Thinking of applying to our People and Places programme? We asked Inge Deane to share her advice on completing a stage one application. Inge’s been a funding officer at the Big Lottery Fund for 13 years and works on the People and Places assessment team – so who better to ask?!
“Well the main aspect we need to see is that the project idea has arisen from the people who will ultimately benefit from the project. This means that it is those ‘potential beneficiaries’ that have identified what the needs are within their community (place or interest) and developed a project to address those needs. This can be done via a variety of consultation exercises with the people set to benefit and the wider community. It is important, however that this forms the basis of the research, as this will allow you as an organisation to identify how you can best help the community you serve.
When writing the application form you will need to be concise and include only the key points. For instance,
Question 2.2 – Project Summary
- What is the project? Try to sum this up in one paragraph.
- How is the project different from existing provision? One paragraph explaining what is currently provided (by your organisation and others in the locality) and how this project will be enhancing that.
- Who will you work with the deliver the project? Any agreements already set up and in place?
- Exit strategy for beneficiaries
Question 2.4 – Need
- What initially made you identify why the project was needed?
- Consultation work completed – include when it took place, who was consulted and what the results were. How does this evidence strengthen the need for the project?
- Policies and Strategies researched – how does this strengthen need for your project? (Only applicable to grant requests over £500,000)
- What are the needs of the community (local community or community of interest) and how will this project address those needs?
Question 2.7 – Beneficiaries
- Who will be the main beneficiaries of your project? How many?
- How do you know this information?
- Will there be any indirect beneficiaries?
- Will any organisations benefit? Provide names and links currently established.
The main point to remember is that the application does not need to flow like a story. There are word counts in each of the text boxes so it can help to use bullet points and only provide the key information needed.
In terms of project outcomes, these should be specific and truly depict what your project hopes to achieve. They will also need to address the programme outcomes for the project but it is worth remembering that you are asked to provide ‘up to’ four outcomes so only include the outcomes that the project will actually address.
Finally, you will need to be realistic about the level of funding you are requesting. The People and Places programme is in high demand and there is only a limited level of funding available. For instance, the stage two Committee regularly sees a much higher level of funding requested compared to what is available for them to award. Therefore only the strongest, and best value for money, projects will be invited to continue to stage two. We need to see that your project is making the best use of public money to deliver a service that is justifiably needed by the local community/community of interest.
Good luck with your application form, we look forward to receiving it soon!”
You can find out more about People and Places by visiting our website http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/people-and-places