The Giving Challenge Prizes are now closed
These prizes were developed in conjunction with and funded by the Cabinet Office.
The Prizes were developed to encourage new ways of giving of time, skills and resources for specific social change. The Prizes were one of the actions from the Giving White Paper intended to bring about a step change in the culture of giving. The Prizes were closely aligned with the aspirations of the Cabinet Office's Innovation in Giving Fund, delivered by Nesta.
We want to encourage the social innovations (new ways of doing things) that involve people at a community level in giving time, skills and resources in order to have a big impact on specific social needs.
We ran a live Twitter Q&A to answer your questions about the challenge prizes. You can recap on the Q&A here.
"We want to make it easier and more compelling for people to get involved in their communities. That's why we set up Challenge Prizes to give organisations an exciting opportunity to come with ideas to solve social issues such as tackling isolation in older people or helping reduce waste in our communities. We want to hear about ideas that make a difference but also mobilise people to get involved.
"These new projects will complement the Innovation in Giving Fund and the Social Action Fund, already set up to encourage giving."
- Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society
The two social issues that the challenges addressed were:
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) at Defra estimates that around 600 million tonnes of products and materials enter the UK economy each year and we generate approximately 290 million tonnes of waste. Only 115 million tonnes of this combined material gets recycled.
Although there has been a gradual decline in waste over the past few years, there is still a long way to go in identifying ways to prevent waste in manufacturing and production processes, through supply chains and at a community level.
The Waste Reduction Challenge will test and reward the innovation that reduces, reuses and/or recycles the greatest level of waste by engaging communities in giving their time, skills and resources.
Click here for more information
Life expectancy has been growing steadily for over half a century and the UK has now reached a point where there are more people over the State Pension age than children. Today there are 10,000 people aged 100 or over. By 2050 there will be 275,000. By 2030, people over 50 will comprise almost a third of the workforce and almost half the adult population.
Isolation and loneliness are growing problems in the UK. In 2007 Help the Aged found that 13 per cent of older people felt often or always lonely; an increase of 7 per cent from the previous year. This rate is steadily increasing. The same survey found that 22 per cent of older people were effectively isolated as they needed help to get out and about but could not access the support required.
Older people want to be valued, use their skills and be supported to live independent lives at home. Yet, at present many older people feel over-institutionalised and disengaged from society. There is, therefore, a huge opportunity to drive more creative, inclusive and innovative solutions to help improve older people's lives. The involvement of older people at all levels of planning and delivery is key to social inclusion.
The Ageing Well Challenge Prize will test and reward the innovation that has the greatest impact in reducing levels of isolation among older people, by engaging communities in giving their time, skills and resources.
Click here to for more information
There are three stages in each Challenge Prize.
Prize: £50,000 will be awarded to the solution that most successfully meets the Judging Criteria for each prize.
Challenge prizes reward measureable outcomes and impacts and are a great way of motivating and testing new ideas. They can also help to leverage additional support and recognition to sustain ideas.
 Defra, Waste Data Review, June 2011
Spotlight Report, Help the Aged 2007
Read what our experts on reducing waste and isolation in old age had to say about the Giving Challenge Prizes.