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Comic Relief raises £100m in 2013

Comic Relief raised more than £100m through Red Nose Day this year as the grantmaker releases a new grants strategy.

The fundraising giant yesterday revealed its final total for this year’s Red Nose Day as £100.3m. The figure is slightly down on the 2011 figure, when it raised £102m, but Comic Relief had warned in its previous annual report that it was unlikely to have any real terms growth on this due to ongoing economic pressures facing donors.

The £100m includes more than £75m raised on the night as well as £2m earned through the sale of pop group One Direction’s single for Red Nose Day.

New grants strategy

The fundraising revelation comes as Comic Relief unveils a new grants strategy, designed to respond to changing needs from charity and shifts in the landscape in terms of what government funds.

Speaking to civilsociety.co.uk for an interview on the grants programme, grants director Judith McNeill said: “We felt our strategy needed to move into something that was more responsive and flexible. It enables Comic Relief to say something more holistic about how we respond to tackling a just world free from poverty.”

The new grants strategy encompasses five themes: better futures; safer lives; healthier finances; stronger communities, and; fairer society.

Comic Relief will be working to ensure that its grants reach into communities across the country, including the most deprived. In its international grants programme, it has beefed up its focus on health, education and trade, enterprise and employment. Comic Relief will continue to focus on sub-Saharan Africa in terms of international work, in addition to a working with a few partners in other areas in the world.

McNeil added that transparency will be a big focus for its new grants strategy. “Part of our big thrust for the next phase is investing in monitoring, evaluation and learning so that whether things are new or they are tried and tested, we have more of a handle on how money is being spent,” she said. However, she emphasised that such requirements would be proportionate to the size of charity, project and risk.