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What is the #iwillFund?

The #iwillFund was announced in November 2016 and brings together £40m of seed funding from Government and Big Lottery Fund to create an investment pot in support of the #iwill campaign’s goals in England. The #iwill fund is managed by the Big Lottery Fund and overseen by a Leadership Board, made up of representatives from Government, Big Lottery Fund and Step Up To Serve (the charity coordinating the #iwill campaign), as well as three young people.

How does the #iwillFund work?
The #iwillFund distributes its investment through working with other funders. Rather than investing in direct delivery, the #iwillFund is creating a collaborative group of funders, who are joining the #iwillFund by match funding the investment on at least a £1:£1 ratio and developing funding programmes that will enable more young people, particularly from less affluent communities, to take part in high quality social action that builds a habit for life.

If you’re a funder and interested in knowing more about how you could collaborate with the #iwillFund please get in touch with Fiona Ellison – #iwillFund Development Manager

If you are looking for funding without investing as a match funder you will need to apply directly to one of the #iwillFund match funders. There will be different rounds of funding released by funders.

If you are currently looking for funding these #iwillFund partners have opportunities:

  • Virgin Money Foundation have a fund to enable young people across the North East to get involved in social action through their “#iwill take action” fund. More information on the first wave of grant recipients, and how to apply here: The Fund is open for one year grants until Dec 2018, but has closed for two year grants from the 31st Jan 2018.
  • UK Community Foundation network have small grants for local social action opportunities through their network of 43 Community Foundations across England. Grants are up to £5,000 and are available for activity based within the specific localities that each Community Foundation serves. Each foundation have different rounds open at different times. You can find details of your local Community Foundation and find out more information here:
  • The Cooperative Foundation are working across the country to address isolation in young people through social action. They have awarded nine grants for year one, with a further round of grants recently opened with a deadline of June 22nd:

You can see a full list of #iwillFund partners and links to their schemes here: #iwillFund match funders

On announcing the funding in September 2016 Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I want Britain to be the great meritocracy of the world and a fundamental part of this is ensuring all young people get the best possible start in life. This new funding demonstrates our commitment, and will be a huge boost for youth groups across the country – giving young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to gain the experiences and skills they need to succeed in life. This is all part of our determination to build a country that works for everyone– and ensure that young people can go as far as their talents allow, regardless of their backgrounds.”

The #iwillFund will look to support activities that create opportunities for 10-20 year-olds to take part in social action, in line with the ambitions of the #iwill campaign. The #iwillFund Leadership Board set the funding priority areas for the #iwill Fund in line with our principles:

  • To create a natural pathway for social action engagement from 10-20 to develop the character of young people and their capacity to significantly contribute to their community – continuing into adult life.
  • To develop and grow high quality opportunities pre and post National Citizen Service (NCS) to fulfil the ambition of creating a socially active generation of young people into adulthood and ensure we optimise the significant investment into NCS for young people.
  • Create a learning environment, independent from Government, to share what works, as well as initiatives that haven’t been as successful, ensuring that funding helps to grow organisational knowledge across delivery partners and funders.
  • To ensure funders work collaboratively when investing in youth social action, ensuring less duplication and that there is investment where it is really needed.
  • To ensure more young people are taking part in high quality youth social action opportunities across the country, with a particular focus on young people from backgrounds who are least likely to take part in social action.

For more information the #iwill Fund see our Frequently Asked Questions.