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New National Lottery fund opening for Year of Young People

March 19, 2018

Supporting Year of young People 2018 and the National Lottery logo (white hand with fingers crossed)

To mark the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018, we’re excited to launch a new National Lottery fund to help young people #SparkAChange in their lives.

We’re calling it the Year of the Young People National Lottery Fund, and it’ll offer funding between £3,000 and £10,000 to heritage, community and sports projects that are run for and by young people aged eight to 26.

A pot of £550,000 is available for projects that help young people change their lives for the better, by improving their health and wellbeing.

Wondering how you can get involved or interested in applying? Here’s what you need to know:

Who can apply?

The fund is mainly aimed at voluntary or community organisations, which can be partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations.

Examples of eligible organisations include:

  • youth, community or voluntary groups
  • charities or trusts
  • social enterprises
  • other publicly funded organisations, such as national parks
  • schools.

Read more…

60 seconds with a Funding Officer…

February 27, 2018
Jessie Duncan, a young woman with glasses standing in Glasgow city centre.

Jessie Duncan, Funding Officer

There are currently lots of opportunities to join our team for people who are passionate about supporting communities in Scotland. So to give people an idea what it’s like working at the Big Lottery Fund, we interviewed Jessie Duncan, one of our Funding Officers, to give you the inside scoop…

Hi Jessie. Tell us a bit about what the Big Lottery Fund does.

At the core of what we do is distributing National Lottery money to community groups, charities and other third sector organisations, to help them make a difference to people and their communities.

What made you decide to join the Big Lottery Fund?   

I remember when I first saw the job of Funding Officer being advertised it jumped out at me immediately because of the great reputation that the organisation has.

Coming from a background of working for a charity, I understood the key role that funders like the Big Lottery Fund play in addressing so many important issues, and I saw the job as an opportunity to help shape these decisions.

Read more…

Facing the fear of evaluation

February 23, 2018

We recently partnered with Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) to provide free learning and self-evaluation support to our grantholders. In this guest blog post, Martha Lester-Cribb, Senior Evaluation Support Manager shares her top tips for making self-evaluation less scary!

“Evaluation means a lot of extra work!”

“The only reason to evaluate is because funders demand it!”

“Evaluation is always better if it’s done by someone external!”

At Evaluation Support Scotland we know lots of third sector organisations believe these statements. The good news is that we also know that they are myths.

There are simple steps that you can follow to make self-evaluation easier and more useful – and we can help!  Our evaluation pathway illustrates this:

  • Set your outcomes. Outcomes describe the difference you are trying to make by doing the work you do.
  • Define your indicators. These are what you measure to find out whether you are achieving your outcomes.
  • Decide how to collect evidence of your indicators. Pick methods that work for your project.
  • Analyse your evidence. To what extent are you achieving your outcomes?  Do you make more difference in some situations than others?  Why?
  • Use what you have learned – to improve your work, attract new volunteers, reach more service users, keep your board informed, help others in the sector… and report to funders.

Read more…

How to go greener (and save money)

January 26, 2018

Students and professionals sitting at round tables while a speaker makes a presentation to the room.Whether it’s the recent news coverage about plastic coffee cups or because you’ve been watching Blue Planet II, you might be thinking about how you can be a bit friendlier to the environment in all aspects of your life, including at work.

This is especially the case for voluntary or community organisations, who may feel the onus is on them to set a good example to the rest of the world.

But how do you go about convincing the organisation you work for to go greener, especially when you and your colleagues are already busy?

Three years ago I was involved in setting up a programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and delivered by Bright Green Business, where students took part in placements with our grantholders to reduce their environmental footprint.

This week I was delighted to attend a learning event with some of those students, who told us about the most effective ways to convince organisations to become greener – which are tools you can use at our own organisation as well!

Read more…

What do you want us to blog about?

January 9, 2018

Plain wooden squares in background, with the world 'blog' spelled out on four wood squares in centre.Happy New Year everyone, and thanks for continuing to follow our Scotland blog. To kick off 2018, we’d like to know what you want more information on over the coming months.

We think the advice and information we share on these pages hits the mark more often than not, but we know that there are a whole range of topics that you’ll want to hear more from us about.

With that in mind, if you have ever:

• encountered issues when filling out an application form that you’d like guidance on
• seen one of our previous blog posts that you want us to update
• had questions about any other part of the application process
• thought about topics you would like us to cover that we haven’t already blogged about (check out our compilation of our past funding tips blogs as a reference)

Read more…

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