£2.4m tech-for-good grants

Written by Julian Blake, Editor, DigitalAgenda

Comic Relief has teamed up with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for their third annual tech-for-good grants programme. The £2.4m programme, helping charities to improve through digital technology, opens for applications on 11 February.

Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation have launched their third tech-for-good grants programme to help charities deploy digital technology better. The £2.4m programme will run for three years until 2021, with grants of up to £48,000 available over a nine-month period.

“If you work for a charity, social enterprise, or for a funder, we’ll get you ready,” promise the funders.

The programme is looking to fund projects using technology to deliver better services, offering expert mentoring and support alongside. Funding is available for projects at any stage of development.

Applicants are being asked to address Comic Relief’s four core ‘issue areas’:
– children survive and thrive
– global mental health matters
– fighting for gender justice
– safe places to be.

Comic Relief will also welcome applications that address disability and inclusion challenges, outside of these four areas.

Previously funded projects include a VR for mental health project from the Children’s Society, an online wheelchair fitting platform for Disrupt Disability, and a ‘surge notification’ system helping Samaritans manage volunteer resources. The Samaritans scheme has just been shortlisted for a 2019 DigitalAgenda Impact Award.

The tech-for-good 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) and a three-month launch phase (Feb-Apr 2020).

In line with previous programmes, the funders will place in the public domain a long list of the 50 best proposals/videos. See 2018’s videos here.

Comic Relief’s social tech advisor Martha Young leads on the tech-for-good programme, with PHF research and evaluation specialist Kirsty Gillan-Thomas collecting lessons to inform future funding decisions.

Comic Relief, founded in 1985, aims to “create a just world, free from poverty”. Since 1985, it has raised over £1bn. The Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by the late publisher and philanthropist in 1987 and is one of the UK’s largest independent grant-making foundations.

This year’s tech-for-good programme is the fourth run by Comic Relief, and the third time in six years that it has teamed up with PHF.

Applications for the 2019 Comic Relief/Paul Hamlyn Foundation tech-for-good grants programme open from 11 February-25 March. Further information is available from the Tech for Good Hub.

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