The European Social Catalyst Fund (ESCF) is a new initiative designed to have significant impact on some of Europe’s most pressing social challenges. The objective of the ESCF is to bring together public and private resources to improve social services to enable people who need support to live as valued and participating members of their communities.
The ESCF will provide financial and capacity building support to develop plans to scale proven social service innovations. It is anticipated that these plans will provide details of how public and private resources (philanthropy and/or social investment) can be brought together in a range of collaborations that focus on the role that philanthropy and social finance can play in working with the public sector to help re-focus public spending in a more effective direction in the interest of European citizens. It is intended that during the project a further phase will be designed, based on learning obtained, which will include a focus on supporting implementation of plans to scale proven social service innovations.
Objectives of the European Social Catalyst Fund
- To provide financial support, guidance and information to proven social service innovations selected through a pan-European competition to develop implementation plans to upscale.
- To stimulate a broader range of public sector, philanthropic and social investment collaborations that foster the scaling of social service innovations to meet social challenges across EU Member States aligned with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
- To produce exemplar plans across a range of priority social challenge areas that can be implemented to a substantial level of scale within two years.
- Plans also must be relevant to the social and implementation challenges in at least five EU Member States, two of which will be Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs).
- To develop and disseminate knowledge and skills on how to successfully plan the scaling of social service innovations.
- To desigN a further phase of the European Social Catalyst Fund based on learning obtained in the process of achieving these objectives.
Preference will be given to innovations that have the most robust evidence of success and that aim to reach the most significant scale.
1. Applications can be made by
a) collaborations involving public and private agencies (lead applicant must be a non-profit);
b) public agencies; or
c) private non-profit agencies, in EU Member States
2. Applications can be made to the ESCF for support to develop plans to scale social service innovations that meet the criteria set out below:
ii. poverty and marginalisation
v. mental health
vii. promoting gender equality
ix. digital inclusiveness
x. employment and job creation
xii. education and training, skills
xiii. community development
xiv. the role and place of young people in society
xv. inter-generational solidarity
xvi. ecological and social transition
3. Applications must relate to evidence-based models of intervention that have been tried and tested. Preference will be given to innovations that have the most robust evidence of success.
4. At least one member of the organisation(s) applying must have prior involvement in implementing the innovative model under proposal.
5. Plans also must be relevant to the social and implementation challenges in at least five EU Member States, two of which will be CEEC’s - acknowledging the need for tailoring to meet the specific requirements determined by varying cultural and operational environments.
Each selected application will receive a planning grant of up to €100,000 along with capacity building support. A minimum of €600,000 will be allocated to support at least 6 plans.