Comic Relief Empowering Change Core Fund


Core Fund aim:

The aim of the core fund is to provide funding for the essential costs that the group needs funding for.  This could include core costs, and can include expenditure that may not be connected to delivering projects.  We want to invest in organisations, enabling them to carry out this important work, without being too prescriptive around the costs that we will support to enable this.

We know securing flexible funding, and in particular core funding, can be tough, and we want to use this programme to help support those doing much needed work in their local communities, particularly given the challenges facing the sector, and those organisations that are addressing the issues that have been further exacerbated as a result of the covid pandemic.

Grants of between £15,000 to £30,000 will be available, to be spent over a period of 2 years.

Criteria:

The funding shall be used to support groups that can evidence a sustained (medium to long term) beneficial impact on at least one of the strategic areas outlined below.

Priority will be given to small, locally based groups or organisations in Northern Ireland, that have a clear understanding of the needs of their community, and are undertaking actions as a means of addressing these needs, in line with at least one of Comic relief’s strategic priority areas.

Who can apply:

You must be a locally led and based organisation. This means that you are based within the area you are carrying out activities and have local people involved in the running of the organisation.

Your organisation will need to have been running activities (ie: your organisation has been in existence) for a minimum of 12 months.

  • Constituted organisations with charitable purposes operating within Northern Ireland
  • Organisations whose income is £500,000 or below

To be considered for funding you will need to:

  • Clearly define the need you are addressing, and relate that to at least one of the Comic Relief priority areas (outlined below), and how the funding will enable this
  • Clearly demonstrate the benefit of your activities to local people, and how your work has both been, or will be, supported in terms of both design and delivery by those with lived experience of the particular issue you are addressing

Priorities:

It is anticipated that this will be a very competitive programme. Having priorities helps us to make  difficult decisions when there are so many applications.  Priority will be given to smaller, locally based and local run groups or organisations, and on projects where those with lived experience of the issues have been, and will be involved in the design, as well as the delivery.

Depending on the quality and volume of applications received priority will be given to:

  • Those in geographically underfunded areas which currently include Mid and East Antrim, Antrim and Newtownabbey, and Ards and North Down Local Authority areas
  • Projects that might support more than one Comic Relief strategic area
  • Those with lived experience, where people directly affected by the issues are involved in all  levels of the organisation
  • Those with innovative approaches, to respond to clearly defined need
  • Those demonstrating effective practice, with evidence that the methodology being used will be successful
  • Those who do not have a current live Comic Relief funded grant through the Community Foundation

Themes and outcomes:

The work and main focus of your organisation should fit one of the Comic Relief priorities.

This means the majority of your work fits under one of the following priorities:

Children Survive and Thrive

  • Supporting families with young children, to help them reach their developmental potential up to their successful transition to primary school – through good health, nutrition, opportunities for early learning, responsive and supportive caregiving, safety and protection. Whilst we will prioritise early years from 0 to 5, the fund is open for applications to support those children currently of Primary School age.
  • Reducing harm – for example, ensuring a strong focus on children and families who are experiencing or at high risk of neglect or abuse; building resilience among children with adverse childhood experiences; and tackling gender-related barriers that lead to unequal access for girls and boys to services and support
  • Building capacity to improve the delivery of childhood development, particularly early childhood development, based on evidence of what works
  • Strengthening organisations driving these changes, to ensure the work has long term benefit
  • Supporting parents, carers and communities to be active and knowledgeable champions of effective child development, particularly early childhood development
  • Developing and influencing guidelines, procedures, policies and implementation plans, and acting on opportunities for meaningful collaboration among key stakeholders

 

Global Mental Health Matters

  • Improving the mental health and supportive networks of people experiencing or at risk of poor mental health, especially those from marginalised groups
  • Increasing the accessibility and appropriateness of mental health support services to the people who need them
  • Increasing the evidence of appropriate and effective models of care and treatment in different settings and for different groups of people
    Growing the social movement of people with lived experience who are empowered to advocate for change
  • Shifting attitudes that create stigma and discrimination around mental health, enabling people suffering from poor mental health to feel less isolated and alone
  • Contributing to the development and implementation of effective policies so mental health systems better meet people’s needs.

 

Fighting for Gender Justice

  • Supporting women and girls to be safe, healthy, educated and able to be independent with control of their lives
  • Supporting women and girls to be an equal part of collective decision making in communities, national governments and other social and political structures
  • Reducing incidences of gender-based domestic violence
  • Increasing the evidence of what works in developing women-led movements for social change, and lead in developing and modelling best practice
  • Supporting feminist organisations with the resilience and capabilities to drive change
  • Shifting public attitudes and improving understanding about the influence of gender norms on choices and life outcomes
  • Supporting a diverse range of women’s rights organisations to fight against systems which perpetuate the injustices they encounter in their daily lives

 

A Safe Place to Be

  • Supporting people who have been forced from their homes to have access to the support they need to start a new life, free from conflict persecution or trafficking.
  • Supporting efforts to ensure safe, secure and decent shelter is better recognised worldwide and implemented as a fundamental human right.

This theme will focus on the following beneficiaries:

– Asylum Seekers:

  • Increased locally based support providing advice and advocacy
  • Reduction in destitution and the prevention of same
  • Increased access to formal and informal educational programmes and activities

– LGBTQ+ Community with special emphasis on those living in rural areas:

  • Increase in the number of geographically based support networks
  • Localised provision for supportive social interaction

– Irish Travellers:

  • Increase in after schools assistance and summer schemes
  • Traveller Role Model Programme that is developed and supported by the Travelling community

If your organisation fits one of the above priorities then we would encourage you to consider what would help you over the next 24 months to run your organisation and support your work addressing these themes. It could be as simple as supporting your rental costs or it could be funding additional hours of staff time to focus on creating and implementing a business or fundraising plan that would have an impact on the whole organisation, and/or a project that you, from experience, know will support those most in need.

We are not being prescriptive – this is your opportunity to get non project funding and invest in you as an organisation to support these areas of need.

Each organisation will be able to choose at least one outcome to report against, from the following:

  • Children Survive and Thrive
  • Global Mental Health Matters
  • Fighting for Gender Justice
  • A Safe Place to Be

Examples of what we will fund:

Note: all financial support applied for must clearly be essential to enabling the organisation to have an impact on at least one of the Comic Relief strategic priority areas:

– Overheads

  • Rental Costs
  • Heating, lighting, water rates
  • Core staff costs (this could be any member of staff for time spent doing the day to day running of the organisation or taking time to do planning for the future for example, or to deliver activities)
  • Stationery, small capital items, internet
  • Any volunteer costs if your organisation is purely volunteer led OR if you have paid staff then  we will cover volunteer costs who help the day to day running of the organisation (i.e. a  volunteer receptionist)

-Project costs

-Capacity Building Support – providing that the support clearly shows an impact on the theme and the beneficiaries that the organisation has, or is planning to support.

  • Increasing your understanding of the needs of your beneficiaries both during and after the crisis and developing ways to best support them,
  • Increasing your organisational delivery capacity through additional volunteer recruitment, staff training or new equipment to enable your organisation to deliver services in different ways.

This list is not exhaustive but the main point to remember is that our funding will support the financial needs that you have identified that will be critical to your addressing of the particular theme.  We therefore expect the application to clearly show how your funding request will support your organisation in addressing the particular theme.

Who cannot apply:

The Foundation will not fund organisations or activities which promote causes that are contrary to our purposes or those of Comic Relief. Causes and activities that are contrary to our purposes include, but may not be limited to, those outlined in our investment policy.  We will not therefore fund organisations or activities which we determine are linked to the promotion of armaments, alcohol, human rights abuses, tobacco or pornography.

Further to this we will not support:

  • Organisations with income above £500,000. For applications to the Micro Fund the fund will not support organisations with income above £30,000;
  • Individuals;
  • Trips outside Northern Ireland, holidays away, and one-off residentials;
  • Organisations whose purposes or activities include advancement of religion;
  • The establishment of endowment of any school or institution providing further education within the meaning of the education and libraries (Northern Ireland) order 1972;
  • The provision of assistance to any Housing Association within the meaning of the housing (Northern Ireland) order 1976;
  • Payment that directly supports lobbying or activity intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, Government or political parties, or attempting to influence the awarding or renewal of contracts and grants, or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action.
  • Notwithstanding this, the Foundation recognises the importance of an independent civil society sector and as such civil society organisations are entitled to campaign within the law, in order to advance their aims;
  • We will not support organisations that advocate the use of violence to campaign or influence public opinion;
  • Organisations which adopt a partisan political stance or activities which are party political;
  • General appeals, individual and group sponsorship, marketing appeals, proposals for bursaries from individuals or proposals from individuals for the funding of study or attainment of qualifications;
  • Work where the long-term institutional care of children or young people is a preferred way of working over the longer term (e.g. setting up or running orphanages). Where short-term, temporary institutional care is used as part of an intervention to support children and young people, applicants will need to demonstrate how the work they propose seeks to develop and implement community-based alternatives;
  • The provision of services that are the primary and legal responsibility of the state;
  • Using the Funding to petition for additional funding;
  • Input VAT reclaimable from HMRC;
  • Payments reimbursed or to be reimbursed by other public or private sector funding
  • Interest payments (including service charge payments for finance leases);
  • Gifts to individuals other than promotional items with a value of no more than £25 a year to any one individual;
  • Use to purchase buildings or land

What you need to apply:

  • A copy of your governing document, e.g. constitution – this must be signed and dated in the name of the applicant organisation unless governed through an umbrella organisation.
  • A copy of your most recent accounts or up to date income and expenditure.
  • A copy of your equality policy.
  • A copy of your safeguarding policies including child protection and vulnerable adult policies.


Closing Date: Oct 22, 2021 13:00

Oct 22, 2021 13:00

  • Area:

  • Northern Ireland

  • Grant size:

  • Grants of between £15,000 to £30,000 will be available, to be spent over a period of 2 years.

  • Priorities:

  • Depending on the quality and volume of applications received priority will be given to: Those in geographically underfunded areas which currently include Mid and East Antrim, Antrim and Newtownabbey, and Ards and North Down Local Authority areas; Projects that might support more than one Comic Relief strategic area; Those with lived experience, where people directly affected by the issues are involved in all levels of the organisation; Those with innovative approaches, to respond to clearly defined need; Those demonstrating effective practice, with evidence that the methodology being used will be successful; Those who do not have a current live Comic Relief funded grant through the Community Foundation

Ready to apply?

Apply Now

Apply Now

The Comic Relief Empowering Core Fund will be open for applications from Monday 13 September and close for applications at 1.00pm on Friday 22 October 2021.

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Grants Team

It is recommended that you read our Grant FAQs before starting your grant application.

 

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Grants Team

It is recommended that you read our Grant FAQs before starting your grant application.

 

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