The Savers Support Fund will scale proven social action programmes that improve money management skills and reduce debt for individuals and families in England
Why are we doing this?
In the UK, millions of people now live in debt. We each owe an average of £3,730 (excluding mortgages) and more than 16 million have less than £100 in savings – far too little to cope with the potential ‘shocks’ of unexpected expenditure or job loss.
Many people, when faced with sudden bills, turn to loans and credit card debt which could financially stretch them too far. This is reported to especially be the case for those who are ‘just about managing’.
Giving people the skills to better plan and manage their finances can help them avoid debt and balance their budgets. This is an area in which social action is well placed to assist; with skilled volunteers able to help local people with the support, knowledge and tools they need to save for the future and become debt free.
Social action schemes giving guidance (such as through the Citizens Advice Bureau) are well established, but there are also promising schemes that provide more intensive support as well as those that make use of collaborative economy models enabling people’s resources to go further through sharing.
Nesta and the Office for Civil Society have a strong legacy in supporting social action to augment public services, and this programme is part of that work. We are looking to back projects with the clearest evidence of impact and opportunity to reach many more people and to help them become debt free.
What are we doing?
The Savers Support Fund is a £1million fund to scale proven social action models that will assist individuals and families to better manage money and reduce debt. All projects must work with a majority of families who are just about managing, and/or young people aged 14-25.
We are looking to fund four to six organisations with grants of between £150,000 and £250,000 to scale (through growth, franchising or replication) proven approaches to help people better manage money. We will provide financial and non-financial support to help grow the impact and reach of the best innovations.
Innovations must demonstrate that they need support to scale their work, using social action, to new areas in England.
Specifically, where this fund is concerned, social action will include both formal and informal forms of giving and volunteering, as well as forms of digital giving.
We are especially interested in supporting:
- Mentoring and peer to peer models to upskill beneficiaries in budgeting and financial management skills.
- Digital social action that provides guidance and support to manage and keep to a budget where and when people need it.
- Sharing economy approaches that help people manage personal budgets and access essential goods and services cheaply.
How to apply
We invite eligible projects based in England to submit a short expression of interest (EOI), outlining key information, by midday Wednesday 29 March.