Core Grants

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund supports organisations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative and scalable solutions to the challenges facing effective humanitarian assistance.

The Fund exists to support humanitarian innovation. We see this as the process of creating, testing and scaling novel approaches in humanitarian aid, in order to positively benefit communities affected by crisis.

Our grant making is based on our understanding of five stages in innovation: recognition, invention, development, implementation and diffusion. This guides our funding and support framework while also recognising that taking ideas from inception to reality is not a simple linear process, and that these stages are iterative and interconnected. Many projects have applied for more than one of our grants, as the innovation develops and grows.

If you need support in deciding which grant to apply for please contact us.

* Please note: Our Early Stage Innovation (ESI) funding stage is temporarily closed as we carry out an external evaluation of the HIF programme to date. We hope to reopen this in the near future. If you have any further queries please contact us. Thank you.*


A grant between £75,000 and £150,000 is available for the Development phase of the process. This means the development of an innovation by creating practical, actionable plans and guidelines. Turning ideas into action, the development stage takes designs from the drawing board and transforms them into real-world solutions.

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A grant between £75,000 and £150,000 is available for the Implementation phase of the process. This means the implementation to produce tangible real examples of changed practice, testing the innovation to see how it compares to existing solutions. Often using pilot projects to move beyond proof of concept, this stage establishes how an innovation performs in practice.

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A grant up to £50,000 is available for the Diffusion phase of the process. This means the diffusion and extended outreach of successful innovations – taking them to scale and leading to wider adoptions outside the original setting. This might mean scaling within a large organisation, or transferring knowledge to other actors. This will likely see the original innovation continually developed and refined.

*The HIF only awards diffusion grants to for projects that have previously received a HIF grant.

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Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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