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Grants and Funding


Comic Relief - Change Makers

15 July 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Funding for not-for-profit organisations in the UK with proposals to make lasting change related to the social change themes of homelessness, forced migration, gender justice, mental health, and early childhood development.

Fund Information

Funding body:

Comic Relief

Maximum value:

£ 600,000

Application deadline:


Objectives of Fund

Comic Relief has launched the new Change Makers grant programme to support ambitious, game changing proposals from not-for-profit organisations in the UK that are working with those who are most excluded in society.

The funding is intended for organisations that will make a significant contribution to their sector, by finding new ways of working in the wake of coronavirus/COVID-19, developing new partnerships, advocacy and campaigning work. Activities should be relevant to Comic Relief’s social change themes of homelessness, forced migration, gender justice, mental health, and early childhood development.

Value Notes

Grants of between £150,000 and £600,000 are available for three to five years.

The average annual funding being requested should not be more than two thirds of the organisation's most recent annual income.

Capital costs should not make up more than 25% of the funding request.

It is expected that around 30 proposals will be funded.

Who Can Apply

Organisations with an annual income of up to £10 million can apply in one of two categories:

  • Small and medium-sized organisations that focus on equalities and are user-led. The organisation must have an annual income of at least £75,000. User-led organisations are considered to be those where the majority of the leadership (i.e. at least half of senior team and trustees) are from the community(ies) the organisation serves.

  • Other medium-sized organisations based in the UK. In this case the organisation needs to have a minimum annual income of £250,000.

20% of the available funding is ring-fenced for efforts led by and working with BAME communities.

Applications can be made by single applicants. Organisations can also apply in partnership, with a lead partner holding the funding.

Proposals are welcome from organisations whether they are big or small, national or local.

Comic Relief also wants to hear from and support organisations led by, working with and for those who are hardest hit and systematically excluded in society: BAME communities, the LGBTQ+ community, women, those living with disabilities.




The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Larger organisations with annual income greater than £10 million.

  • Projects taking place outside of the UK.

  • Religious or political campaigning.

  • One-off events.

  • Sponsorship.

  • Institutional care.

  • Fundraising activities.

This is not an exhaustive list. Further restrictions may apply.

Eligible Expenditure

The proposed work must contribute to change for more than the applicant organisation or their direct beneficiaries.

Examples of how this might be done include but are not limited to the following:

  • Working with others directly in partnership.

  • Creating shared learning, evidence, research.

  • Producing and sharing evidence of effective models of working.

  • Working with others to model new ways of working.

The contribution can be to any forum or area that feels appropriate, for example:

  • Enhance commissioning in the local area

  • Provide a cross-sectoral response to issues in the local area

  • Shift the understanding within the applicant’s sector or allied sectors on an issue, model, approach

  • Influencing communities, charities or the public sector to be more responsive and effective

  • Shift policy or legislation

  • Shift public attitudes.

The grants can be used for both core costs alongside project delivery costs.

How To Apply

Expressions of Interest will be accepted from 13 July 2020 to 28 August 2020 (12 noon)

Pre-application information sessions will be held in July and August. The details can be found on Comic Relief’s website on the funding page.

There is a two-stage application process.

  • Expressions of Interest will be accepted from 13 July 2020 to 28 August 2020 (12 noon)

  • Shortlisted proposals will be invited to submit a stage 2 proposal which will be reviewed by the Comic Relief team. Final applicants will be selected for a full assessment to take place in January or February 2021.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Grants Team
    Comic Relief
    5th Floor
    89 Albert Embankment
    SE1 7TP
    Email: [email protected]


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