FUNDRAISING NEWS: Comic Relief offers grants to youth schemes

Comic Relief has set up a new international grants programme to fund small charities' work on international youth projects.

The funding for the programme comes primarily from the sale of books written for the charity by Harry Potter author JK Rowling. More than £8 million has already been raised for the project from worldwide sales of two Harry Potter books.

In addition, 50 per cent of money raised from Sport Relief, Comic Relief's programme that raises cash from sports-orientated events, will be ploughed into the fund.

The money will be used to fund international child projects tackling issues such as housing, education and abuse.

Up to £1 million over five years will be given to individual organisations as investment grants to provide core funding for small NGOs working with international partners. These grants will be limited to charities with a turnover of less than £2.3 million per annum.

Additional amounts of up to £1 million will also be distributed as project grants, to fund international schemes over five years.

"We're really committed to making a significant investment in smaller charities,

said Richard Graham, international grants manager at Comic Relief. "Smaller charities are often caught in a project-funding treadmill and this new programme has the opportunity to let organisations really make a difference."

The deadline for first-round funding applications is 31 May.

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