Comic Relief – Launch of Core Strengths Funding Programme

We are pleased to announce the ‘Core Strength’ funding programme opens to applications today with a deadline of midday on 27/07/2016.
Grants of up to £40,000 over 2 years are available to support organisations core running costs and capacity building.
In order to be eligible applicants must;

  • Have a core focus (stated in their constitution) delivering services in one of our four  the theme areas:
    – Investing in children and young people to be ready for the future
    – Empowering women and girls to be free to lead the lives they choose
    – Improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable and disadvantaged people
    – Building stronger communities in areas of disadvantage, deprivation and poverty
  • Have a track record of at least 5 years, be community embedded and committed for long-term.
  • Have demonstrable regional or local significance e.g: providing the only service of its type in an area; providing exceptional quality services to highly disadvantaged people; possessing expertise and experience that would be a real loss to the sector if no longer available.
  • Be working in the UK in areas of significant disadvantage, deprivation or poverty, including rural isolation.
  • Have a turnover of between £100,000 -£500,000 (or average of last 2 years full accounts to take account of contract variations)
  • Have a current plan and budget covering the period to at least 2017
  • Have not more than a year’s unrestricted reserves (not including fixed assets).
  • Meet the usual Comic Relief organisational eligibility criteria (a charity or an organisation with a constitution and asset lock delivering work that is charitable. Not statutory, no individuals).
  • Current grantees can apply but must have less than 12 months funding left of their current grant.
  • Funding is available for; Core running costs (heat, light, key non frontline staff, rent etc..), Time to work on strategic planning and policy (including business planning; fundraising strategies/income generation/policy/procedure reviews); Scope to improve structures and systems to improve efficiency and quality (including financial controls; human resources; management of volunteers; risk management; monitoring frameworks; impact assessment; accredited quality marks); Improving leadership and governance (including review of board/committee policy and practice; Trustee training; involving users; change management; develop new skills e.g. around social entrepreneurship). NB: This is not an exhaustive list.
  • Funding cannot be used for; Service delivery, General infrastructure support or second tier organisations, Work that is primarily the responsibility of statutory bodies, Shortfalls in delivering a statutory contract or covering gaps in frontline staffing due to funding cuts, Work that primarily benefits one individual such as professional qualifications in accountancy or MBAs, Work that has already taken place, Repayment of debt, Redundancy costs, A general contribution to reserves, Large capital items or refurbishment or Employing consultants unless this is part of a clearly evidenced strategy linked to tangible relevant outcomes.

Please do forward the details to your networks and contacts. Further details are available on our website


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