Big Lottery Fund to launch new £15 million Digital Fund

The Big Lottery Fund has today announced that it will be launching a new Digital Fund on 22nd October to offer dedicated digital funding support to the sector.

The move is a key step in delivering the Fund’s digital ambitions outlined in its ‘Supporting Charities and Community Organisations Strategy’. It follows recognition that more could be done to enable charities and groups to make the most of digital opportunities.

The £15 million Digital Fund will operate for two years and will award grants of up to £500,000. The first funding phase is open to applications from 22nd October to 3rd December and has two funding strands.

The first of these is aimed at ‘Digital Pioneers’ – established charities, with a minimum income of over £500,000 per year, that want to use digital to take a major leap forward.

The second funding strand is aimed at ‘Digital Natives’ – more recently-established organisations that are successfully using digital, but now need help scaling this up.

The new Digital Fund has been developed through a series of one-to-one interviews and workshops in London and Manchester. It builds on the Fund’s previous experience of funding digital projects, which extends back over a decade. Details on eligibility and applying can be found on the Big Lottery Fund’s website.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are delighted to launch our new £15m Digital Fund today. It will help both digital natives and digital pioneers maximise their impact, by putting people at the heart of their digital services. This is an exciting stage in our own journey to be an effective digital funder.”

The Digital Fund will be part of the Fund’s existing UK Portfolio. From November 2018 it will be headed by Cassie Robinson, the Fund’s newly appointed Head of Digital Grant Making. Initial funding decisions will be made by the UK Funding Committee in January and March 2019.

While the first round of funding is aimed at two very specific types of organisation, those falling outside of the remit can still apply for funding through the Big Lottery Fund’s other programmes.

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