Funds to support research and innovation

Funds to support research and innovation

Aviva Community Fund

Charities with a turnover of under £1m are invited to apply for funding to support projects aimed at building the resilience of communities. The focus is on either Community Resilience, eg tackling inequality or improving environments; or Financial Capability and Inclusion, ie helping people to become financially independent. Individual grants will be made up to a value of £50,000. They are particularly interested in innovative and new approaches

Successful applicants will be asked to present their project on the Crowdfunder platform, stating their funding target. Aviva employees and the public will then be able to pledge support via Crowdfunder. Aviva employees are being given £250,000 per quarter to assign to the participating project or projects of their choice. Organisations that achieve their funding target by the set date will then be able to withdraw the money to go ahead with their project. Those who fall short of their target will be given the opportunity to roll their project over to the next funding period.

The deadline for the first funding period is Tuesday 11th February. Projects then need to be posted on Crowdfunder by 3rd March, with the deadline for crowdfunding on 22nd April.


The Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Foundation’s research, development and analysis portfolio is central to the delivery of our mission to advance educational opportunity and social well-being across the UK. We expect the work we fund to improve the design and operation of social policy, especially in those domains that we have always identified as underpinning a well-functioning society: Education, Welfare and Justice. 2 calls for bids each year (see website for timetable). Grants are usually between £50-£300,000


Paul Hamlyn Foundation Ideas and Pioneers Fund

The Ideas and Pioneers Fund supports people with unusual or radical ideas to improve the life chances and opportunities of people in the UK. Grants of up to £10,000 (and up to £15,000 in exceptional circumstances) are available to individuals, partnerships or small organisations.

The Fund supports people who have an idea in its early stages of development. We will consider funding work to enable you to develop the idea from concept to set-up: this may include problem definition and analysis, scoping, exploratory work, and prototyping.
We are looking for new, radical and innovative ideas which contribute to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s wider commitment to help people realise their full potential. Find out more about PHF’s mission and values here. We also have a particular interest in supporting ideas that are about using technology in innovative ways to tackle social issues.
We prefer to be the first and main funder to support your idea. Applicants can be individuals, small organisations or a small group of independent pioneers (no more than 3). If you are applying as an organisation, this Fund is best suited to support small organisations that employ no more than five people (or full-time equivalent). Pioneers may be hosted by a support or incubator organisation: if so we will look to see that the project has independence from the host (in decision-making, for example). The key qualities that we look for in pioneers are passion, commitment and resilience. You will be able to demonstrate experience and understanding of the issue/ social change you are seeking to address. If you are applying as an individual you must be aged 18 years or over.


The Rayne Foundation

The Rayne Foundation makes grants to not-for-profit organisations across the UK tackling a variety of social issues. We will consider applications in the fields of arts, health and wellbeing, education in its widest sense, and those that cover social issues. Our focus is to connect communities, building bridges between marginalised groups and mainstream society, and to enable individuals to reach their full potential. Within these broad criteria, we have a number of areas of special interest: Young people’s improved mental health; Arts as a tool to achieve social change; Improved quality of life for carers and for older people.

We particularly welcome applications addressing these issues but will consider applications in other subjects which meet our broader criteria. We favour organisations and projects which could change the way issues are tackled in our society and which could have lessons for others beyond the funded organisation. The organisations we fund will be experts in their field. The organisations we fund will be able to explain why they believe their activities will lead to positive change for users and how they will gather evidence to demonstrate this. We want to see that funded organisations are well governed and managed, that they have good finance and risk management systems, and that they have the necessary skills and expertise to deliver their objectives. We prefer to fund work which brings clear and direct benefits to vulnerable and disadvantaged people. This means that we are more likely to fund front-line organisations and will only fund second-tier or research organisations for projects which have a demonstrable benefit to end users. We target our funding towards issues and organisations which do not enjoy widespread public support. Our grants typically fall in the range of £10,000 – £20,000 per annum for up to three years. We prefer to fund alongside others as we are unlikely to be able to fund your project in full. We will also consider the size of your request relative to your overall turnover. Small, newer organisations in particular are unlikely to receive a larger grant from us if that would equate to more than 10% of total income, unless it is towards and organisation’s first paid post.


Standard Life Foundation

Funding focuses on improving financial wellbeing for people on low and middle incomes. They will fund research (and policy and campaigns work) on issues of income (welfare benefits, wages, taxation and pensions); spending (debt, budgeting, reducing cost of living, gambling and compulsive spending); and assets (saving, housing, fairer taxes, and saving for retirement). They have recently expressed a particular interest in supporting work around financial wellbeing of Disabled people. They usually only fund national work.

Grants range between £10-£200K and can be spread over a number of years. Deadlines are in February and June of each year.


The Ulverscroft Foundation

We support projects that help visually impaired people. In general we will not fund staff salaries or ongoing running costs for an organisation. Staffing costs for specific, time-limited projects may be considered at the Trustees’ discretion.  Research projects which involve salary costs may also be considered. Trustees meet quarterly and applications are accepted by email or letter.



inclusion-london-reportsMore resources available in our Members area

• Member Resource: Getting to Grips with Business Modelling
• DDPO HR Policy Templates
• Toolkit: Making Events Accessible to Disabled People

Not a member? Find out how your organisation can become a member at