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Announcing moreopen micro-grants

Cross-posted from the new blog over on moreopen.org, announcing some small-scale funding available for public sector-oriented digital events and projects:

As UKGovcamp 2011 fades into the memory, and exciting events such as ShropCamp (19 April) hove into view, it’s time to formally lift the veil on our mini grant scheme to help get more great public sector digital innovation off the ground.

UKGovcamp was a great event, and we managed to bring in enough sponsorship to cover costs, and set up a small fund to support follow up events. So far, four have been supported:

  • ShropCamp: how social media and open data can help service providers to work more effectively at a local level in and around Shropshire
  • Youth Work Online: the third national get-together of people interested in using the social web for youth engagement and participation
  • Localgovcamp: the national get-together of local government folk, held in Birmingham, to talk about digital stuff at a local level
  • MailCamp [working title]: a show-and-tell seminar event on how effective use of email can help public sector organisations reach audiences more cheaply and drive engagement at scale

But to cut a long story short, there’s still a bit of money in the pot, so we’re inviting applications from individuals and teams who have an idea for an event or project which ticks the following boxes:

  1. Is for people in, or interested in, the UK public sector
  2. Is about transparency, engagement or collaboration involving new technologies
  3. Doesn’t have much – if any – other funding or sponsors, and needs help to cover catering, venue or logistics costs
  4. Is run on a not-for-profit basis; ideally free to participants

So it might be that you want to run a weekend localgovcamp in your area. Or you might want to get together a group of people new to this stuff and run a pecha kucha evening. Or you might want to focus on something specific like film-making or consultation or using Facebook effectively in the public sector, and get people to show-and-tell their experiences.

The application process is really simple: use the application form on this site to tell us:

  • a little bit about who you are
  • what your event or project is about
  • what you need the money for

You can bid for any amount up to £1,000, but we expect most grants for small events to be around £250 or £500: enough to cover pizzas or a large room if you can’t find one for free.

The grant scheme will be run on a rolling basis, until the money runs out, so don’t delay in making your application. Having a bit of seed funding behind you will hopefully make you a stronger candidate for sponsorship by other organisations, so the idea is to help you get the ball rolling.

FAQs

  1. Can you run the event for me?
    No, sorry. We just help with a bit of money. We’re still knackered from organising UKGovcamp.
  2. OK, but can you promote it for me?
    To an extent, we’d love to. We’ll tweet and blog about it here, and can set you up with a subsite on http://www.ukgovcamp.com if you want. In any case, we recommend you set up a group and get people talking about the event, to sound out interest and ideas for content.
  3. How big is the grant fund?
    Not very. A few grand altogether.
  4. I’ve got an idea but I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for
    Drop us a line and let us know what you’re thinking about. There’s no harm in asking, and it’s a very informal process.