£900k Government Fund To Help Charities Win Public Contracts.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is running a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Contract Readiness Fund grant competition, inviting bids to co-design and deliver a programme that will enable the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sectors to increase its participation in public service procurement in England.

The Contract Readiness Fund is worth £900,000 over the next three financial years, and the objective of the Fund will be to enable VCSEs to compete alongside other organisations and increase their participation in public service procurement in England by:

  1. improving the skills, knowledge and support networks of VCSEs for successful bidding
  2. improving the awareness amongst VCSEs of opportunities regarding current and upcoming tenders
  3. making it easier for the VCSE sectors to position their offer to public service commissioners, raising their awareness and understanding of the sectors’ role and value
  4. improving the evidence on what initiatives work

Applicants can come from a charity or institution (other than a charity) which is established for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes, which is also a UK entities has traded in the UK for more than 12 months. In the case of a consortium or partnership application, the lead partner must be a UK entity and have been trading in the UK for more than 12 months. For additional partners, this is a preference but not essential.

Charities delivered public services worth £17bn between 2016 and 2020, with about 5 per cent of voluntary organisations involved in delivering public contracts.

Bids for this project close 29 September 2022.

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Photo by Julia M Cameron

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