As a distributor of public money the National Lottery Community Fund has a duty to ensure value for money when funding projects, particularly through ‘People and Places‘, our large grants programme. Every year we receive more than £100m worth of applications for the £20m of funding available, so here’s everything you need to know to get the maximum value from your project.
Digging down into your costs
For stage 1 of the large grants strand (between £100,001 and £500,000), we only ask for a rough idea of the final cost. By stage 2 and for the medium grants strand (between £10,000 a £100,000), we would expect you to have a full estimate of your project costs and a clear understanding of what is needed for your project to thrive. Make sure that you research all costs thoroughly and get the most appropriate prices for your work. As you develop your application your costs may also change, and this is perfectly okay within reason. If you find that there’s going to be a huge change in your project costs, contact us so we can discuss this further and look at the best way forward for your project.
Projects can last for up to five years but keep in mind the effect this can have on costs. It’s important that you create the right project for your community but consider how to achieve the best effect. Is it better to achieve success with a greater number of beneficiaries over a shorter period? Staff salaries, specialists in particular, can put a lot of strain on your costs in the long term so think about how to make the most of your budget for the maximum benefit to your community.
Often, a number of options can be available with capital projects so evaluate these carefully. For example, rather than buying or building from scratch the best option might be to redevelop your current location or share another suitable building in the community. It’s important to consider what’s best for the entire community, not just your organisation. This also ensures that there’s more funding available to support your beneficiaries as well as other projects.
We can fund the entire cost of your project through People and Places or you can combine your funding from us with other sources. If your project includes sports, heritage or arts as well as community work, you could also consider applying to one of the other National Lottery funding bodies. Your local County Voluntary Council will also have additional information on all the sources of funding available in your area, you can find your local CVC by going to the Wales Council For Voluntary Action (WCVA) website. As other funding bodies are likely to focus on different specialisms this can promote best practice in order to get the most from all aspects of your project.