Closed Fund

The TikTok Digital Future Fund

Closing Date
22/09/2023
At the launch of the TikTok Digital Future Fund are (L-R) Cormac Keenan, Head of Trust & Safety, TikTok; Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development and Minister for Social Protection; Áine Kerr, Chair of the Board, Rethink Ireland.

The TikTok Digital Future Fund is a €750,000 three-year fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with TikTok to enhance the lives of young adults in Ireland. The Fund is part of a €1 million total commitment by TikTok. €250,000 will be granted to Rethink Ireland in TikTok advertising to support fund activities with non-profit organisations in communities. 

Ages 15-24 are transformative years in the lives of all young people. It is a time when young people make key education and employment choices that influence their long-term prospects. Since the pandemic, many young people are unemployed or are in precarious employment. Young people supported with high quality education and skills training opportunities have an increased chance of building a prosperous life. To build a strong future generation, young people need to be supported to access programmes that build digital and/or creative skills and equip them for further education and/or a job.

The objective of the Fund is to support non-profit organisations that build digital and/ or creative skills to enhance the lives of marginalised young people aged 15-24 who are experiencing unemployment, underemployment, or wish to upskill. This could be done through:

  • education programmes
  • employment readiness programmes
  • or both! 

Examples of suitable projects could focus on one of the following areas:

  • Improving digital skills and digital literacy for young people to prepare them for further steps in education, training and employment. 
  • Inspiring and enhancing creative skills in young people to prepare them for further steps in education, training and employment.
  • Preparing young people with work readiness skills, including digital skills and creative skills, confidence-building and interview skills to prepare them for employment.
  • Connecting young people with inspiring mentors and/or work experience opportunities in the digital and/or creative sectors to further their career options.

This is not an exhaustive list – please refer to the Fund criteria to see if your project/organisation is eligible to apply. 

Projects/organisations reaching marginalised young people and using fully digital or hybrid programmes (hybrid means a mix of online and offline) have an advantage.  

You can apply to The TikTok Digital Future Fund from August 9th until September 22nd at 1.00 pm. 

The sessions will be identical, so you do not need to attend both, and will entail a short presentation followed by an open Q&A session, offering you an opportunity to bring any questions you may have regarding the application process to the Fund team.

You can contact the fund team at digitalfuture@rethinkireland.ie if you would like more information.

Who can apply?

This Fund is open to organisations that have a not-for-profit legal form, e.g. charities, social enterprises and other voluntary organisations. 

Eligibility & Criteria

Projects must meet both Rethink Ireland’s criteria and the specific criteria for The TikTok Digital Future Fund, as set out below:

Rethink Ireland Criteria 

  • The project must address a critical social or environmental issue
  • The project must be innovative in an Irish context
  • The project must be based in the Republic of Ireland
  • The project must have the potential and desire to scale or replicate in Ireland 
  • The project must provide evidence that it is up and running, or has been tested at least in a minimal way
  • Applicants must come from an entity that has a ‘not for profit’ legal form for example, a charity or voluntary organisation.

The TikTok Digital Future Fund Criteria 

The project must:

  • work to enhance the lives of young adults aged 15 – 24 AND
  • Be focused on building digital and/or creative skills through either education programmes or employment readiness programmes – or both! 

This may look like programmes which:

  • Improve digital skills and digital literacy for young people to prepare them for further steps in education, training and employment. 
  • Inspire and enhance creative skills in young people to prepare them for further steps in education, training and employment.
  • Prepare young people with work readiness skills, including digital skills and creative skills, confidence-building and interview skills to prepare them for employment.
  • Connect young people with inspiring mentors and/or work experience opportunities in the digital and/or creative sectors to further their career options.

Advantageous criteria 

In addition to meeting the 2 core Fund criteria, it would be an advantage if;

  • Projects reach marginalised young people. This includes people who; are from Roma or traveller communities, are migrants or seeking asylum, have a disability, are socio-economically disadvantaged or unemployed, are experiencing poor mental health or addiction, or identify as LGBTQ+. Please note, this list is not exhaustive as many individuals experience marginalisation. 
  • Projects use fully digital or hybrid delivery methods to widen participation and create an inclusive curriculum for all. Hybrid means a mix of online and offline.

Which applicants cannot apply? 

Applicants that are not eligible to apply are:

  • Applicants under 18 years of age
  • Commercial companies, sole traders and individuals
  • Individuals, statutory or public bodies, local development companies, LEADER companies, companies limited by shares, and organisations that are funded 100% by state bodies or agencies and continue to be in receipt of that funding.

If my organisation has previously been in receipt of an award from Rethink Ireland, can I still apply?

Yes. If you have previously been funded by Rethink Ireland, you can still apply. Previous awardees must be able to demonstrate they have performed well on a previous programme and capture in the application form how the new funding being applied for is a logical continuation from the original investment, fitting the new Fund criteria in particular.

If my organisation/project is currently in receipt of an award from Rethink Ireland, can I still apply?

Projects on one of our Funds that have cash grant payments remaining before the commencement of the new fund programme are not eligible to apply. 

Organisations on one of our Funds that have cash grant payments remaining before the commencement of the new fund programme are still eligible to apply with a different project and different project lead.

Is this just for large-scale, national organisations?

No, it is not, and indeed we welcome applications from organisations of all sizes once it is a not-for-profit organisation with a legal form (see criteria above).

Can I apply for this funding even though I am still in the ideation stage? 

Unfortunately no, this fund needs to see proof that the project is up and running or, at least, has been tested and shown results in some way.

Can organisations make multiple applications? 

Yes, there is nothing stopping your organisation from making more than one application for separate projects. However, due to the competitive nature of this Fund and its selection process, it is very unlikely that we will fund more than one project from any organisation. We encourage organisations to submit one strong application rather than multiple applications.

If my organisation is funded by a Government/state agency (HSE, TULSA etc) are we eligible? 

Yes, you can apply if you are in receipt of funding from a government or state agency. However, if your organisation is 100% funded through state sources, then you are not eligible to apply to the Fund.

Is it possible for organisations to collaborate in an application (e.g. a community development organisation and an educational provider)?

They can and one organisation should take the lead. Please refer to the eligibility criteria to ensure that your project is eligible for funding.

What does the Fund offer?

There will be up to 4 awards available in total, and each Awardee will receive a maximum total cash grant of €117,000 (to a maximum of €39,000 each year across three years), mentoring support, and placement on Rethink Ireland’s capacity building programme.

What can cash grants be spent on? 

The cash grant must be spent on the project that won the award and must be ring-fenced for work you are undertaking. The specific use of the cash grant will be agreed between Rethink Ireland and the Awardee.

The funding may be used to cover operations/staff costs but you must be able to demonstrate in your application how this is facilitating you to run the project that you are applying for. Cash grants may not be used to pay off debts or for capital items such as renovations, or for vehicles, land, buildings or large equipment. 

What non-financial supports will be provided to successful applicants?

Rethink Ireland’s non-financial supports have been called our ‘secret sauce’ that help projects to really develop their capacity and sustainability, in addition to the benefit of the cash supports. Non-financial supports will include:

  1. Each Awardee’s project lead and potentially other relevant staff will take part in the Fund’s Accelerator Programme. The Accelerator programme will consist of a series of interactive training workshops on topics such as strategy development, measuring and maximising your impact, communications and storytelling, diversity & inclusion and fundraising.
  2. Awardees will also get some bespoke 1:1 business and capacity building supports from expert business/non-profit consultants in areas such as impact management, theory of change and strategy development. Supports will be designed in consultation with the successful projects.
  3. Awardees will also get access to Rethink Ireland’s networks and have the opportunity to develop networks and contacts with the other Awardees of the Fund, which are often very valuable in the longer term.

How do we apply?

Applications to this Fund are now closed.

Accessibility

We have tried to make the application process as accessible as possible but we understand that there may still be some difficulties for applicants. If you have access needs or are struggling with the application form, please contact digitalfuture@rethinkireland.ie.

How does the selection process work?

The selection process is very rigorous and consists of a number of stages:

Stage 1: Open call for applications

Stage 2: Review the applications 

Stage 3: Shortlisted applicants invited to interview (Early to mid October 2023)

Stage 4: Interviews held (Late October 2023)

Stage 5: Final checks on short-listed applicants (November 2023)

Stage 6: Final decision by Rethink Ireland’s Board (December 2023)

Stage 7: Inform successful applicants (January 2024)

Who will decide who wins the awards?

All applications will be reviewed thoroughly through a rigorous process. The Board of Rethink Ireland will make the final decision on successful applicants and the number and value of the final awards given.

How do applicants find out where they are in the selection process?

We will contact all applicants by email to let them know whether or not they have been shortlisted and invited to interview. Interviews will be conducted via online video link. When final decisions have been made on the successful applicants, we will contact all shortlisted applicants by phone or email to let them know whether they have been successful. 

What happens after the selection process? 

  • Successful applicants will be informed in January 2024
  • The cash grants will be delivered in six parts over the three years and are tied to agreed performance milestones. The first cash grant payment will be released in February 2024. 
  • The Accelerator Programme will run from March 2024 to August 2026. 
  • The Accelerator supports will be designed in consultation with the awardees and reflect organisational/project needs. 
  • The Fund will close in August 2026.

Terms & Conditions of the Fund

By applying for the Fund you agree to the following terms and conditions.

  • By sending in your application, you accept these terms and conditions and our Privacy Statement. If you do not comply with these terms and conditions, you may be disqualified and may have to return any award granted.
  • Rethink Ireland will hold the personal details which you submitted with your application form. We will only share this information with the third parties administering the application and selection process unless we agree otherwise with you. Please see our Privacy Statement for full details.
  • Awardees (successful Applicants) agree to take part in publicity about the grant. Rethink Ireland reserves the right to publish the names of organisations that are successful in their applications.
  • If you decline an award or if the award is rescinded because you did not comply with the terms and conditions, the Board of Directors may select an alternative Awardee.
  • Rethink Ireland reserves the right to disqualify any entrant, to change the terms and conditions without notice, or to cancel the application process at any stage.