Upcoming funding deadline: Comic Relief Tech for Good 2018

Comic Relief Tech for Good 2018 funding stream has an upcoming deadline.  The fund is well worth looking at for youth work projects.

Deadline: 20 December 2017

Who can apply? Not-for-profit groups in the UK

How much? Between £15,000 and £47,000

What for?

This programme aims to provide the opportunity for not-for-profit organisations, who already have some technological capacity, to take their digital innovation projects forward. We are looking to fund teams to make a significant digital step forward within nine months.

A wide range of digital interventions will be considered and our aim is to fund projects that:

  • Are focused on specific user needs in their design, delivery and development
  • Make best use of web, mobile or internet based technologies
  • Can scale effectively and offer economies of scale
  • Disrupt and challenge existing ways of delivering services
  • Are sharable with other parts of the not-for-profit sector

We are looking to fund more than just good ideas. We want to fund projects that will deliver bigger, better and more ambitious services to users and beneficiaries. Applicants need to demonstrate that they understand how to manage a successful digital project, and that they have sound internal or external technical expertise in their management and delivery team. We would expect that some development work will already have taken place.

Projects must address one of our four programme areas:

  • Empowering Women and Girls,
  • Investing in Children and Young People,
  • Building Stronger Communities, or
  • Improving Health and Wellbeing. 

How to apply:   Apply online

Help find a Strictly Come Dancing Star for Comic Relief

Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing professionals are set to put a sparkle into the lives of members of the public by training them to strut their stuff for a new BBC series.

For the first time EVER the BBC team that brings you ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is opening its dance floor to the public and they’re looking for inspiring everyday unsung heroes to go on this incredible journey. We would really like you to nominate your heroes or heroines for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – their very own televised Strictly experience for Comic Relief as part of the next Red Nose Day campaign!

We are looking for you to nominate inspirational people who genuinely change many other people’s lives – and of course, it is essential that they are Strictly super fans. The show is going to be a complete surprise to these individuals, so it is very important that they have no idea they are being nominated for the show. It should be an amazing chance to reward these amazing people, with an unforgettable experience that will be broadcast to the nation at a primetime slot on BBC One.

To nominate your hero, all you have to do is send an email to nominate@bbc.co.uk to receive an application form.

Deadline for applications is 31st October 2014. Good luck!!

Comic Relief invested in tobacco, alcohol and arms firms

Comic Relief

Comic Relief has been forced to defend its investment policy after it emerged that millions of pounds donated to the charity went towards buying shares in tobacco, alcohol and arms firms.

The investigation, carried out by the BBC Panorama programme, claims that the charity has invested in ethically questionable industries when researchers said they had identified “several” funds which had fared better financially by avoiding such businesses.

Researchers claimed that they had found a number of ethically screened funds which outperformed Comic Relief’s portfolio for the past three years. Many well-known charities avoid investing in companies which may be in conflict with their stated humanitarian aims.

The investigation found that the charity invested £630,000 in shares in leading weapons manufacturer BAE Systems, despite repeatedly committing itself to helping ‘people affected by conflict’.  The charity, which has raised nearly £1bn for worthwhile causes in the UK and abroad, also invested more than £300,000 in shares in the alcohol industry despite having a stated aim to reduce alcohol misuse and its spin-off effects.  In 2009 £3m of Comic Relief money was invested in shares in tobacco companies despite the charity’s work to fight against tuberculosis – for which smoking is a contributory factor in many cases.

Comic Relief, which generates huge publicity for its activities with star-studded programmes on BBC1, said it had avoided a policy of ethical screening for its investments because it does not want to limit the amount of money it raises.  Comic Relief today confirmed that it avoided filtering out investments in order to bring in more money, although it kept the situation under review.

In a statement, it said:

“To fulfil our legal obligation, Charity Commission guidelines are clear that charities are required to maximise returns on money in their care. For Comic Relief, because the range of issues we support is so broad, ethical screening would significantly limit our ability to invest as well as seriously increase financial risk.

“Therefore ethical screening would have left us unable to meet both our legal and moral obligation to maximise returns and look after the money in our care with an appropriate level of risk. Instead we put the money into large managed funds, like many other leading charities and pension funds. We do not invest directly in any individual company. We believe this approach has delivered the greatest benefits to the most vulnerable people.

“This policy has achieved strong returns over the years, which have helped Comic Relief cover its running costs, without having to use any of the money donated directly by the public. This is a complex area, with many important considerations, and we keep it under constant review.”

According to the documentary, which will be shown on BBC1 tonight, the charity has also refused to reveal its current investments.

This just seems another example of poor ethical decisions.  Similar to the story about the Church of England, investing money in large managed funds is a normal practice, but you need to still ensure the ethical priority is fulfilled.  It seems deeply ironic that Comic Relief is investing in things that it stands completely against – something that Comic Relief’s finance managers will want to change as quickly as possible.