Big Lottery Fund
Hackney CVS Grants Workshop
─ Jane Sterland
─ Funding Officer
─ Early Contact Team
─ Based in Holborn, London
─ Supporting applicants and potential applicants
─ Raising BIG’s awareness of local needs and priorities
Overview of Big Lottery Fund
Big Lottery Fund Mission
“The Big Lottery Fund is committed to bringing real
improvements to communities and to the lives of people
most in need”
Big Lottery Fund
─ BIG is one of four distributors of Lottery funding
─ We are responsible for 40% of all the money raised for
good causes by the National Lottery
─ We distribute £600 million in funding each year
─ 80-90% of our funding goes to community and voluntary
BIG is an outcomes funder
Your project must meet at least one of these four outcomes:
People having
better chances
in life
rural and
Healthier and
more active
people and
Big’s Funding Principles
─ Partnership
─ User Informed
─ Local
─ Long Term
─ Evidence, Impact and Influence
BIG Funding – Three main themes
Demand led
BIG Funding – Three main themes
Demand led:
—Awards for All (Small grants up to £10,000)
—Reaching Communities (Larger grants upwards from £10,000)
─ Focusing on Older people, Unemployed young people, Early
years children, People with multiple complex needs, Young
people with mental health problems
Social investment:
─ Building Capabilities, Social Investment Bonds
Awards for All Programme
─ Small grants scheme awarding £300-£10,000
─ Applications from community & voluntary groups, schools,
health bodies and parish / town councils
─ Single stage application process
─ BIG gives decision within 6 weeks of application
─ Project must be complete within one year of award
Reaching Communities Programme
─ Larger grants scheme awarding grants over £10,000
─ Main programme:
o Revenue projects funding from £10,000 (average £300,000)
o Smaller capital projects funding from £10,000-£100,000
─ Buildings programme:
o Larger capital projects funding from £100,000
o Geographically targeted at most deprived areas
Reaching Communities Programme
─ Very competitive programme – success rate one in ten
─ Applications from community & voluntary groups, charities,
statutory bodies, social enterprises, not-for-profit companies
─ Two-stage application process to identify fundable projects
─ BIG gives decision typically within 8-9 months of application
─ Project can take up to 5 years to complete
BIG Awards in Hackney
―283 Awards for All Grants
―Total value £2,602,920
―Average grant £9,197
―18 Reaching Communities Grants
―Total value £3,782,495
―Average grant £210,138
What BIG is looking for in
What BIG is looking for in
─ Project is appropriate for the programme
─ A good fit with BIG outcomes
─ Strong evidence that your project is needed
─ Proof that your project will make a difference
─ Beneficiaries consulted and involved in all stages of the
Start by defining Need
─ Go back to basics – assume the Funding Officers assessing
your application know nothing about the needs of the
people you are trying to help
─ Quote your sources - make sure all sources of evidence
are listed and dated, and all the information is recent and
relevant to your project
─ Make a strong case – use a broad range of information and
if in doubt add more rather than less
Use a broad range of evidence
‘Soft’ Information
Focus groups
Local statistics
Focus groups
of support
Interviews and quotes
‘Before and after’ data
Waiting lists
‘Hard’ Information
Local statistics
Strategies and policies
Local & national priorities
Research reports
Deprivation Index
Office for National Statistics
Defining Project Aim, Outcomes
and Activities
─ Project aim - one simple sentence to closely reflect the
need identified
─ Outcomes – strong and clear points to explain the change
you want to make for the project beneficiaries
─ Project activities - together should add up to show how
the outcomes and aim will be met
Developing a strong application
Project Need
Project Aim
The overall point
of your project
Project Need
The difference you want to make
or the change you want to bring
about for your beneficiaries
Project Activities
The services and activities you will carry out
to meet the outcomes and achieve the project aim
Real Unsuccessful Applications
─ ‘The outcomes need to focus on the difference that the
project will make to the lives of the beneficiaries’
─ ‘It is unclear from the activities as to what services they
will provide to achieve the outcomes’
─ ‘Evidence of need could be much stronger and is not
dated so it is hard to establish how current it is’
─ ‘The applicant lists the organisations and people they
have consulted but does not provide any dates or findings’
Real Successful Applications
─ ‘Beneficiaries and their needs are clearly identified’
─ ‘A full range of activities has been provided that will
clearly deliver the project outcomes’
─ ‘Varied and relevant external evidence confirms the issues
identified and shows support for the project and gaps in
current service’
─ ‘Beneficiaries involved in management committee, user
group, consultation, project planning and design,
volunteering, recruitment and evaluation’
Tips for Success
― Read the guidelines and use all other help available
― Start by defining need – make it the core of your
― Focus on your beneficiaries and the difference that your
project will make to them
― Get a ‘critical friend’ to review your application before
― If not successful first time, ask for feedback and try
Support and Guidance Available
Support and Guidance Available
─ Big Lottery Fund website:
─ Programme Guidance Notes
─ Getting Funding & Planning Successful Projects
─ Good Practice Guides e.g. equalities, involving young people
─ Case studies of successful projects
─ BIG Advice Line: 0845 4 10 20 30
─ Email enquiries: [email protected]
Questions and Comments?

Big Lottery Grants Presentation.