Comic Relief – International Grants Programme


Grants are available to UK-registered organisations working in sub-Saharan Africa. Grants are available for work under the following themes: better futures; healthier finances; safer lives; stronger communities; and fairer society.

 Value Notes

The following funding approaches are available for work at different stages of development:

  • Generating ideas grants are usually for no more than six months and, in most cases, have a maximum value of £10,000. They are available for planning, consultation, putting together ideas or even testing something on a small, pilot basis. These grants are designed to help organisations with limited resources.
  • Implementing and adapting grants are likely to be between three and five years and range from £250,000 to £800,000; however, there is no upper limit for funding under this approach. Grants can be used to test out new approaches or adapt existing approaches. This could include proven approaches being applied in new contexts, or implementing entirely new approaches. Or, it may be about work that has been adapted to changing contexts, or applying what has been learnt from a previous phase of work.
  • Achieving scale grants are by invitation only. This is about taking an approach to a scale where significant numbers of people will benefit and where the type of change is likely to be systemic. Systemic change is the type of change where organisations work with all the different actors and seek to change the system as a whole rather than just a single component of it.

Comic Relief will only consider one proposal from an organisation at a time.

 Latest Information

Second 2014 deadline for submitting an Implementing and Adapting proposal: 14 October 2014 (noon). The next cycle is expected to open to applications on 1 April 2015 with a deadline of 12 May 2015 (midday).

2015 deadline for proposals for Generating Ideas: 7 January 2015 (midday).

 Key Criteria

Registered organisations including charitable incorporated organisations, community interest companies limited by guarantee, industrial and provident societies and housing associations that are registered in the United Kingdom are eligible to apply.

Most funding is for work in sub-Saharan Africa. Funding for work outside Africa is by invitation only.

 Eligible Expenditure

Funding is available for revenue costs such as salaries, and small capital items, such as office furniture and computers.

Applicants can select up to three of the following goals for each application submitted:

Women aged 15 to 49 years and children under five have improved health.

  • Disadvantaged children and adults gain access to, and attain, a good quality of education.
  • Women and girls are equal and respected members of society.
  • Slum dwellers have an improved quality of life.
  • Children and young people at risk are safer, with greater opportunities to increase their skills and life prospects.
  • People affected by HIV have an improved quality of life.
  • Poor people can improve their income through trade, enterprises and employment.

Sport for Change – for work with children and young people at risk, people affected by HIV and education work, sport can be effectively used as an approach in:

Supporting young people at key transitions in their lives.

  • Developing young leaders, improving participation and voice.
  • Providing greater safety, reducing violence and abuse for vulnerable people and increasing community cohesion.
  • Reducing stigma and discrimination, changing attitudes and bringing greater equality.

Applicants must select up to five outcomes their work will bring about. Outcomes are arranged under the following thematic headings:

Better Futures

Enabling some of the world’s poorest people to gain access to vital services such as health and education. All work must demonstrate how it meets one or more of the following outcomes:

Better access to quality housing and access to affordable water and sanitation.

  • Increased uptake of primary healthcare services.
  • Improved quality of primary healthcare.
  • Improved access to good quality basic education and increased retention and attainment.
  • Improved access to good quality, relevant, non-formal education and training.

Healthier finances

Tackling financial poverty and enabling economic resilience in families and communities, as well as supporting enterprise and employment. All work must demonstrate how it meets one or more of the following outcomes:

  • More secure tenure and management of land, housing and other assets.
  • Better working conditions and pay.
  • Increased and more secure incomes.
  • Greater resilience to environmental risks and shocks.

Safer lives

Reducing violence, abuse and exploitation. All work must demonstrate how it meets one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Greater protection from violence, exploitation and abuse.
  • A reduction in risky sexual practices.
  • Integration of children and young people into safe and secure families and communities.
  • Safer working environments and protection from harmful work.

Stronger communities

Empowering people, organisations and networks to play an effective role in their communities and society, as well as nurturing talent and leadership. All work must demonstrate how it meets one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Young people have greater confidence and skills, and a belief in their ability to improve their opportunities in life.
  • Organisations and their leaders are more effective in delivering on their mission and strategic goals.
  • People and organisations hold decision makers to account and take a greater role in decision making.
  • Women and girls and their organisations are influential in driving social change.

Fairer society

Helping people overcome inequality and have a say in decisions that affect their lives, whoever and wherever they are. All work must demonstrate how it meets one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Greater equality between women and men, and girls and boys.
  • Laws and policies upholding and protecting the rights of citizens are enacted and implemented.
  • A reduction in stigma and discrimination.


Funding is not normally available for building costs, the purchase of vehicles and land or heavy equipment unless it can be clearly shown that such expenditure is proportionately small, in relation to the overall budget, and adequately justified as essential to the proposed activity.

Comic Relief will not consider proposals that it has previously considered and decided not to fund, unless an organisation has been invited to resubmit their proposal.

 Application Procedure

Applications must be made via the online application form at the Comic Relief website.

 Addresses and contacts

Application forms may be available to download on this site – please see the downloadable files   or alternatively please check the funding body’s own website.

Contact details:

International Grants Team

Comic Relief
5th Floor
89 Albert Embankment

Telephone: 020 7820 2000



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