1. We are looking to support activities in England by innovative organisations and programmes that:
- Are able to demonstrate that the benefits of their proposals will be in England only.
- Are passionate about the opportunity to use social action as a mechanism to improve money management skills, and reduce debt for individuals and families in England.
- Are already operating a proven social action programme that has good existing evidence of impact in helping people balance their budgets and reduce debt.
- Have a track record in mobilising the time and talents of volunteers.
- Can demonstrate that they have appropriate networks or channels to reach out to people in the identified areas for scaling the existing initiative.
- Have a commitment to measuring their on-going performance and progress against our Standards of Evidence.
2. Nesta can only fund projects which advance its charitable objects for public benefit. The Savers Support Fund is able to support public services, charities, social enterprises, or partnerships led by these organisations. For-profit organisations may apply if there is a strong argument for public benefit and demonstrate they require public funds to scale, or if they do so as a partnership with a not-for-profit organisation as the lead applicant.
We may impose conditions and restrictions on private benefit and profit derived from our funding. In particular, if you are a for-profit business, we may require you to make technology developed using the grant freely available, to reinvest profits from commercial exploitation back into your project to deliver greater public benefit or to return a share of profits to Nesta. If you have any questions about this, please contact us on [email protected].
3. We can support incorporated entities and unincorporated associations with formal membership structures, but not individuals.
4. A number of organisations can apply together, but one must act as lead and take responsibility for the others. For-profit organisations are only able to apply individually if they demonstrate a strong case for public benefit and the need for public funds to scale.
5. As the Savers Support Fund is financed by the Office of Civil Society, grants will come from public funds and must not be used in a way that constitutes unapprovable state aid.
6. While applicants can be established in any part of the UK, the benefits of their proposals should be in England only.
7. We cannot fund innovations which are party political - or which support or promote religious activity - and can only fund limited paid for marketing or advertising
Organisations or partnerships must be able to demonstrate:
- A clear plan to reach many more people who would benefit from money management social action, especially from families who are ‘just about managing’ and /or young people aged 14-25.
- The culture and ambition to scale their emergent, impactful approach.
- The ability to achieve ambitious volunteer recruitment targets, including mobilising at least 250 volunteers who will likely give at least 10 hours a month.
- Clear existing evidence of impact for beneficiaries (e.g. improvement in financial skills, increases in savings or reduction in debt).
- Capacity to deliver in the timeline of the fund.
- Match funding (including in kind) of at least 33 per cent.
- Existing connections / a pipeline of leads in the local areas they wish to scale to.
- A clear plan for scale and sustainability beyond the lifetime of the fund.
We are especially interested in supporting organisations with:
- Mentoring and peer to peer models to upskill beneficiaries in budgeting and financial management skills.
- Digital social action that provides guidance and support to manage and keep to a budget where and when people need it most.
- Sharing economy approaches that help people manage personal budgets and access essential goods and services cheaply.
Selection for the final stage will be based on:
Impact / public benefit: We are interested in supporting organisations with a track record in helping people improve their financial skills and confidence in managing money, as well as those who support people to better manage their personal budgets through the sharing economy. We are interested in understanding the nature of activities you (and partners) deliver currently, as well as those you intend to run through this fund (should it differ).
Reaching and retaining volunteers: We are looking for innovations that are ready to scale. They must already have an innovation that has been tested and developed, and is now ready to grow to benefit many more people.
Capacity: We need to understand the capacity of the organisation or partnership to deliver a scaling programme. This organisational capacity will rely on have the right skills and capabilities, good and reliable systems that track and monitor volunteers, as well as buy-in from senior leadership.
Sustainability: Proposals will need to demonstrate that they do not create ongoing demand for grant funding. We want to understand how the innovation will achieve sustainability and the applicant’s assumptions about how the idea will grow, as well as risks and challenges in developing and scaling the concept.
Innovation: Proposals will need to demonstrate how they are innovative. For a fund of this kind, we are seeking ideas that have achieved evidence of impact and are operating, but are not ubiquitous or common practice across England.