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The #iwillFund – Frequently Asked Questions

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.

What activity will be funded through the #iwillFund?
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 for the #iwillFund:

  • 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.

Who are the match funders?
We currently have 10 match funders who have been announced. You can find a list here: #iwillFund match funders

If you would like to apply for funding you will need to apply directly to one of our #iwillFund partners. There will be different rounds of funding released by funders.

When will the funds launch?
The #iwillFund will be working with different match funders who will be distributing the money. They will each have different distribution and application processes. Sign up to the #iwill campaign newsletter for the latest announcements.

When will the fund close?
There will be different deadlines for different elements of the fund. We currently have seed funding committed up to the end of 2020.

How do I apply for funding?

Each match funder will be distributing their part of their #iwill Fund and each have their own processes. You can find details of the current live funds on the #iwillFund page.

Is the fund UK-wide? 
Current funding is allocated to England only but our aspiration is to grow investment over time to ensure it becomes UK-wide.

What size will the grants be?
The #iwillFund is seeking to engage local, regional and national organisations that develop opportunities for young people to participate in social action. The grants will vary accordingly to reflect the reach and localities of the #iwillFund target areas.

How will decisions be made to award grants?
The #iwillFund Leadership Board will set the strategic aims for the fund and agree with match funders the parameters of their individual funds. The match funders will be responsible for designing the application process and assessing applications bids through their own existing processes.

How will recipients be expected to monitor progress/successes?
The #iwillFund Leadership Board are currently developing a ‘Learning Hub’ which will work to process data and evidence and enable better investment decisions by both the Leadership Board and match funders as well as best practice amongst grantees. This will support the collection information about activity and impact.

How will the fund grow?
It is anticipated that the initial investment from Government and Big Lottery Fund will be a minority contributor to the final full fund, with the majority of funding coming from other organisations, businesses and philanthropists.  Step Up To Serve, the organisation behind the #iwill campaign, have already had initial discussions with both large investors and potential match funders and as a result are confident that there will be significant investment over the 4 years.

How does this relate to NCS?
NCS is one programme in the whole journey of social action. The opportunities created by the new fund will encourage a journey into NCS by getting young people engaged in social action at an early age and recognising the benefits of participation. It is intended that the fund will also support NCS Graduates to find further opportunities to continue their social action journey.  For example, NCS Graduates recently plugged a gap in adult volunteers in the Boys Brigade. This will support the ambition of a lifetime commitment to social action and harness the positive outcomes of the NCS programme. The fund will not be used to develop NCS places.  Neither is it intended to extend the programme of NCS to a different age range. This money will not be used to fund ​NCS places.

What is the #iwill campaign?
The #iwill campaign is a cross sector initiative aiming to improve the quality, quantity and frequency of youth social action. It is also seeking to enable ALL young people, wherever they live and whatever their background, to have access to social action opportunities. Social action is defined as ‘practical action is the service of others to create positive change’.

Where can I find out more information about the #iwillFund?
If you’re a funder and interested in knowing more about how you could collaborate with us please email and mark your enquiry #iwillFund.