matters

What we will Fund 

£3,000,000 is available over 2 years

The Intermediary funder will make grants to small grassroots organisations with an annual income of less than £250,000, producing a portfolio of projects across our 4 strategic themes with a broad geographical reach across England. 

Applicants should be more than just ‘re-granting intermediaries’; they should also be able to reach and strengthen grassroots groups, build civil society and the relationships and networks that underpin it. We are therefore committed to learning with and supporting the needs of the intermediary funders and will consider core funding for capacity and development as part of the budget if appropriate.

Applicants should have a strong track record with previous experience of grant making and be able to demonstrate their capacity to deliver this kind of work at scale. The Intermediary Funder should have an in-depth understanding of the context and specific needs across England and be able to manage their grantees across a broad geographical range, reaching both rural and urban communities. 

We will consider organisations working in partnership to deliver this programme if they can evidence how that partnership would benefit the delivery and outcomes. One organisation will need to be identified as the lead organisation.

We are looking to partner with an intermediary funder which:

  • Reaches grassroots organisations with a good geographical spread throughout the nation
  • Is committed to community-led development 
  • Has a participatory approach to all aspects of their work and put people with lived experience at the heart of decision-making
  • Can support us in gathering and telling compelling and innovative stories of change
  • Will provide other forms of support to their grantees beyond just grant funding (convening, networking, technical assistance and capacity building etc.)
  • Has a strong learning culture and clear monitoring and reporting processes
  • Shares Comic Relief’s core values in terms of inclusion and diversity
  • Has robust grant making and governance policies e.g. safeguarding policy

As we will be trying to build a new approach to how we can best support grassroots, community-driven change through intermediary funders, we want to have a strong focus on learning within and across the intermediary funders and Comic Relief.

Please note that we may partner with one or more intermediary funders, depending on the applications we receive.

Who Can Apply

You can use our eligibility checker to find out if you're eligible. 


We will be open for proposals from 23rd November 2018 to Midday GMT on 8th January 2019

Once we receive your proposal, those that are assessed as successfully meeting the criteria will be invited in to pitch to us. Final decisions will be made by our Social Impact Committee and Trustees in March 2019.