Projects responding to global challenges offered shares of £50,000

The Small Charities Challenge Fund has been established by the Department for International Development after a two-year pilot

(Photograph: chrisdorney/Shutterstock)
(Photograph: chrisdorney/Shutterstock)

Development charities with incomes of less than £250,000 a year are being invited to apply for grants of up to £50,000 from the Department for International Development.

The Small Charities Challenge Fund is open to projects responding to global challenges, such as improving girls’ education, tackling climate change and promoting access to healthcare in the developing world.

The department said in a statement today that the fund had been opened on a continuous basis after a two-year pilot programme.

Six further grants of £100,000 will be available for civil society organisations with incomes of less than £10m a year to allow them to deliver capacity development in smaller charities, particularly around finance, communications and governance.

The funding for both sets of grants will run over two years.

Nobody from the DfID was able to confirm how much funding was available before publication of this story. 

Alok Sharma, the international development secretary, said: "Every day, small British charities are working to save lives. Their commitment and passion is helping to reduce poverty around the world and deliver on wide-ranging priorities, including education and health.

"We want to make it easier for them to access UK aid, which will make a huge difference in their ability to deliver on the front line."

The department said it would assess the next batch of applications for grants of up to £50,000 after 28 November.

For the £100,000 grants, DfID guidance says, the department is looking to "for innovative, evidence-based and ambitious proposals from organisations with a track record of supporting small, grass-roots organisations to achieve their ambitions" and it will hold a guidance webinar for potential applicants on 11 September.

A total of 52 grants were awarded during the two years of the pilot scheme and 84 per cent of the organisations that received them had never before been funded by DfID.

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