Think Big Criteria Guidance

We recommend that you carefully read the following criteria and guidance before applying to Think Big. The information included gives you hints and tips for applying, information about the types of projects that we fund. We will also provide a little bit more guidance about what we mean by certain words.

Think Big

We aim to inspire, support and enable young people with great ideas; so they can have an impact on society while getting the hands on experience and skills they need to thrive in today’s digital world.

Think Big is looking to support projects that are using digital solutions to tackle social issues.


Who can apply?

  • Projects led by young people aged 13 – 25 years old who are based in the UK.
  • Projects that have a clear aim and benefit a community.
  • Project ideas that are socially beneficial and harness the best of digital to make them a reality.

We don’t fund

  • Businesses or projects that aim to make a profit
  • Existing projects that do not include any new elements
  • Projects that are fundraising for charities
  • Projects that require the full funding for equipment
  • Professional fees or salaries
  • Trips out or leisure activities
  • Projects promoting political parties or religious activity
  • Projects/activity that are part of your paid employment
  • A young person who has already had a Think Big project. You can only ever lead on one Think Big project, however you can be a member of as many as you like.

Applying is easy! Just visit and click ‘apply now’, which will start you on your Think Big journey.

The application form is pretty short but we ask that you include detailed information about your project idea, which we refer to as the ‘Project Pitch’.

You will also be asked to include your contact details - please ensure that your personal information is correct, as this could delay your application if not. You will need a valid email address, where you will receive updates and information relating to your application.

Decision Making

Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by a member of the team, who will let you know that the application has been received.
If your project lacks a bit of detail, you will be contacted via phone or email to confirm the missing information. If you have included all of the required information, your project will go straight to the Decision Panel.

Each project is then reviewed at a panel made up of young people, who make the final decision as to whether the project will be funded. Once your application has been reviewed, you will be notified via email as to the outcome.

The Benefits to You

  • You gain new skills, such as leading a team, managing a budget, communication & confidence
  • Making a difference and carrying out a project that you are passionate about
  • Improving your digital/tech knowledge by incorporating these elements into your project
  • Making your CV stand out from the crowd
  • Benefitting your community
  • Tracking your progress through our assessment quiz


We want to see

  • Projects led by young people aged 13 – 25 years old who are based in the UK
  • Projects that have a clear aim and benefit a community
  • Project ideas that are socially beneficial and harness the best of digital to make them a reality
  • Projects that are completed within six months
  • Projects that are realistic and achievable within a £300 budget

We don’t want to see

  • Businesses or any projects that aim to make a profit
  • Existing projects that do not include any new elements
  • Projects taking place outside of the UK
  • Projects that are fundraising for charities
  • Projects that require the full funding for equipment
  • Projects that want training for individual benefit
  • Trips out, or leisure activities, there needs to be a clear project idea
  • Professional fees or salaries
  • Applications relating to part of your paid employment
  • Projects promoting political parties or religious activities
  • Anything dangerous or illegal


If successful, you will be invited to a range of events, hosted by the Think Big team, which will give you an opportunity to receive training and support. Some of the events are mandatory, and others optional. Please refer to our 'Get Involved' website page for the details of when the events are happening.

Online Launch Event – the Online Launch Event is a mandatory webinar that all Project Leader’s need to attend in order to receive their money card.

The Online Launch is a great opportunity to e-meet some of the team and ask them any questions you may have. Use this as an opportunity to chat to other Project Leaders about what you are doing. On the Online Launch you will receive lots of valuable information before you start your project. To find out dates of upcoming online launches. visit the 'Get Involved' page on this website.

Get Celebrating – the Get Celebrating Events have a dual purpose. They are for Project Leaders who would like some advice and support, and also a chance to network with other Project Leaders.

Assessment Quiz – you will be asked to complete a questionnaire at the start of your Think Big journey, and also at the end, which will help us map your personal progression. The details of this will be sent to you via email, which will include instructions of how to complete it. We ask that Project Leader’s complete this before they attend the launch event.


Project Pitch – the project pitch allows you to really sell your project to us, and we will use this as the basis to review your project idea, so please make sure that this is completed fully. Clearly explain what you are hoping to do and why, and the benefit to the community. Don’t forget to tell us what you would like to spend the grant on, and the digital/tech elements that you are going to incorporate.

Youth Led - all Think Big projects need to be led by a young person aged 13-25, who is living in the UK. The Project Leader is the person leading the project, and whose name is on the application form. They will act as the main contact for the project, and who the money card will be sent to.

It’s fine for groups to apply, but there needs to be one identified lead, who is named on the application form.
Whilst it’s fine for the young person to receive support, it’s important that it’s their own youth-led project.

Supporter – on the application form, we ask that the young person applying provides the details of a supporter. The supporter needs to be someone that knows the young person applying and can provide them with a character reference. We ask that the person applying suggest someone who is a teacher, tutor, mentor, manager, or someone who knows them in a professional capacity. We don’t allow friends or family members to act as a supporter.

They don’t necessarily need to know about the project, but they need to be able to vouch for them. They will be contacted by a member of the team to have a quick chat about the Project Leader and their project idea.

If you are putting someone down as a Supporter on your application, then please let them know, so that they know to expect a call.

Community – in order to meet the Think Big criteria, projects need to benefit a community and this could mean your local community or a group that you are part of, or identify with. For example, youth groups, schools etc.

Think Big projects need to have a clear community benefit, so the project idea cannot just benefit a friendship group, or an already established community group.

Expert Organisation – if your project involves tackling a sensitive topic, then we ask that you seek the support of an expert organisation who will be able to offer you guidance, and ensure that. Topics could include homelessness, mental health or drugs.

Social Action – Think Big is all about social action and supporting young people to improve their communities. By saying social action, we mean identifying a social issue in your community, and taking action to change it. When applying, have a think about the social issue that you feel like you are tackling, such as bullying, social isolation etc.

Digital – we really want to encourage applications that include digital solutions to social problems.

We really encourage you to have a think about how digital elements could enhance your project idea. By this we mean, creating an app, using social media, vlogging, creating a website or using tech.

We recognise that some projects will have digital at their core (the project couldn’t happen without it), but we also recognise that for some projects the digital element will not be as obvious. Even if yours isn't a core project, you can always use technology to enhance your project.

We want to ensure that every project that we fund incorporates some kind of digital element as we know that by incorporating these elements, this will develop your skills even further, and enable your project to have further reach.

Social Enterprise – these are businesses that are set up to tackle a social issue. Any money gained is reinvested back into the project.

Think Big does not fund businesses, and/or projects that aim to make any financial gain, which means making a profit or taking a wage.


It’s important you spend your grant responsibly, and on what you stated in your application, or was agreed during your telephone interview. Each budget is reviewed on a case by case basis.

The grant cannot be used for the following:

  • Professional fees or salaries
  • To donate to a charity
  • Large pieces of equipment
  • Trips/leisure activities

Please ensure that you keep your receipts as we may ask for them, and remember to keep you pin safe.

If you are successful, you will receive £300 loaded onto a money card that is given to you after the online launch event.

If you need any support with your project, or have any problems then please contact us.

Email –


1's picture


I can't seem ti find a button to apply for the level 2 funding. After a successful level 1 project, we're ready for 2017, and we need the extra funding asap, so we're happy to apply!

Please help me out by pointing me in the right direction for application.

Let's do this and make the world a better place!


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