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The Community Innovators Programme


Introduction

The Community Innovators Programme is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and is for organisations who want support to explore and develop new solutions to a real world challenge facing communities. Participants will also learn a really practical social innovation method for use across their organisation. The programme is a partnership between the Community Foundation and WorkWest.

All organisations completing the Community Innovators Programme will have an opportunity to apply for the Foundation’s Social Innovation Seed Fund. The Seed Fund provides grant-funding to allow testing and further refinement of the ideas developed during the Community Innovators programme.

Three rounds of the Community Innovators programme have already been completed since 2017 with 24 organisations benefiting – for case studies see the video below and our impact report here. 

 

Open For Applications

The Community Innovators Programme re-opens for applications on Wednesday 16th October 2019.  Community Foundation and WorkWest staff are available for initial conversations with those considering applying and we would recommend this is availed of to ensure your application is both eligible and a good fit for the programme.  Please contact Paul Braithwaite via pbraithwaite@communityfoundationni.org to arrange this.

Eligibility:

  • Applications will be via the link to a downloadable word document below.
  • All constituted voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations operating in Northern Ireland are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must also be able to meet the requirements set out in the application form, including availability on the specified dates.

NB. the programme workshops will commence in early January 2020 – exact dates are provided on the expression of interest form.

The programme is delivered by Work West who will facilitate a programme of group workshops and mentoring based around the Human-Centred Design methodology.

Human-Centred Design is a creative approach to problem solving that puts end users at the centre of the solution and focuses on experimentation, prototyping and evidence-gathering as key methods.

The programme is free to access and all applicants need is an issue they’re passionate about, an interest in social innovation and the time and ambition to develop an innovative new solution to their challenge together with their team.

The fund will not support:

  • The advancement of religion. This includes organisations whose purposes 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 – *Note: Housing Associations will be eligible for some funds, providing they meet all other eligibility requirements, and if they apply as part of a partnership project, and are not named as the applicant organisation.

Application Process:

Those receiving a place on the Community Innovators Programme will be invited to nominate their teams (of up to 4 individuals who can be staff, volunteers, Board members or beneficiaries) with a common interest in the same challenge. Teams will then be taken through a facilitated programme of workshops, starting with further refining their challenge and helping them gel as a team.

They’ll then gather user insights to help ‘get into the shoes’ of a person experiencing the challenge they’re working on. This will be the foundation for the ‘ideation’ phase where teams come up with as many ideas for solutions as possible. These will gradually be combined, adapted and whittled down over the subsequent weeks until only their top idea is left. The final stage is to build a physical prototype (model) of their idea – literally getting their hands dirty – to show to the other teams and potential users for feedback.

All teams completing the Community Innovators Programme will then be eligible to apply for the Social Innovation NI Seed Fund to enable them to start delivering their solution for real. For any queries please contact Paul Braithwaite at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland via pbraithwaite@communityfoundationni.org

All completed applications should be emailed to applications@communityfoundationni.org

The application deadline is Friday 29th November 2019 at 4:00pm and successful applicants will be notified by Thursday 5th December 2019.


Closing Date: Nov 29, 2019 16:00

Nov 29, 2019 16:00

  • Area:

  • Northern Ireland

  • Grant size:

  • Up to £10,000

  • Priorities:

  • The Community Innovators programme is for organisations who want support to explore and develop new solutions to a real world challenge facing communities.

Ready To Apply?

Download the form

Click the link to download your Expression Of Interest Form. Then follow the instructions in the ‘Apply Now’ section.

Expression of Interest Form
Apply Now

Apply Now

All completed applications should be emailed to applications@communityfoundationni.org
The application deadline is Friday 29th November 2019 at 4:00pm and successful applicants will be notified by Thursday 5th December 2019.

Email Here

Who to speak to

Paul Braithwaite

Paul Braithwaite

Head of Voice and Innovation

Paul Braithwaite

Paul Braithwaite

Head of Voice and Innovation

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