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Has your organisation been planning a new and bold initiative but lacked the necessary funding? The RAISE Challenge Fund is looking to support innovation, piloting, testing and development in the voluntary sector to help local organisations make a step change and achieve greater results.

We are looking for exciting ideas showing how groups propose to develop, grow and overcome barriers to improve services for local communities. A new fund has been launched to support this, in a partnership between community foundations across the South East and regional charity RAISE.

The RAISE Challenge Fund will reward the most creative project ideas and the most exciting means of delivery. Community foundations, including OCF, are throwing open the challenge to all parts of the sector and want to hear how organisations propose to make a step change, or embrace new ways of working or engaging with people. The partnership is keen to see how unlocking potential in groups or organisations can dramatically improve impact and effectiveness.

Support is available for all types of ideas, activity and organisations. Applications will be assessed on their creativity, reach and predicted benefits. Grants of between £2,500 and £10,000 will be awarded, although other amounts will be considered based on merit. Grants will be aimed at supporting groups of all sizes, even if they have never applied for funding before or struggle to secure funding from traditional sources.

In addition to awarding grant funding, applicants will receive additional support before, during and after the application process. Prior to applying, all prospective applicants will have the opportunity to speak informally with a RAISE ‘Partnership Manager’ to chat though ideas or seek clarification. As the application advances, the Partnership Manager will be available as a resource to the applicant, if desired, to provide further input or advice.

UPDATE: We have received some really exciting Expressions of Interest from groups and organisations wanting to push their own boundaries to grow and develop. We are looking for more of these golden nuggets and we will now be accepting Expressions of Interest until Friday 26th June, so if you are looking to unlock the potential in your own organisation, in order to benefit communities in the South East, then please do get in touch soon.

RAISE is a regional charity working to support the voluntary and community sector in the South East of England. RAISE provides information, advice and connections to enable voluntary and community groups to be as effective as they can be in supporting our local communities.

The RAISE Challenge Fund is managed and coordinated by the Community Foundation for Surrey in partnership with community foundations across the South East including: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation; Sussex Community Foundation; Kent Community Foundation; Buckinghamshire Community Foundation; Oxfordshire Community Foundation and Berkshire Community Foundation.

Download the full RAISE Challenge Fund Guidance

Start the application process by submitting an expression of interest form