Social Innovation Council - Digital Grants

The Social Innovation Council includes a group of organisations that provide support for individuals facing financial hardship. We are working collaboratively to co-design, prototype and test a new shared digital grants platform which enables individuals to more easily access support, while also offering a step-change improvement to organisations providing them.

This first-of-its-kind initiative brings together a key group of organisations to collaborate and exchange insights on a shared support platform. This will be co-designed by the sector, for the sector - and centred around the needs of the people they support.

Founding partners:

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More information

What are the objectives?

  • Develop shared vision for a digital grants platform which can be shared across organisations to better support individuals in need, while enabling organisations to streamline processes and increase efficiency
  • Collaborate to prototype, develop and test the platform as well as experiment with grant innovation in an agile, human-centered manner
  • Exchange learnings and insights on digital grant delivery with other leading grantmakers and other subject matter experts in the sector

What are the benefits of joining?

  • Collaborate with and learn from other leading organisations in the sector
  • Have your voice and experience heard in shaping the future of digital grants - without incurring the cost of commissioning a custom-built platform
  • Receive early, discounted access to pilot and use the future digital grants platform, with economies of scale shared across multiple organisations

How can I be involved?

  • Become a member of the Social Innovation Council to
    • receive monthly newsletter updates
    • participate in selected workshops / user interviews to share input

Why is this needed?

While a number of existing platforms exist, severe friction points remain today. People face lengthy application forms, submit multiple applications to different schemes across the public and charity sectors, and often wait 5+ weeks to secure support. Supporting organisations spend significant time on paperwork and back-and-forth processes which are fragmented across grants. Most have not found an existing system that is fit for purpose.

While organisations have different criteria, application requirements and approval processes, we’re exploring ways to capture similar information, simplify the process for the applicant and streamline the end-to-end grants process. There could be an opportunity to offer a common system for individuals to apply for support and to facilitate deeper, more seamless collaboration across grantmaking charities, local authorities and other support organisations.

What is the timeline?

Approximately 6 months, with potential for further extension based on interest

  • Phase 1 - Discovery & high-level scoping: Jun - Jul 2021
  • Phase 2 - Design phase: Jul - Dec 2021

Is there a cost to join?

  • It’s free to become a member of the Social Innovation Council.

Who can be involved?

  • Participating organisations typically include charities or local authorities offering assistance to people in financial hardship, though this may discussed for other organisations with interest or expertise in this space