Pioneers Post
social investment

Innovation in Giving fund makes first of £10m investments

15 February 2012

There’s never been a more critical time to find new ways to encourage giving, and today’s investments will help develop and scale up these ideas to have maximum impact across the UK

Geoff Mulgan, CEO, NESTA

The Cabinet Office and NESTA today announced the first fifteen investments to be funded from the £10m Innovation in Giving Fund, which aims to find and back innovative ideas for increasing volunteering and charitable giving.

More than 430 applications for funding were received and 62 were shortlisted to pitch their ideas to a selection panel between December 2011 and March 2012.
The first organisations to receive funding are:
BlueDot: a new social currency that rewards people with exclusive celebrity products and work experience, for doing good things such as volunteering, donating or liking non-profits on Facebook; all of which then add up to a shareable 'good CV’.
Payroll Local: a project led by the New Economics Foundation (nef) with Lambeth Council using the Brixton Pound electronic currency to enable staff to support local businesses and donate to local charities and social enterprises.
Buzzbnk: who currently run an online crowd-funding platform linking social ventures looking for start-up or growth capital with like-minded people keen to fund with small amounts of money. They are planning to "Go Mobile", enabling full mobile capability for their online crowd-funding platform.
care4care: will be a joint collaboration between Professor Heinz Wolff from Tools for Living, The Young Foundation and Age Concern, Isle of Wight. Care4care will be a membership organisation where members spend a few hours a week supporting an older person in their own local community, and in return build up their own “care pension” for their own future needs.
Cool2Care: a new 'Family Reciprocity' programme from the family-carer introduction agency and training body that recruits, screens and trains individuals to work as personal assistants for disabled children and young people.
Hackney Shares: a borough-wide timebank network for the exchange of time and resources for people and organisations, facilitated by an online platform.
Horsesmouth: a safe, moderated online venue for informal one-to-one mentoring covering all the important aspects of life, from health and wellbeing to career choices, employability and business support. a crowd-funding platform that enables people with great business ideas, that might just change the world, to raise funding and gain public support, from the makers of River Cottage and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight.
Project Dirt: is a grass roots social networking site that enables people and organisations to give their time, expertise and/or resources to local environmental projects.
Slivers-of-Time: a social business working with three councils – Bristol, Hertfordshire and Newham – to develop and scale a web based platform that makes it easy for people to volunteer their odd hours between other commitments to voluntary organisations.
Solar Schools: an innovative project, run by the 10:10 campaign, that enables schools to crowd-fund the cost of installing solar panels.
The Good Gym: a community enterprise that connects people who want to get fit, with physical tasks that need to be done and which benefit the community.
Timebanking UK: will develop and implement Community Weaver 2.1, an open-source, free-to-use platform to significantly reduce the barriers to entry for setting up, joining or managing local timebanks. an online social gifting platform that makes donating to charity an integral part of organising a celebration or special occasion.
Tyze Personal Networks: private, secure, online networks that provides support to both people requiring care and their volunteer carers to improve health and social outcomes.
Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of NESTA, said: ‘The broad range of ideas we have seen are testament to the imagination and motivation of people to harness new technologies to drive giving, volunteering and sharing. There’s never been a more critical time to find new ways to encourage giving, and today’s investments will help develop and scale up these ideas to have maximum impact across the UK.’
The Innovation in Giving Fund was designed to support innovations that have the potential to deliver a significant increase in the giving and exchange of time, assets, skills, resources and money to achieve social goals and public benefit. As well as finding and supporting some of the most promising innovations in giving, the fund aims to catalyse new ideas and collaborations, build a body of knowledge and learning, and help bring about a wider transformation in the culture of giving across England as well as running regular promotions of each project.
Today’s announcement is the first in a series of investments that will be distributed by NESTA. Further investment announcements are expected to be made over the next few weeks as the pitching process continues. It is expected that a second funding round will be made in the Spring.
For further information about the Innovation in Giving Fund and to see the video applications of the shortlisted organisations, visit
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