Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation to launch next round of Tech for Good

17th December 2020

We’re delighted to announce that Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Comic Relief will open the next round of funding of their UK Tech for Good programme, Build, in January 2021. 

The Tech for Good programme was created in response to the need for charities to use technology to explore different approaches to delivering better services. The COVID-19 crisis has increased the need for organisations to explore how digital and design approaches can be used to create more impact for the people they work with. 

Over £1 million will be available to individual not for profit organisations, or those working in partnership to define, test and develop digital solutions that meet a social need or challenge linked to Comic Relief’s Social Change Strategy.

Applications that want to adapt or re-purpose existing technology are also actively encouraged; we know that re-use can be just as important and effective as building something new. 

We are also interested in applications from partnerships between multiple not-for-profit organisations of different sizes and backgrounds that aim to work together to address or improve a service delivery problem in their areas of work.

As part of the programme, funded partners will be offered funding of up to £70,000 over nine months. The funding is for a combination of internal delivery costs, and contracting support from external digital and technical development agencies. Funded partners will also gain access to tailored intensive technical support from experts and advisors in a support programme provided by CAST(opens in new window).

Funding is open to UK not-for-profit organisations with incomes of between £75,000 and £10 million, and applications should address one of the following core issue areas - A Safe Place To Be, Fighting For Gender Justice, Children Survive and Thrive, and Global Mental Health Matters. Applications focused on challenges related to disability  are also welcome, we know that digital technology has huge potential in tackling issues for people with a range of disabilities. 

The programme aims to fund a portfolio of digital projects at different stages of development, and will support a range of digital interventions. 

The Tech for Good programme also nurtures digital learning across organisations through the design journey. Participants are expected to collaborate, take part in relevant online training, and share learning at key milestones. Flexibility is embedded into the programme, with funded partners supported to change their direction of development in response to user voice and feedback.

Our 2020-21 funding approach follows a period of reflection by Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation after co-funding the fourth round of Tech for Good in 2019.We created a programme of short, early-stage digital funding, Explore, in 2020.  Build is suitable for both organisations who have done some very early stage scoping work around their idea or issue, as well as for those who have already done some digital development.

Changes we have made this year provide greater flexibility for organisations working to embed digital solutions, increase the investment amount available to applicants, and relax requirements for organisations to have established partnerships with digital agencies at application stage. Support will be provided to secure this  after the kick off in the 2021 round.

Previously funded projects  included the development of a trauma-informed mental health support tool for people who have experienced domestic abuse(opens in new window), a programme to digitise food vouchers for fruit and vegetable markets(opens in new window), and a game to address the safeguarding and protection needs of deaf children. 

You’ll be able to find the funding opportunity here on the 7th January 2021, or subscribe to our Tech for Good Hub(opens in new window) to stay up-to-date with the latest news.