Funding available to help improve charities digital services

17th September 2021

Voluntary and community organisations in Essex are invited to apply for funding to develop and improve their digital services.

The Digital Grants Programme, which is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF), helps voluntary organisations to make use of digital technology and improve the experience their beneficiaries have.

The Programme has now reopened for its second round of applications and will not only provide vital funding, but also create a network of organisations in Essex that have an interest in developing their digital skills for the benefit of the wider community.

Examples of grants previously awarded:  

  • £4,000 to Teen Talk (Harwich) to develop a new website and improve their social media presence to better represent a charity supporting young people in Tendring.
  • £5,180 to Peaceful Place to buy a CRM system to help the Basildon-based organisation support people with young onset dementia.
  • £10,000 to YMCA Essex to upgrade their WiFi network and improve internet connection at a YMCA housing facility for young people in Colchester.
  • £9,265 to Essex Blind Charity towards the redevelopment of their mobile IT infrastructure and CRM system. were involved in the Programme last year.

Jonathan Dixon, General Manager of Essex Blind Charity, explains the difference their grant has made:

“It has truly transformed the way we work and how we can support people with a visual impairment. Our referrals are often newly diagnosed people who are struggling to come to terms with their sight loss.

“We visit them in their homes and our new CRM system, purchased with this grant, means we can collect client information all one place, and as it is cloud based, the whole team can access it both on the move and at the same time.

“This grant has helped us to support people in a timely manner, capturing all their needs with minimal fuss and being able to recall that information with ease.”

Andy Payne Worpole, Head of Programmes at ECF, said “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the digital gap across the voluntary and community sector, and through our conversations with our grant partners, we have seen a renewed interest in developing the use of digital platforms.

“We are happy to consider applications for simple digital solutions, but also welcome innovative projects. Understandably, digital projects can take some time to implement, so multi-year grants are possible too.”

The average grant from this Programme is £9,500, however, there is no maximum grant limit.

ECF are keen for organisations involved to collaborate with others that have received funding, and will host events where they can share their learning and hear from digital experts.

How to apply: 

Please call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 to discuss your ideas in advance of applying. Alternatively, you can email

There is no deadline, but please be aware that funding decisions may take up to two months.

For more information on eligibility and to complete our online application form, please click here.