National Lottery Awards for All is a very popular programme and we frequently receive many more applications in excess of our available budget. Because of this, we are not always able to fund all of the worthwhile applications we receive, which means we have difficult decisions to make about how to prioritise our funding.
The key areas we will use to make a decision are how strongly your project meets one of our funding priorities and how involved your community is with the design, development and delivery of the activities you are planning.
National Lottery Awards for All has three funding priorities and your project idea must meet at least one of these:
- Shape the places and spaces that matter to communities
- Bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities
- Enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage
It’s important to us that you involve your community in the design, development and delivery of the activities you’re planning, so please tell us how you’ve done this. We believe this will help your project to be better supported by the energy and strengths that exist within your community and it is more likely to be successful as a result.
If we do not award you a grant we know you will be disappointed, but it does not mean that we do not value the work you and your organisation does.
The most common reason for applications being unsuccessful is simply that other applications focussed on our priorities or involved their communities more strongly or clearly.
What makes a strong project?
We understand how much time and effort is required to submit an application for funding, so we have looked at some of the most common features of stronger applications which may help you decide whether National Lottery Awards for All may be right for you or whether your time may be better spent seeking funding from other sources.
Here are some examples of how you can turn a weaker project idea into a stronger one.
- We’re unlikely to fund an arts, sport or heritage projects where the main purpose is the activity rather than the community benefit. However we have funded projects in these areas who have engaged with their wider community and worked together to find ways of using arts, sports or heritage to make real improvements to the things that matter most to that community; for example, tackling homelessness, increasing community cohesion in diverse communities, or improving the lives of people living with disabilities.
- A project to set up ongoing coffee mornings or a befriending project to tackle loneliness would be a stronger application than one-off day trips as this would be closer aligned to our priority of ‘bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities’.
- Refurbishment projects that focus solely on the need to replace the equipment (eg boilers, windows, kitchens) are unlikely to be funded. A stronger application would identify how the space matters to the community and its impact and involve the community in designing, developing and delivering the activities that take place within.
- National Lottery Awards for All will not provide funding to schools (including PTAs and Friends of) for projects which are more aligned with the expected activities of the school without significant involvement or benefit to the wider community. For example, we may consider funding a playground or play equipment for a school in a very rural area if it was shown that there were no other facilities, and we may consider funding IT equipment if it was available for the public to use outside of school hours.
I’m still a bit unsure about my project, how else can I get help?
If you’re still unsure about whether your project is suitable or not then you can have a chat with our advice team on 0300 123 0735, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also have a look to see where our upcoming events are, and come see us in person.