Press release

Innovation in Giving Fund makes further awards to boost social action

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

16 more awards to be funded from the £10 million Innovation in Giving Fund which backs innovative ideas for volunteering and charity giving.

The Cabinet Office and Nesta today (29 March 2012) announce a further 16 awards to be funded from the £10million Innovation in Giving Fund which aims to find and back innovative ideas for increasing volunteering and charitable giving.

A group that harnessed the power of social networks to organise a clean-up following last summer’s riots is among the latest projects to benefit from the fund which was launched in September 2011 by Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, as part of a £34 million package to increase levels of social action. It is managed by Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency, on behalf of the Cabinet Office. Over 430 applications for funding were received and 62 were shortlisted to pitch their ideas to a selection panel between December 2011 and March 2012.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:

We want to connect more people with the power to make a positive difference. Through this fund we want to back brilliant new ideas that can help make that happen.

Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, says: 

We are at a tipping point where new technologies are providing exciting new platforms to radically change the way we give, volunteer and share.

Fifteen funding awards were announced in February and a further 16 are announced today. Each has successfully demonstrated creative ways of inspiring social action. They are:

  • The Amazings:  a new social venture that supports people who are retired, or about to retire, to share their skills, knowledge and passions
  • Apps for good: an online platform, from CDI Europe, that teaches young people how to build mobile apps to solve real life problems and also provides a platform for tech professionals to volunteer their expert skills
  • Do-it Connect: the UK’s national volunteer database will develop technology to allow organisations to search for volunteers and to enable integration with social media platforms to increase volunteering
  • The DoNation: a new approach to sponsorship that replaces donating cash with donating actions, actively engaging the population in living more sustainably and doing social good
  • Ecomodo: an online community marketplace that enables anyone to efficiently and confidently lend their idle resources (goods, skills and spaces) directly to others on a budget
  • FutureCleanUp: uses social networks and flashmobs to make social action happen. From the organisers of #riotcleanup
  • Givey: uses social technologies like sms and twitter to encourage people to support the causes they care about, track the impact they’re having and connect with other people who also want to make a difference
  • Good for Nothing: a platform which supports a community of people who give their time, skills and energy to make a positive impact on charities, social enterprises and other good causes
  • Greeniversity: teaches people ‘green skills’, from bike maintenance to beekeeping, to use in their local community and who will be working with the Transition Town Network
  • Guess2Give: a world-first for fundraising that allows anyone taking part in an event, such as a marathon, to setup a sweepstake on their finish time to raise money for charity
  • The Pennies Foundation: the creators of Pennies, the electronic charity box, are developing an eToolkit to enable online retailers to more easily join the micro-donation movement and raise money for charity
  • The People Who Share: are developing a digital marketplace for sharing; this one-stop shop will bring together the sharing sector enabling anyone to share, rent, buy, sell and swap including goods such as cars, property, clothes, books, skills and services such as car sharing, travel, and Peer2Peer rental
  • re:act: an innovative new web service being developed by OneWorld UK that will connect people with the best and most relevant opportunities for giving - according to digital browsing habits
  • See the Difference: work with creative companies, charities and individuals to create brand new apps, events, brands and social experiences ‘powered by See The Difference’ that make giving to UK charities fun, engaging and rewarding
  • Social Enterprises Need Corporate Support programme (Sencs): a collaboration between CAF and Legal & General to develop a local social investment model that will provide support packages to social enterprises that do not have access to help through traditional channels
  • Streetbank: a web platform that gives neighbours the opportunity to lend, give away or offer time and skills to anyone living within 1 mile of home

The Innovation in Giving Fund was designed to support innovations that have the potential to deliver a significant increase in the giving and exchange of time, assets, skills, resources and money to achieve social goals and public benefit. As well as finding and supporting some of the most promising innovations in giving, the Fund aims to catalyse new ideas and collaborations, build a body of knowledge and learning, and help bring about a wider transformation in the culture of giving across England as well as running regular promotions of each project.

The total amount awarded so far (for all 31 projects) is £2.45 million. A second funding round will be announced shortly.

For further information about the Innovation in Giving Fund and to see the video applications of the shortlisted organisations, visit

Notes to editors

The Innovation in Giving Fund is one of a number of new policies announced in the Giving White Paper in May 2011

About Nesta

Nesta is the UK’s foremost independent expert on how innovation can solve some of the country’s major economic and social challenges. Its work is enabled by an endowment, funded by the National Lottery, and it operates at no cost to the taxpayer. Nesta is a world leader in its field and carries out its work through a blend of experimental programmes, analytical research and investment in early-stage companies.