This guidance describes what Comic Relief is interested in funding now: any applications submitted outside of these criteria, without prior invitation, will be turned down at the concept note stage.

TYpe of orgaNISATION


Comic Relief predominantly funds registered charities. We will ask for evidence of registration during the application process.

We will always prioritise applications from organisations that are registered in the country where the work will take place.  Applicants are welcome to include partners not registered in the country, but must be able to clearly demonstrate the added value of all partners included in the proposal.

We do also fund other types of organisations. In these instances, the governing documents of the organisation must clearly outline the organisation’s social purpose, demonstrate that any profit or assets are used for this social purpose, and show that an asset lock is in place. We will ask for a copy of your governing documents as part of your application.

Organisations applying to work in India must be Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registered approval before they apply, as well as any partners they expect to work with. 

Private providers

Where proposals include the engagement of private providers (e.g. as service providers or consultants) as part of a project to deliver specific objectives, applicant must demonstrate the use of a private provider is ultimately resulting in public good, rather than solely private profit for those private providers.

Comic Relief does not fund:

  • Activities which evangelise (the practice of preaching or spreading religious beliefs) or proselytise (the practice of trying to convert people to one’s own belief or religious views).
  • Organisations which adopt a partisan political stance or activities which are party political. Comic Relief will not support organisations that advocate the use of violence to campaign or influence public opinion.
  • One-off conferences or workshops, as it is difficult to demonstrate what impact such events are likely to achieve. We can fund conferences, workshops and other gatherings as part of longer-term projects or work.
  • General appeals, individual and group sponsorship, marketing appeals, proposals for bursaries from individuals or proposals from individuals for the funding of study or attainment of qualifications.
  • Work where the long-term institutional care of children or young people is a preferred way of working over the longer -term (e.g. setting up or running orphanages). Where short-term, temporary institutional care is used as part of an intervention to support children and young people, applicants will need to demonstrate how the work they propose seeks to develop and implement community-based alternatives.
  • The delivery of services that are normally government’s responsibility.  The only exceptions would be when specific services are simply not in place, and are fundamental to delivering the programme’s results as specified in the call for proposals.  In this case, low-cost alternatives can be used as an interim measure, along with a realistic plan for ensuring sustainability when the investment ends, for example through community ownership.

Your organisation’s annual income

Applications are welcome from organisations with a maximum annual income of £10m, and a minimum annual income of £250,000 in the UK or £75,000 in other countries, as shown in the last annual accounts submitted to the relevant authority.

Countries we fund in

We fund in: Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, all four nations of the United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Please review open funding opportunities to identify which countries are included in each call.

We prioritise funding applications direct from in-country delivery organisations. If you are not a direct delivery partner we expect to see clear evidence of how you are adding value, clear partnership roles and responsibilities, and defined power relationships.

Recent Comic Relief funding

To give as many organisations as fair a chance as possible, organisations can only submit one concept note within any funding opportunity (though they can be named as partners on any number of applications). Please be aware we will never read more than one concept note per organisation.

You can apply to multiple funding opportunities at the same time.

Comic Relief will not typically grant additional funding to organisations which have been in continuous funding for ten years or more.  

Working in partnership

We welcome applications working in partnership. Partner organisations can be outside of our size criteria and outside the countries we fund in. Please note that the guidance around the proportion of an organisation’s income applies to partners as well as lead applicants.