Who we are

We help smart charitable organisations tackle three of the most complex social problems of our time: youth homelessness, educational inequality, and access to energy. All our projects centre around our mission to give young people a better future.

We’re not after short-term fixes. It’s all about long-term change. And we don’t just give money. Our Foundation team commits months of research to seek out the most innovative organisations – working hand-in-hand with them to develop and test the ideas that can make the biggest impact.

The OVO Charitable Foundation (“OVO Foundation”) is a registered charity – its charity registration number is 1155954.

Who we are

The team

The OVO Foundation team is small in size but big in ambition – and we all do a little bit of everything. Whether that's researching social issues or evaluating the impact of our projects, our team is committed to ensuring that everything we do actually works.
Who we are

Trustees

Our Board of Trustees meet each quarter and are responsible for helping our team with strategy and key decision-making. They act as a critical friend to OVO Foundation, enabling us to make a real impact.

What we fund

We find and fund projects in 3 key areas

Over a billion people have no access to electricity. This means that 15% of the world’s population have to get home before the sun goes down. Just imagine. No lights to learn by. No power to keep medicines cool in hospitals. The effect on education and health is huge. That’s why we’re bringing clean, renewable power to rural Kenya.

We want to tackle youth homelessness – and help young people get a roof over their heads, for good. How? Through innovative projects that combine education, apprenticeships, and affordable housing. All the key ingredients young people need to gain confidence, and ultimately, independence.

Education – like energy – is one of life’s essentials. Without it, individuals can’t access the best jobs, and communities can’t thrive. To level the playing field, we support young people from underprivileged backgrounds. Unlocking their potential and giving them access to the kind of opportunities many of us take for granted.   

Our funding strategy

We work collaboratively with organisations from start to finish. Tackling the root causes of the problems we’re trying to fix. And empowering people to change their lives for good.

We don’t just accept grant applications like lots of other foundations. Instead, we conduct our own research into big social issues, then apply the ‘less is more’ principle. To us, it’s all about developing a few projects that radically change lives, rather than funding lots of smaller ones.

Our approach to funding

Research

We’re innately curious, so our research is centred around understanding the problems we’re trying to solve and identifying critical gaps in funding and service provision.

Talk

Expert help is essential, so after identifying a particular problem area, we’ll get a second (and third!) opinion to check we’re on track. After that, we scope out pioneering organisations to partner with.

Pilot

Once we’re confident that our concept has potential, we’ll pilot it, working closely with our partners from conception to delivery – sharing the things we’ve learned with others in the same sector.

Scale

Scaling our pilots up into real projects is the really exciting bit. We only do this once our pilots have shown they’re effective and impactful.

Our funding principles

Measurable

It sounds so obvious, but we have to be able to measure our impact. That’s why we spend so much time evaluating our pilots and consulting with experts.

Scaleable

We’ll only get behind a project if it has the potential to be scaled effectively.

Minimum viable product

We always pilot before making further investment. Our projects or delivery model can be easily iterated over time to maximise impact and efficiency. We also make a conscious effort to share any learnings within the relevant sector.

Relevant

We only consider projects that fall within our key areas and help us achieve our overall vision of giving young people a better future.

Attributable

We fund projects that add real value, which we can assess by asking ourselves ‘would this project exist or be scaled if it wasn’t for our investment?’

Radical

This means we do fewer things, better – and if it wasn’t for our intervention, it could have taken years for the same result to be achieved.

Simple

This one’s easy – simple ideas always win.

How we're funded

Every month, tens of thousands of OVO Energy customers choose to support us by adding at least 25p to their statements. OVO then matches every single donation – and covers our overheads, so 100% of donations go directly to the projects.

OVO customers

If you’re an OVO customer, we’d love you to donate to the Foundation. It’s easy. Just go to My OVO and tell us how much you’d like to give each month.
I'd like to donate

Join us

At the moment only OVO customers can support OVO Foundation, but go to ovoenergy.com to see how we can save you money (and why we’re passionate about being a business that’s better for everyone).
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