Strand 2

Digital Fund Strand 2 offered grants of up to £500,000 for newer organisations that had already launched promising services that use digital to achieve scale or impact. 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 established its legal structure after the year 2000. We have taken a decision to focus on newer organisations in this strand following our research for the Digital Fund.
  • You must currently operate a product or service that is functional and being used by the type of people and communities you plan to serve in future

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 2 proposals will:

  • Have made use of user-centred design.
  • Clearly demonstrate either the potential to scale your impact at low cost, or clearly demonstrate potential to use digital to bring substantial benefits to a specific group of people.
  • Be driven by teams that combine knowledge of an issue that matters to people and communities, with experience of digital delivery.
  • Relate to a product or service that is far enough through its development process that people are currently benefiting from it.
  • Provide evidence of impact upon those people.
  • Have a theory of change or similar document showing how the product or service will achieve aims that benefit a specific group of people.
  • Show an understanding of the challenge of sustaining impact after the ending of The National Lottery Community Fund support.

We are not looking for:

  • Products or services that are not yet mature enough to be benefiting people.
  • Products or services that cannot show considerable evidence of user research in their creation.
  • Products or services that duplicate existing services with no substantial innovation.

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.