Strand 1

Digital Fund Strand 1 offered grants of up to £500,000 and a tailored support package. The aim was to help established organisations use digital to take a major leap forward. Grants have now been awarded and will last from 1 to 4 years.

The first round of Digital Funding closed on 3rd December 2018 at 5pm.

How the process works

We don’t want you to spend a huge amount of time preparing to have an initial conversation with us. We would like to talk to you about your outline proposal before you start developing a detailed funding proposal.

  1. Submit an outline of your idea—closed on 3rd December at 5pm

    Send us a brief outline of your idea online

  2. Talk to us

    If your idea looks like it fits with the Digital Fund criteria, we’ll arrange a call with you

  3. Submit a full proposal

    If we feel the Digital Fund could work for you, we’ll ask you to submit a full proposal

Eligibility criteria

  • Your organisation must have had an income over £500,000 last year. If your organisation had income of over £10m last year, we will ask for a matching contribution that will be tailored to your size

You can apply if you’re a:

  • voluntary and community organisation
  • registered charity
  • social enterprise
  • group of organisations, if they are led by a voluntary and community organisations or social enterprise
  • community interest companies (with two or more directors).

We can’t accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • organisations based outside the UK
  • anyone who is applying on behalf of another organisation
  • organisations without at least two unconnected* people on the board or committee.
  • companies that are aimed at generating profits for private distribution.

(* not a relation by blood, marriage, in a long-term relationship or people living together at the same address)

Applications will only be eligible if people and communities in the UK are the primary focus of investment – benefits created elsewhere are permissible but must not be the main aim. Applications are also only eligible if they are made by organisations that are incorporated within the UK.

Public funding for organisations carrying out commercial activities, including those with charitable status, is governed by the European Commission’s ‘State Aid’ rules. If you are invited to submit a full proposal to the Digital Fund, we will talk to you further about this.

What can you spend the money on?

We can fund:

  • staff salaries
  • project activities
  • running costs
  • small-scale refurbishment
  • equipment
  • organisational development

We can’t fund:

  • proposals from organisations that are run primarily for private gain or to generate profits for private distribution, or any activities that generate profits for private gain
  • religious activity (although we can fund religious organisations if their project benefits the wider community and doesn’t include religious content)
  • activities that replace government funding
  • activities that benefit individuals, rather than the wider community
  • political activities
  • retrospective costs
  • loan repayments

Success factors

Successful Strand 1 proposals will:

  • Demonstrate a firm commitment by organisational leadership to changing the way that the organisation serves people and communities.
  • Contain a plan that has been developed in accordance with good digital practices, such as committing to an iterative approach, and making sure that people are in the lead.
  • Supply evidence that the organisation has already invested in digital, prior to this proposal.
  • Show a commitment to working generously, sharing what you learn and the products or services you produce with others.

We are not looking for:

  • Proposals that contain a highly detailed plan setting out every detail of your forthcoming transformation. Instead we welcome proposals that clearly differentiate between what you know now, and what you will learn along the journey.
  • Proposals that are driven by a desire to use technology.
  • Proposals that are based around core budget shortfalls.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions about eligibility, get in touch with us.

Phone: 0345 4 10 20 30
Text relay: 18001 plus 0345 4 10 20 30 (for those with a hearing or speech impairment)

More funding opportunities

We offer a range of open funding programmes that can help you support people and communities to thrive.