Tech for Good 2019

OPENS
11th February

CLOSES
12 noon GMT on 25th March 2019

COUNTRY FOCUS
United Kingdom

FUNDING AVAILABLE
Applications of up to £48,000 over a period of nine months

Further information on the Tech for Good programme can be found at techforgoodhub.co.uk

Apply

Comic Relief with Paul Hamlyn Foundation is launching a UK Tech for Good funding programme in February 2019 - the first round of funding in their renewed three year Tech for Good partnership. 

The Tech for Good programme was developed in response to the emerging need for charities in the UK to use technology to explore different approaches to delivering better services.

This round will fund up to 13 digital projects with grants of up to £48,000 over a period of nine months.

We know that digital development requires distinct working practices and for this reason we provide an intensive package of support for the cohort of funded partners, which will include collaborative workshops, online learning sessions, and training.

The grants will last for nine months and will include:

  • A two-month soft development phase (Aug-Sept 2019)
  • An intense four-month hard development phase (Oct-Jan 2020)
  • A three-month launch phase (Feb-Apr 2020) 


Projects should address one of our four core issue areas: Children Survive and Thrive, Global Mental Health Matters, Fighting for Gender Justice, or A Safe Place to Be.

Comic Relief will also welcome applications addressing challenges related to disability and inclusion outside of the themes specified above, as we understand the critical potential of digital technology in tackling these issues. For further info, visit our funding strategy page.

This is the fourth Tech for Good programme run by Comic Relief. Details of all past funded projects can be found at can be found at https://techforgoodhub.co.uk/funding .

A theory of change was produced for the 2018 programme which can be found here, and is due to be updated soon. Further information on the theory of change and the evaluation of the 2018 Tech for Good programme can also be found at techforgoodhub.co.uk

Download the proposal guidance

Organisations planning to submit proposals using digital solutions to improve the safety of women and girls affected by domestic abuse are also reminded that an issue-specific Tech vs Abuse programme will be opening for applications from April - June 2019. 
 

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 existing technology
  • Disrupt and challenge existing ways of delivering services
  • Have a clear sustainability plan
  • Are shareable with other parts of the non-profit sector

 

Applicants need to demonstrate that they understand how to manage a successful project, show staff engagement and interest in the work, that they have sound internal or external technical expertise in their management and delivery team, as well as the enthusiasm to engage with a collaborative cohort of funded partners.

Exceptional proposals will include evidence of applicants having considered in depth the specific problem they are aiming to tackle, as well as carrying out some user-centred research.

We are looking to fund more than just good ideas. We want to fund projects that will deliver better services and improve outcomes for users and beneficiaries. 

The grant can only cover expenditure incurred and activity done during the grant period (i.e. after August 2019). We will provide successful applicants with specialist support or mentoring. 
 

Cohort Engagement

The Tech for Good programme has been shaped as an opportunity for successful organisations to engage, collaborate and share their learnings around their use of digital technologies and social impact with the rest of the cohort. 

Projects will be expected to:

 

  • Attend a one-day pre-assessment workshop for those shortlisted in April 2019
  • Attend a one-day start-up workshop at the beginning of both the soft development and hard development phases 
  • Present their new digital product/service at a public wrap-up event in 2020
  • Actively take part in regular online peer learning webinars
  • Maintain an open and collaborative relationship with their grant manager and programme evaluators
  • Fully engage with any external support they are provided with and proactively share learnings

 

Eligibility

Proposals to this initiative must meet Comic Relief’s general eligibility requirements (see our policies). Please note that for this Tech for Good initiative, the lower income limit for organisations applying is £75,000, as opposed to the £250,000 lower limit for UK organisations stated in Comic Relief’s general eligibility requirements.

Please check these carefully along with the information below before starting your proposal.

 

Organisation criteria:

  • Applicants must be based in the UK 
  • Applicants must be not-for-profit organisations. Additionally, we do not accept proposals from NHS trusts, hospitals, schools/colleges, statutory bodies including local authorities, and non-registered organisations without constitutions
  • The applicant must also not have an annual income of more than £10 million. Please note the lower income limit for this fund is £75,000 but funding requests must be relative to income 
  • Applicants should have a tech development partner on board at the time of application, unless they have the appropriate specialist tech expertise in-house. The tech partner cannot be the lead applicant or grant holder if the application is successful
  • Organisations with an existing Comic Relief grant can apply, as can holders of a previous Tech for Good grant, although proposals must be for a new project and not one we have previously funded
  • 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 up to £48,000
  • The project duration is 9 months

 

What we will not 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

 

Funding process

All applicants must submit proposals consisting of:

  • A short form including organisation and compliance information as well as a 100-word project summary
  • A video application (maximum of 3 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 about what to include in the video can be found in the Guidance Notes, which will be available when the application window opens through the Apply Now link at the top of this page. The video should be posted on a publicly 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. 
  • A project budget (the budget template can be found at the bottom of this page).  If  you  are  an organisation  applying  alongside  a  tech  partner, please use the financial template for projects without partners). 


We will be open for proposals from Monday 11th February to midday UK time Monday 25th March.

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. If you have any questions or you need to discuss your project in further detail, please contact us at grantsinfo@comicrelief.com

We are offering 25 minute applicant advice calls on a first come first served basis on the afternoons of the 4th , 5th and 6th March. 
 

Next steps

Once we receive proposals, we’ll create a publicly available longlist (for the 2018 publication see https://techforgoodhub.co.uk/funding) and shortlist the strongest proposals to go through to an assessment. 

We’ll aim to notify all applicants of our decisions at this stage by the end of April 2019 and we will publish the longlist by the end of May 2019.  If your proposal is unsuccessful at this stage, we’ll be unable to provide any additional feedback.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to attend a pre-assessment advisory event in April and submit additional information and documents to support our assessment.

A list of the documents you’ll need to provide at this point will include your constitution and/or Articles of Association, and your most recent accounts including management accounts. For this initiative we are not asking for evaluations, monitoring, evaluation and learning plans or business cases. 

Assessments will take place over April/ May 2019 and final decisions will be made by our Grants Committee and Trustees. We aim to inform all shortlisted applicants of the final decision in July 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 programmes, we intend to place in the public domain a longlist of the 50 best proposals/videos (for the 2018 publication see http://techforgoodhub.co.uk/funding).

This should happen in May/ June 2019. 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.