Where we work
We operate in key priority countries around the world, and all four nations in the UK. We aim to split our funding 50/50 between the UK and the rest of the world. These are the countries we are currently prioritising:
We are also currently piloting investing along migratory routes from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe and the UK to meet the immediate and long-term needs of people forced to flee their homes. As we learn more about the impact of this approach we will scale to other routes.
Supporting the diaspora’s contribution to social change
Comic Relief has a proud history of supporting organisations led by people in the UK who originate from and maintain links to international communities. Under the Common Ground Initiative, delivered over 10 years in partnership with the UK Government’s Department for International Development, over 60 investments were made in UK-based diaspora-led organisations contributing to social and economic well-being across sub-Saharan Africa.
We recognise the crucial role that the diaspora plays in international development and encourage competitive applications from diaspora-led organisations to our relevant calls for funding proposals. This complements our commitment to rooting our support in those closest to the people we intend to help. We define diaspora-led organisations as those that have a majority diaspora board membership.
How do we make a change?
We root our support with those closest to the people we intend to help. We recognise funding alone won’t be enough to bring about the change we want to see, so we're always learning and adopting new tools to achieve the greatest impact around our funding.
Specialised projects are best placed to address community-level problems. We invest in unsung heroes and medium-sized organisations that share our vision for change.
Engaging Real Experience
We want to listen, learn from, and better share their experiences through our platforms because sharing people's stories and experiences can drive positive change.
We recognise we're not best placed to directly invest in highly localised activities that drive community-led change, so we will support specialist funders with expertise in engaging and working where within their communities.
We can drive change by sharing evidence and insight, continuously innovating, and adapting and improving what we do.
We champion and convene alongside others, helping accelerate changes in attitudes, policies and practices on issues we care about.
What are our main focus areas?
Genuine impact requires focus so we target four key issues categories in set geographic locations. They are:
What are our main focus areas - FUNDING STRATEGY
BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
Every year, close to 1 billion people worldwide experience mental health problems. We help people get access to mental health services. We work to tackle the stigma people with mental health conditions so often face. And we push for governments to do more.
CHILDREN SURVIVE & THRIVE
Every year, millions of children die before their fifth birthday. We help children survive – tackling hunger, disease and abuse. And we help them thrive, working to give them the best possible start in life so they can play, learn and grow up healthy and strong.
SAFETY AND EQUALITY FOR WOMEN & GIRLS
Violence and abuse against women and girls is a global epidemic: it affects 1 in 3 women worldwide. We’re working towards a world where women and girls can fulfil their potential, and live free from violence, discrimination and fear.
SAFE PLACE TO BE
1 in 5 people around the world don’t have a safe place to be. We make sure people find a safe place to call home. We also challenge negative attitudes to homelessness and migration.
Do we support anything else?
We also support Sport for Change approaches and Social Tech Investments that cut across our core issues where possible.
Sport for change & Social tech
Sport for change
Comic Relief has funded Sport for Change activities since 2002 because we believe sport and physical activity have the power to bring positive social change for individuals and communities.
Comic Relief is a sector leader in funding Social Tech. We offer one of the only funding opportunities for social tech activities at any stage of their digital journey because we believe digital technology has the power to accelerate positive social change.
How can we help your cause?
We fund organisations when we think we'll achieve the maximum possible impact together. We rigorously screen them to make sure the money is well spent.