The telecommunications company Cable&Wireless Worldwide has launched a charitable foundation and is inviting charities to apply for funding worth about £300,000.
The Cable&Wireless Worldwide Foundation said it would support registered charities that it could work with to use communications technology to help improve the lives of people with special needs.
The foundation will receive £200,000 this year from the company and wants to raise a further £100,000 through employees' fundraising activities.
Tracy O'Brien, chair of the foundation management team, said it would be aiming to work with charities with which it could develop partnerships. She said she wanted the foundation not only to provide money, but also to access Cable&Wireless's expertise in communications.
From the financial year 2012/13, said O'Brien, the foundation would receive 0.5 per cent of the company's pre-tax profit, which was £132m this year. It would also continue to receive money from employee fundraising. She estimated the two together would amount to more than £1m.
The available money was likely to be spent during each financial year rather than put into an endowment, said O'Brien.
O'Brien said the foundation was international, but that funding would be given out in proportion to where Cable&Wireless staff were based. The UK and India are its two largest bases.
"We're keen on long-term projects, but we won't discount short projects," she said.
"We hope to have a close relationship with our charity partners. We want to maximise our resources to their benefit. Charities should make it clear how this would work."
Charities that are interested in applying to the foundation should visit its website. The deadline for applications is 1 August.