Digital Inclusion Fund

Status:  Open to applications

Application Deadline: 1st October 2018


Grants are available to charities and not-for-profit organisations in England working on initiatives designing, researching or delivering digital inclusion programmes with a focus on older and/or disabled people, in a new, creative and innovative way.
Fund Value: £ 400,000
Maximum Value: £ 200,000
Minimum Value: £ 50,000

Value Notes

Grants of between £50,000 and £200,000 are available.

Funding is for 12 months from January to December 2019.

Extended Description

The Digital Inclusion Fund, administered by Citizens Online with funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is a new fund that has been launched with the aims of helping older (aged 55 years and older) and disabled people in England to acquire digital skills. Recent research into internet usage across the UK has shown that within these groups, the numbers who go online or can access the internet are lower than average.

The Fund offers grants to support charities and non-for-profit organisations that are designing, researching or delivering creative and innovative programmes to tackle this digital exclusion. Innovative projects are expected to include the teaching of basic skills such as booking GP appointments online, using apps to communicate with friends and family, and making the most of search engines.

Funding can also be used to test and learn from the new approaches. The projects supported may also have scope to scale up and deliver a wider impact.

Latest Information

Applications will be accepted from 10 September (midday) until 1 October 2018 (midday).

Key Criteria

Charities and not-for-profit organisations, including social enterprises, that support or aim to support older and/or disabled people with essential digital skills (this does not need to be the main focus of the organisation) can apply. The funded activity must benefit people living in England.

Eligible Expenditure

Grants can be used to fund new and creative approaches to support older and/or disabled people with digital skills, with potential to scale for wider impact and longer-term sustainability. Funding can also be used to test and learn from the new approaches. The project can sit within a wider programme of work or be its main focus.

Projects that show impacts that are both life enhancing (eg, a reduction in loneliness) for end users and cost reducing for service providers are encouraged.

Projects should include at least two of the following:

  • New, creative and innovative approaches, which might include reference to the first four Grand Challenges set out in the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
  • The use of public services and enabling digital service transformation, including but not limited to welfare reform and the health agenda.
  • A focus on digitally excluded people living in rural areas.
  • Alignment with, where relevant, the Digital Skills Partnerships.
  • Economic activity by older and/or disabled people, where relevant.
  • Reference to pillars within the Digital Strategy, beyond the obvious focus on digital skills (eg data, digital business and cyber security).
  • Development of any existing activity, where the applicant has evidence that it has been successful, either by exploring ways to make it sustainable or by scaling it up in a cost-effective manner.
  • Learning from a successful engagement activity delivered by the applicant or others, and replicating it with a new audience (eg a different demographic or location).

Applications for support for projects that are already in operation are welcomed, however, applicants must demonstrate how the funding will add a step change and real, new value to the existing project and not be part of core funding.

Application Procedure

Applications should be submitted via the online application form available through the Citizens Online website. The first section of the form is a pre-screening questionnaire to check applicants' eligibility.

Successful applicants will be notified no later than 12 November 2018.

Contact Citizens Online for further information.

Addresses and contacts

Application forms may be available to download their website.
Contact details:
Citizens Online 
1 Stratford Court 
Stratford Road