Top tips on finding funding for digital


Sandra Hogg looks at some of the best ways for charities to find funding for digital projects

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28th November 2016 by TFN Guest 1 Comment

Finding funding for any project can be difficult, so if you have something specific in mind, such as a digital project, it can be even harder. I’ve used the free online funding search Funding Scotland to bring you a quick guide to funding for digital projects and infrastructure.

The number of bespoke and open digital funds is limited at the moment but I’m pleased to say that the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations' Digital Participation Charter Fund opened last week. There is a particular focus for the fund to support organisations currently working to tackle poverty, social isolation and other forms of inequality to embed basic digital skill development work into their day-to-day activity with service users.

Sandra Hogg

Sandra Hogg

Don’t forget though that a lot of funders will support digital approaches to your work so use Funding Scotland to find funding

Also open is O2 – Think Big which aims to inspire, support and enable young people (13 to 25 year olds) with great ideas so they can have an impact on society while getting their hands on the experience and skills they need to thrive in today’s digital world.

There are also a number of funding streams that are currently closed but worth keeping an eye on for the future.

The Nominet Trust has a couple of funding streams for digital projects. Social Tech Seed can help develop innovative projects harnessing the power of the internet and digital technologies to deliver significant social change. It’s just closed but usually has two rounds each year with the next likely to be in the spring. Its Digital Arts and Creative Ageing Fund is also currently closed but provides funding to demonstrate the potential of digital technologies to bring scale to service provision focused on extending access to the creative arts for those aged 65 and over.

Comic Relief - Tech for Good Programme provides the opportunity for not for profit organisations who already have some technological capacity to take their digital innovation projects forward. This year’s round now closed but may open again in 2017. In the meantime, Comic Relief welcomes digital approaches in any of their programmes.

Another fund currently closed but worth checking for future rounds is the Ufi Charitable Trust - Vocational Learning Technology Fund which provides funding for projects using digital technology to develop new services or improve access or delivery of adult vocational learning.

The largest amounts of money are still available through European sources and the best place to look is the Scottish EU Funding Portal. There are a range of different programmes available so it’s worth spending some time exploring the different priorities and calls. The Horizon 2020: Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS) fund is due to launch on the 8th of December (deadline 25th April 2017). It supports designing and piloting online platforms to create awareness on sustainability problems.

There are also a number of funders who will support the digitising of cultural and heritage material including the Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and the TWA Digitisation Grant.

Of course none of this is any use if you don’t have the basic infrastructure but the Community Broadband Scotland – Start Up Fund can help develop community-led broadband initiatives in hard to reach areas.

Don’t forget though that a lot of funders will support digital approaches to your work so use Funding Scotland to find funding for your activities and beneficiaries and contact the funders you find to discuss your ideas.

Sandra Hogg is Funding Scotland information and engagement officer for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

1st December 2016 by Simon Richardson

Thanks Sandra! Here at eXp Youth Work in Dunoon we are considering developing Digital Youth Work as an addition to our range of clubs & activities as there are many young people who now only hang-out online. Any hints, pointers gladly received.Thanks, Simon R eXp Resourcing Group.