What is the #iwill Fund?

The #iwill Fund is an England wide joint investment. The original funding involved bringing together £40 million in funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The National Lottery Community Fund to create a central investment pot. In early 2020 DCMS and TNLCF announced further funding of approximately £9.3m in the #iwill Fund.

The #iwill Fund was launched in November 2016, to support the #iwill campaign’s goals in England, which is aiming to make social action the norm for young people aged 10-20. From the end of 2020 the #iwill Campaign became known as the #iwill Movement. The #iwill Movement is supported by Volunteering Matters and UK Youth who have formed a consortium to host an independent #iwill Coordination Hub that will support the #iwill Movement until 2026. The #iwill Movement is UK wide whereas the #iwill Fund only funds projects that are delivered in England.

The #iwill Fund distributes its investment through working in partnership with other funders. A collaborative group of 30 Match Funders have joined the #iwill Fund to date by match funding the investment on at least a £1:£1 ratio, developing funding programmes that enable more young people, particularly from less affluent communities, to take part in high quality social action that builds a habit for life. The four investment drivers that underpin our investment are:

  • Creating high quality opportunities that connect young people authentically to causes they can address and in particular issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis
  • Engaging the younger age group to build a habit, with a focus on primary age (where possible). Engaging older age groups where potential impact and scale are compelling
  • A continued focus on reaching young people from less socio-economically affluent communities and particularly those facing increased impacts and vulnerability as a result of COVID-19
  • Prioritise sustainable solutions that can be scaled cost effectively by embedding social action opportunities where young people already are and connecting young people to solving key challenges across society – in particular issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis. .

In August 2021, DCMS and TNLCF announced additional funding to create thousands of new youth social action opportunities for young people. Additional funding of approximately £3.3m is available for Match Funding and is being delivered through the existing structures of the #iwill Fund. It is providing funding for youth social action opportunities provision (both general/universal and targeted provision) and is building on our current work on reducing the socio-economic participation gap and to continue to share learning on how to do this.

If you are a funder who would like to work in partnership with the #iwill Fund (as a Match Funder) or would like further information on the #iwill Fund please get in touch with either Helen Whyman, Head of Funding (#iwill Fund) helen.whyman@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or Jason Flynn, #iwill Fund Manager jason.flynn@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk

If you are looking for grant funding for direct delivery, rather than investing as a Match Funder, you will need to apply directly to one of the #iwill Fund Match Funders. Each Match Funder will have different approaches to awarding funding. Please see more information on the Funding Partnerships tab. To stay up-to-date sign up for the #iwill movement newsletter. You can also see the latest news by following #iwillFund on twitter.

Funding partnerships

You can find the latest list of partners the #willFund is working with on the National Lottery Community Fund Website here.

The #iwill Fund 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 #iwill Fund 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 years-old, developing 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.

Looking for funding for a project?

You need to apply direct to an #iwill Fund match funder – each has its own process.

To stay up-to-date, sign up for the #iwill movement newsletter. You can also follow #iwillFund on Twitter.