The world's first technology accelerator for established nonprofits

We're helping nonprofits discover, design and develop user-centred digital services that improve lives.

What is Fuse?

Fuse is a 12 week programme where charities, alongside CAST’s team of digital experts, interrogate a problem space, generate ideas for solving a well-identified issue within that space and then build a prototype digital service or product to take to pilot.

Our user-centred, test-driven ethos helps ensure a successful outcome: a well researched, user-centred solution to the identified problem.

“I’d been confident I had a good grasp of what our users needed... How wrong I was. I knew very little about what our users really want and need from us.”

Fusiliers so far

How does it work?

A nominated individual from the nonprofit is co-located with CAST’s team, away from their normal place of work, for four days for the first eight weeks of the programme.

We introduce the tools and techniques of lean and agile digital product development, which are the mainstay of tech innovation. CAST has an ethos of “learn by doing” with full support from our own product lead and programme coordinator.

Get started with Fuse

What you’ll be doing

WEEKS

1-4

Key activities
  • Interrogate problem space
  • User interviews
  • Understanding user behaviours
  • Desk research
  • Create hypotheses
Main outputs
  • Set of well-researched and synthesised user needs
  • Comprehensive understanding of the problem space
WEEKS

5-8

Key activities
  • Early idea generation and testing
  • Validating hypotheses
  • Start planning integration
  • End of month playback to senior stakeholder team
Main outputs
  • Refined problem statement
  • Prototypes (eg. mock ups) for testing
  • Outline feature set of the prototype
WEEKS

9-12

Key activities
  • User journey mapping
  • Start technical development
  • Integration into the organisation
  • End of Fuse playback to senior stakeholder team
Main outputs
  • Solution statement
  • Refined UI design
  • Key documents that outline the solution

Want to take your organisation through Fuse?

Applications for our Fuse for Smaller Charities cohort are now closed.

However, we do offer Fuse as a paid for programme for larger charities. We’d love to talk to you about how Fuse could help your organisation.

Fusiliers' stories

Breast Cancer Care

Breast cancer takes a huge physical and emotional toll. The end of clinical treatment is only the start of women rebuilding their lives, and Breast Cancer Care wanted to explore how digital could help address women’s emotional needs, which are often overlooked. Through an intensive process of speaking and testing with potential users, the team created BECCA, an app with over 300 simple daily ‘life-hacks’ to help women adapt, recover and rebuild their lives post-treatment. BECCA launched in April 2017 and has already supported nearly 10,000 women. The charity received £655,000 from Big Lottery Fund in January 2018 to further develop and scale the app, which will help them reach 36,000 users by 2020.

Action for children

Action for Children supports over 370,000 children and families at around 600 services, including children’s centres and nurseries. However, they’re currently facing funding cuts and many children’s centres across the UK are shutting down. We helped the charity research and prototype a lightweight online chat tool that could enable the same vital relationships of trust between parents and practitioners to flourish, even as the opportunities to build these face-to-face diminished. The tool, which uses affordable off-the-shelf software, is currently being piloted. It allows parents to ask a family support worker questions, continue a previous online conversation and book in follow-up sessions with the same practitioner.

Fuse is funded by: