From Civil Society
A fund of £4.95m to help charities scale up their digital capabilities has opened for applications.
Funds are provided by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) and distributed in partnership with the Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST), supported by the Catalyst Network. Charities that are part of a network of at least ten charities can apply for a combination of grant funding and support worth up to £60,000.
Some £1.75m will be given away in grants, while the remaining £3.2m will fund expert support.
The programme is organised into two parts: a four-week Discovery phase, to help charities understand and research the problem they are trying to address, and a ten-week Development phase, to develop a digital solution.
Charities can either get funding for both parts or just one – for example, they can get funding directly for the Development phase if they can demonstrate they have already been through a “discovery” phase.
They will need to commit to sharing their learnings with their network, which can be formal, such as for a federated charity, but also informal as long as applicants can prove its existence.
Charities will also need to be working with groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This includes older people, people pushed into crisis, people in medical or end of life care, people who experience health inequalities, loneliness and social isolation or poor mental health, children and young people, disabled people and families hit hardest. NLCF and CAST also said they are “particularly interested” in applications from user-led organisations or representing marginalised communities.
Organisations can apply via the Catalyst site until 7 September for the Discovery phase and until 20 September for the Development phase.
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