NESTA’s new Social Innovation Fund

The Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund is a £14 million Fund to support the growth of innovations that mobilise people’s energy and talents to help each other, working alongside public services. This fund is an open call and will be here for two years, so even if you don’t have a project now, make a note of it for future reference.

Funding Body: NESTA

Fund: The Centre for Social Innovation Fund

Overview: As part of the Cabinet Office Centre for Social Action, Nesta will run a £14 million Innovation Fund.

We will provide financial and non-financial support to help grow the impact and reach of innovations that mobilise people’s energy and talents to help each other, working alongside public services.

Over the next two years the ambition is to:

Find innovations that harness different types of social action to make a positive difference across a range of outcomes

Support the most promising innovations to have more impact, including building evidence of what works

Enable a small number of proven innovations to achieve impact at significant scale, by reaching and benefiting many more people

The Innovation Fund will focus on a small number of big social challenges, like helping older people to age well or supporting young people to get into work, where there is a plausible account of how social action can make a difference and is under-exploited by the existing approach of public services.

Current priorities

  • Helping people to age well, particularly by supporting people over 50 to have a purpose, a sense of well-being and to be connected to others
  • Enabling people with long-term health conditions to have a better quality of life, particularly through the use of peer to peer networks and groups
  • Supporting and encouraging young people to succeed and find employment, for example through mentoring, coaching, and peer-to-peer networks

Using new approaches to “impact volunteering” to mobilise volunteers to increase and enhance the outcomes achieved by public services

Budget: £50,000 to £500,000 to individual ventures or programmes, funding usually needs to be matched from other sources.

Deadlines: Open call, just fill in an expression of interest form on the website



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