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FUNDING STRATEGY

OUR VISION IS TO CREATE A JUST WORLD FREE FROM POVERTY

We’re doing this by funding and investing in amazing organisations across the UK and around the world. We fund a huge variety of organisations, each one working to tackle the key issues of our time.

How we make change

We aim to 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.

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Investing Direct

We believe that organisations closest to context, are best placed to find solutions to the problems they face. We will invest in unsung heroes, medium-sized organisations who share our vision for change.

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Engaging Real Experience

We believe sharing people’s own stories and experiences can drive positive change, we want to listen, learn from, and better share this experience through our platforms.

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Investing in Intermediary Partners

We believe that community-driven change makes a huge contribution, but recognise we’re not best placed to invest direct in highly localized projects. We will support specialist funders with expertise of engaging and working with communities they exist to help. 

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Learning

We believe by sharing evidence and insight, we can drive change, and continuously innovate, adapt and improve what we do.

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Influencing

We believe by championing and convening alongside others, we can contribute to accelerating changes in attitudes, policies and practices on the issues we care about.

Our core issues

Genuine impact requires focus; so we target four key issue areas in set geographic locations. We’ve named these:

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CHILDREN SURVIVE AND THRIVE

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Global Mental Health Matters

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Three girls smiling

Fighting for Gender Justice

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A Safe Place to Be

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Social Tech investments and Sport for Change support

We also support Social Tech  investments and Sport for Change  approaches that cut across our core issues where possible.

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Sport for Change

We believe sport and physical activity has the power to bring about positive social change for individuals and communities. Comic Relief has been funding Sport for Change projects since 2002.

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Social Tech

We believe digital technology has the power to accelerate positive social change by helping people, organisations and communities do a better job. Comic Relief is a sector leader in funding Social Tech. We offer one of the only grant funding opportunities for social tech projects at any stage of their digital journey.

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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 rest of the world. These are the countries we are currently prioritising: 

Map of all countries The UK, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Migration routes

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 play in international development and encourage competitive applications from diaspora-led organisations to our relevant calls for funding proposals. This complements our commitment to root our support in those closest to the people we intend to help. We define diaspora-led organisations as those who have a majority diaspora board membership.

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Eligibility criteria

We fund organisations when we think together we'll achieve the maximum possible impact. We rigorously screen them to make sure the money is well spent.

See our criteria

Funding Opportunities

We run a number of funding opportunities throughout the year. These focus on our core issues, as well as social tech and Sport for Change approaches.

Browse current opportunities

Projects we’re currently funding

Projects we’re currently funding

We’re currently supporting hundreds of projects in the UK and around the world. You’ll find more information below. Go to our transparency page to find out more about how we’re being open about the money we spend.