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What is the #iwill Fund?

The #iwill Fund is an England wide joint investment that brings together £40 million in funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The National Lottery Community Fund, creating a central investment pot.

It launched in November 2016 to support the #iwill campaign’s goals in England, aiming to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20 year-olds as possible by the year 2020.

How does the #iwill Fund work?

The #iwill Fund is managed by The National Lottery Community Fund and overseen by a Leadership Board that’s made up of representatives from Government, The National Lottery Community Fund and Step Up To Serve (the charity coordinating the #iwill campaign).

It distributes investment through working with other funders. A collaborative group of funders are joining the #iwill Fund by match funding the investment on at least a £1:£1 ratio. They are 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.

When people are in the lead, communities thrive and this funding through DCMS and The National Lottery Community Fund supports young people to make a difference in their community.

The four investment drivers fundamentals that underpin our investment are:

  • Creating high quality opportunities that connect young people authentically to causes they can address
  • Engaging the younger age group to build a habit, with a focus on primary school age
  • A continued focus on reaching young people from less socio-economically affluent communities 
  • Prioritise sustainable solutions that can be scaled cost effectively by embedding social action opportunities where young people  are and connecting young people to solve key challenges across society

If you’re a funder and interested in knowing more about how you could collaborate with the #iwillFund, please get in touch with Fiona Ellison, #iwill Fund Development Manager, on:

If you are looking for funding for project 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 funding.

We expect funding opportunities to open in spring 2019. To stay up-to-date, sign up for the #iwill campaign newsletter. You can also see the latest news by following #iwillFund on Twitter.

Funding partnerships

To see the latest list of partners the #willFund is working with, please go to:

On announcing the funding in September 2016 Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I want Britain to be the great meritocracy of the world and a fundamental part of this is ensuring all young people get the best possible start in life. This new funding demonstrates our commitment, and will be a huge boost for youth groups across the country – giving young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to gain the experiences and skills they need to succeed in life. This is all part of our determination to build a country that works for everyone– and ensure that young people can go as far as their talents allow, regardless of their backgrounds.”

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 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.

For more information the #iwill Fund see our Frequently Asked Questions.