Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response


Aims/priorities: Emergency funding of up to £60,000 available to non-profits in England that are committed to proactively sharing learnings with other organisations in their networks. This fund is aimed at organisations whose work has been affected by COVID-19 and who need emergenc funding to continue to deliver essential services. It will support them to develop the digital, data and design capabilities that allow them to address urgent issues and serve the most vulnerable.

There are two funding streams:
The Discovery Programme
This programme is an excellent learning and development opportunity for non-profits looking to progress their digital ambitions. Four weeks of funding and support, as part of a cohort of 8-10 organisations with a similar level of digital maturity, to understand and research the problem you are trying to address. You will work with a digital partner to identify the needs and behaviours of your community, and how digital, data and design can best support them. You will receive a £5,000 grant to cover the cost of one member of your team full time, or a number of people who, between them, are working on the programme for 20 days. This is to ensure you get the most out of the programme, and are able to complete all the key activities. It should also allow a couple of additional days’ time at the end of the programme to help put into practice some of the next steps
identified in Week Four. During this programme you will capture your learning in a report or, if appropriate, develop a brief for further digital/design/data support. If you find you’re able to solve your problem using existing digital tools or resources, you’ll learn how to use and embed these into your organisation.

The Development Programme
Organisations that can show they have already been through a Discovery process will be eligible to move directly to Development. 10 weeks of funding and support to build on the learnings from discovery and develop a solution to your validated problem area. The programme runs for 10 weeks: 1 week to get ready, 8 weeks working time, 1 week to wrap up.

You are invited to apply for up to £60,000, which will be a mix of grant funding and support from a digital agency/expert.

Who can apply? Organisations must be non-profits based in England and delivering charitable activities to vulnerable communities in England. Organisations must be part of a formal or informal network of ten or more other charities committed to proactively sharing learnings from the programme within their group. Networks include infrastructure bodies, federated organisations, and other groups. Organisations must do one of the following:
• connect with older people
• connect with disabled people
• provide advice and support to people who are pushed into crisis
• support those who are in medical care or end of life care
• provide essential items directly to families who are hit hardest
• support people who experience health inequalities
• support people who experience loneliness and social isolation
• support people who experience poor mental health
• support children and young people to achieve their potential

Grant amount:

Discovery Programme – Grants of up to £5,000
Development Programme – Grants of up to £60,000

Application process: There is an online application form
Deadline: Discovery Programme – 7 September 2020, 5pm
Development Programme – 20 September 2020, 5pm

Contact information: Email: [email protected]
Website address: