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Common Ground Initiative

The Common Ground initiative is a £20 million fund supporting African development through UK based small and Diaspora organisations. This initiative is managed by Comic Relief and co-funded by the Department for International Development.

The initiative aims to increase access to grants for small and Diaspora-led organisations in the UK that are working to create real and sustainable changes to some of the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in Africa.  This fund also aims to strengthen the capacity of small and Diaspora organisations in the UK.

Applicants can apply to one of Comic Relief’s six existing grants programmes, or to the health, education or enterprise and employment programmes that have been developed specifically for this initiative.


  • Grants are available to UK registered charities. Applications to the enterprise and employment programme can be made from any UK registered organisation, however, for-profit organisations must demonstrate how profits generated from the funded activities are reinvested in the project.
  • Small organisations must have had an annual turn-over of less that £1m for the previous two financial years. Diaspora organisations may be of any size.
  • By Diaspora organisations we mean organisations where the majority of the trustees define themselves as being of African heritage; who live in the UK but retain emotional, financial and cultural links with their country and/ or the African continent
  • The scope of this funding is for work in any African country or group of African countries 

For more information or to apply for a grant through this fund please visit the Comic Relief website.

Enquires about the Common Ground Initiative

Comic Relief are managing the grant process for this fund and any enquiries should be referred to a member of the Common Ground Initiative Team at Comic Relief on 0207 820 5555.

Photo of Common Ground logo
Photo of Comic Relief logo
Small and Diaspora organisations are an important part of the UK’s efforts to fight global poverty, educating local communities about world issues and delivering real results in the world’s poorest countries.

Douglas Alexander

Secretary of State for International Development