Charities discovery programme grant journey

A short slideshow explaining what works for charities participating in discovery programmes, in their words.

We asked them.

But first, what is an early-stage ‘Discovery’ programme?

Discovery is what charities do at the start of a digital project - researching to find out, to discover, what their users need, what motivates them and how they experience the world. It can also involved analysing the problem, developing a hypothesis and creating tools like personas and user need statements.

A discovery programme is when someone, usually a funder, creates a programme for lots of charities to do Discovery work at the same time. They can then be supported by a digital partner who knows lots about user research. Charities apply to take part just like any other funding programme.

That’s what Catalyst ran for 100 charities back in October 2020. We’ve already written about that. And about how it can work for funders.

This is about what works for charities

Since the programme ended we’ve been analysing what we learnt. Specifically we’ve analysed:

  • What charities told inFocus, Catalyst’s evaluator, about being on the programme
  • Other pieces of research: from Catalyst’s Explore programme, Joyce Borgs' 'Helping funders fund digital', and IVAR's 'Start Somewhere' research.
  • What Catalyst staff told us they’ve seen and heard on different programmes

The analysis told us a lot about what helps charities to apply and take part in Discovery programmes. Watch the slideshow to learn what they need. Click to move on to the next slide.

Download a pdf version.

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Ellie Hale
Ellie Hale