Individuals and teams of people will be offered the chance to apply for a share of £2m from a fund set up by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to support ideas for tackling major social issues in the UK.
The Ideas and Pioneers Fund, which will opened for applications in August, is expected to award grants of up to £30,000 each to about 30 individuals or teams in each of 2015 and 2016. There is no minimum grant size and applicants can be working independently or within organisations, which do not have to be registered charities.
The foundation is seeking applications from people with ideas in the early stages of development that relate closely to its charitable mission of helping people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity. It will consider funding work across urban and rural areas to develop ideas from concept to set-up, including problem definition and analysis, scoping, exploratory work and prototyping.
Proposals are particularly welcome from people who have never applied to the foundation before or who have never received grant funding before, the foundation said.
A spokesman for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation said: "The Ideas and Pioneers Fund will seek to identify individuals with innovative ideas to tackle major social issues but who lack the capacity or space to develop them. The foundation is explicitly looking to embrace risk and identify new grantees with ‘big ideas’."
There will be three funding rounds in 2015 and several more in 2016.
The launch of the fund coincides with the unveiling of the foundation’s new five-year strategy. The grant-maker’s priority areas under the strategy will be: supporting and enabling innovation; widening access to the arts; improving education through the arts; highlighting how the arts affect people’s lives; supporting disadvantaged young people; and improving integration among communities.
The strategy comes after a new director, Moira Sinclair, joined the foundation in February. Sinclair, who was previously London and south east director at Arts Council England, replaced Martin Brookes, who left the grant-maker last June after just over a year in the role.
Sinclair is also the vice-chair of Look Ahead Care and Support, a charitable housing association that helps vulnerable people to live independently. She recently completed a term as a governor of the University of Lincoln.
Commenting on the strategy, Sinclair said in a statement: "Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s mission remains ambitious and has never been more relevant. At a time of continued austerity and significant social and economic challenges, trusts and foundations can play a vital role in supporting innovation and backing people with game-changing ideas, as well as providing long-term support and funding. Most importantly, our focus must be on helping people, especially young people, overcome disadvantage and realise their full potential."