The Money Advice Service has launched a new £7 million fund to support financial capability projects in the UK and is open to a range of organisations.
The What Works Fund has been launched across the UK to help organisations pilot new approaches for improving financial capability and to evaluate their projects. It has been set up to provide financial support for projects which are focused on building evidence of the types of interventions that can make a measurable difference to people’s financial capability.
The Programme consists of two parts:
- Stream A will fund and evaluate projects seeking to help answer the ‘What Works questions’.
- Stream B will fund pilot activity focused on capacity building and sharing of best practice amongst financial capability practitioners.
Up to £7 million is being made available for 2016/17. Of this £600,000 is committed to Stream B, which will open for applications in July 2016.
As a general guide, the following grants are expected to be available for Stream A, which is currently open for applications:
- Grants to evaluate an existing intervention are estimated to be between 10–20% of the intervention’s delivery costs, although this is strictly a guide figure and the cost may be more or less.
- Grants to expand the scope of an existing intervention to reach a new audience and evaluate its impact could be between £50,000 and £1 million depending on scope and target group.
- Grants that would develop and test new pilot interventions for a specific audience could be up to £250,000.
- Effective, learning-focused evaluation is central to this grant programme. As such MAS does not expect to award grants under £5,000.
Applications for Stream A will be considered from any organisation in the UK that delivers financial capability interventions, or which may wish to do so in the future. This includes charities and other third sector bodies including trusts; commercial organisations (but not for projects that result in any commercial advantage or profit); social enterprises; local authorities; housing associations; and education bodies.
Applicants are encouraged to put in joint bids in partnership with other providers or other organisations.
Funding for Stream A is intended to support three types of projects:
- Existing interventions.
- Expanding existing interventions.
- Piloting new approaches.
Projects should help answer the questions 'what works' either fully or with a more specific focus on:
- Children and young people.
- Young adults.
- Working-age people.
- Retirement planning.
- Older people in retirement.
- Financial difficulties.
Projects must be delivered by the end of February 2018, although the preference is for projects that can deliver robust evidence of their impact within the 2016/17 financial year.
The deadline for Expression of Interest for Stream A funding is 8 July 2016 (12 noon).