Comic Relief - Intermediary funding to reach grassroots, Community led organisations

Comic Relief believe that community-driven change is critical both to support individuals in need and to develop a vibrant, strong civil society. They also believe that funders who are rooted in their communities are best placed to understand the unique challenges and opportunities facing grassroots organisations. To this end they wish to invest in, and partner with intermediary funders who have the expertise, networks and local knowledge to work with community-led grassroots organisations to bring about change in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  (A funding opportunity for intermediaries working in England will follow later). 

Scheme details

What they will fund

Initial funding is available for 2 years up to the following amount = Northern Ireland £1,000,000

The Intermediary Funder will make grants to small grassroots organisations with an annual income of £250,000 or less, producing a portfolio of projects across their 4 strategic themes:

  1. Children Survive & Thrive
  2. Fighting for Gender Justice
  3. A Safe Place to Be
  4. Global Mental Health Matters

The Intermediary Funder should have an in-depth understanding of the context in the nation where they will be funding and be able to manage their grantees across a broad geographical spread, reaching both rural and urban communities.

Applicants should have a strong track record with previous experience of grant making and be able to demonstrate their capacity to deliver this kind of work at scale. They should be more than just ‘re-granting intermediaries’; they should also be able to support and strengthen grassroots groups, building civil society and the relationships and networks that underpin it.

As this work is part of a new approach to how they can best support grassroots, community-driven change through intermediary funders, they want to have a strong focus on learning what works within and across the intermediary funders and Comic Relief. They will consider core funding for capacity development as part of the budget if appropriate.

They will consider proposals from organisations working in partnership to deliver this programme if they can evidence how that partnership would benefit the delivery and outcomes. One organisation will need to be identified as the lead organisation. 

In summary, they are looking to partner with intermediary funders who:

  • Reach grassroots organisations with a good geographical spread across Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Are committed to community-led development
  • Share Comic Relief’s core values in terms of inclusion and diversity 
  • Have a participatory approach to all aspects of their work and puts people with lived experience at the heart of decision-making
  • Have robust grant making and governance policies and processes, including those for safeguarding and risk management
  • Have a strong learning culture and clear monitoring and reporting processes
  • Will provide other forms of support to their grantees beyond just grant funding (convening, networking, technical assistance and capacity building, for example)
  • Can support them in gathering and telling compelling and innovative stories of change


For more information -

Closing date – 1st October 2018