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New funding for innovative giving ideas

The innovation charity Nesta has announced a new round of funding to support ideas to encourage giving to charity.

They are looking for proposals for their Innovation in Giving Fund which have the potential to deliver a significant increase in the giving and exchange of time, assets, skills, resources and money with the aim of 'stimulating a step change in giving... to make it easier and more compelling to give time and money... to give better support to the trailblazers and innovators.'

This is the second round from Nesta of a total £10m fund made available by the Cabinet Office. In Round 1 they gave £2.5m to fund 32 ideas, ranging from crowd-funding platforms to new online tools to organise personal care networks. One of the more innovative projects, Blue Dot, enables individuals to earn points every time they donate money or give time to charity.

In this second round they are particularly interested in funding ideas that:  

Harness the potential of collaborative and networked technologies - for example online platforms that connect people to opportunities to give, share or take action, the use of mobile phones and smart phone apps or connect different platforms or systems together in ways which enables greater opportunities for giving and exchange for the benefit of the public. 

Platforms and mechanisms that promote reciprocity - for example the use of time credits, points systems or other complementary currencies to create a more reciprocal relationship that values giving and incentivises people to volunteer and get involved.  We are particularly interested in ideas that use public services and community organisations as platforms for giving, for example in housing associations, schools or community centres.

Making use of idling capacity - for example platforms, models, market places & enterprises that enable people or organisations to share, exchange and redistribute assets, skills and resources, particularly where these can be shown to build relationships and social capital to deliver public benefit.  

Increasing the number of people that make donations to charity and stimulating new audiences - for example innovations that connect donors and recipients in sustained, more effective relationships, or which make it easier for people to give, change the culture of giving and increase the amount that existing donors give to charity. 

Improving the targeting of pro bono support from commercial organisations - for example finding better ways to match needs and availability of expertise. 

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list and Nesta will welcome proposals of all kinds that meet the objectives, core criteria and eligibility of the Fund which is available on their website.

Grants of up to £50,000 are available alongside a package of tailored non-financial support to help develop the idea and build the capacity to put it into practice.

Those applying will need to submit a video pitch of no more than three minutes and complete a short online form that captures some basic information about the idea, focusing on how it meets Nesta criteria of having impact and being innovative.  

From this initial call for ideas the most promising will be invited to submit a written application and a shortlist of those will be invited to pitch to a panel of experts. We are aiming to hold the selection panel meetings in early September. 

For more information and to start your online application go to the Nesta Innovation in Giving website. Closing date for applications is noon on the 22 June 2012 with grants expected to be allocated in September 2012.



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