Charity Projects Ltd (Comic Relief)

Introduction

Comic Relief (registered as Charity Projects Ltd) is a UK-based charity, founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry in response to famine in Ethiopia. The charity is funded through two biennial crowdfunding appeals – Red Nose Day and Sport Relief – as well as regular donations.

With a vision to create a just world free from poverty, Comic Relief supports people and communities in the United Kingdom and internationally. Comic Relief does this by funding and investing in outstanding organisations across the United Kingdom and internationally to help tackle some of the key issues of our time, focusing on four key themes: 1) helping children survive and thrive; 2) providing safe places to live; 3) supporting gender justice; and 4) promoting positive mental health.

Comic Relief has been sharing data on commitments and disbursements with the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate since 2018, covering its grant making back to 2013. To avoid double counting with official development assistance (ODA) providers and other philanthropic foundations, the OECD data set excludes grant making financed from contributions from ODA providers and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Comic Relief.

Private development finance

In 2017, Comic Relief provided USD 49.9 million in private development finance through standard grants.

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All of the foundation’s funding was provided bilaterally. However, 9.0% of the total was implemented by multilateral organisations (multi-bi/non-core contributions).

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In 2017, USD 40.6 million (81.4%) of the foundation’s activities was channelled to/through civil society organisations (CSOs) and USD 3.3 million (6.6%) to/through networks and public-private partnerships. See the methodological notes for further details on channels of delivery.

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In 2017, the foundation’s financing was primarily focused on Africa. USD 45.1 million (90.4%) was allocated to south of Sahara Africa.

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In 2017, 58.3% of Comic Relief’s activities was concentrated on its top 10 recipients. Support to fragile contexts reached USD 33.9 million in 2017 (68%).

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In 2017, 58.3% of Comic Relief’s funding (USD 29.1 million) was allocated to the least developed countries (LDCs). Lower and upper middle-income countries received 10.1% and 7.6% respectively, noting that 20.3% was unallocated by income group.

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In 2017, 92.7% of the foundation’s activities was allocated to social infrastructure and services (USD 43.2 million), with a strong focus on health and population. Humanitarian aid amounted to USD 1.1 million (2.4%).

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USD 14.8 million of the foundation’s activities supported gender equality. In 2017, 32.4% of Comic Relief’s sector-allocable aid had gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal or significant objective. The foundation’s aid to population and reproductive health, water and sanitation, and production sectors also focused on gender equality.

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Additional resources

Comic Relief: https://www.comicrelief.com

Role of philanthropy in financing for development: www.oecd.org/development/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-standards/beyond-oda-foundations.htm

OECD CRS database, Private philanthropy for development: https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=DV_DCD_PPFD

Reporting to the OECD since 2018.

Charity Projects Ltd (Comic Relief)