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Success Rates – Autumn 2017

November 28, 2017

There are a lot of factors that effect your chances of  success with a grant application. Because of this, it’s often easiest to get in touch so we can discuss your idea and help you find out if our funding is right for you. That said, we also like to give you a general idea of what your chances might be, and how busy our different funds are. So here are…

Success rates for the 6 month period up to 31 October 2017:

National Lottery Awards for All - 60%

At 60%, the success rate for National Lottery Awards for All Scotland has dropped a little, mainly due to a significant increase in applications received this year. Our big tip: make sure to tell us how you’ve involved your community in the design and delivery of your work.

Community Led Activity - 77%

The success rate for grants for Community-Led Activity remains high, but recently we’ve received fewer applications than expected from outside of the Glasgow area.

Improving Lives (Medium grants) - 54%

The medium Improving Lives grants remain very popular, and 54% of applications are successful. Check our recent blog for some tips on improving your chances.

Improving Lives (Large grants) - 44%

There is a two stage application process for our large Improving Lives grants – and this overall success rate of 44% covers both stages. However, only 51% of groups are successful at the quicker first stage, whereas 86% of applicants at the second stage were funded (so if you aren’t going to be successful you are likely to find out more quickly). As above, check this blog for tips on applying.

Community Assets - 44%

The 44% success rate for Community Assets covers all those invited to apply for a grant. However, we visit all potential applicants before this stage, and only 37% of these projects are recommended to apply. This low success rate reflects the enormous demand for this funding, which we discuss alongside tips for applying in a recent blog. *

Scottish Land Fund - 58%

The success rate of 58% for the Scottish Land Fund also covers two application stages – with 66% of applicants successful at stage one, and 88% successful at stage two (and so receiving a grant!).

What do these success rates mean for me?

A high success rate doesn’t guarantee you’ll be funded, and a low one doesn’t mean you won’t! The strongest projects that most clearly fit with the activities we want to fund will always have a good chance. However, you are competing against other applicants for any of our grants, so the success rates might give you an idea where the bar is set.

Do these success rates give the full picture?

Not exactly – lots of groups talk to us first and don’t end up applying. For grants above £10,000 we talk to everyone about their project before they apply – and we typically talk to two- or three-times more potential applicants than actually apply. We do this to help figure out if our funding is right for you, to help you apply if it is, and to save you time and effort if it isn’t. To discuss an idea, just contact our friendly advice team in Scotland!

*This blog was updated on 30/11/17. The success rate for Community Assets was updated  for clarity and to make comparisons easier. Previously the overall success rate quoted was lower, as it included groups advised against applying after an initial visit.

Let’s talk money (and financial inclusion)

November 15, 2017

European Union logo and The Scottish Government logo togetherAs it’s Scottish Financial Capability Week, we want to #TalkMoney and look at how our Delivering Financial Inclusion programme, which is funded jointly by the European Social Fund and National Lottery players, is helping disadvantaged households across Scotland improve their money management skills and reduce debt.

Lots of households experience money pressures, but things can be particularly tough for lone parents, unemployed people and those on low incomes.

As a result, our programme helps people in Argyll & Bute, Dundee, Inverclyde, Glasgow and North Ayrshire with these pressures, by bringing together local partners to co-ordinate support around debt advice, fuel poverty, money management, digital skills, affordable credit and banking services.

We know from The Financial Capability Strategy for Scotland that struggling to pay bills or deal with debts not only impacts on people’s day-to-day quality of life, it can have significant long-term effects on peoples’ wellbeing, relationships and opportunities.

By enabling people to address their money worries, make informed decisions and plan for the future, people are starting to build financial resilience.

Read more…

Applying for funding: the ultimate guide

October 23, 2017

A desk with a typewriter, notebook, pen, coffee and some documents.Over the years many of my colleagues have written blog posts that shared our best hints, tips and advice when applying for National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

As most of these blog posts are still relevant when applying for funding today, I thought it might be helpful to bring all of our most popular funding advice blogs together into one single article (this one!) for people to refer to.

With this in mind, below is a list of links to a range of blog posts that you may find useful if you are considering applying for funding, or are already in the process of putting together your application.

Are you eligible to apply?

Applying for £10k or less

Read more…

Feeling whole again

October 19, 2017

Betty, 83, flexing her legs and arms in front of a body of waterOver 9 million people in the UK feel lonely or isolated, with loneliness more common among older people. However, National Lottery funding is bringing people such as Betty Parsons, 83, together, and helping them to lead happier and healthier lives. Here is Betty’s story…

“I was housebound for two years after suffering from a stroke.

I felt depressed about being stuck at home all of the time, but didn’t have the confidence to go out and see other people. All of that changed when I visited The Daffodil Club for the elderly.

I used to run a wee club myself after my husband died, but then I turned 80 and started to take not so well.

I regularly visited the doctors for injections and check-ups. During one of my visits, the nurse noticed my pulse was low and got a doctor to come and see me. He recommended I go to the hospital, but I didn’t want to go and asked if there was anything else he could do, so he gave me some medication instead.

Read more…

Young Start set for a refresh

October 17, 2017

Children and volunteer doing exercises on the floorThe Young Start fund will be pausing in early November. It’s now more than five years since Young Start first opened, so we are taking some time to review and reshape the fund. We plan to reopen the fund in Spring 2018, and will continue to distribute money from dormant bank accounts to fantastic youth-led projects across Scotland.

We will continue to accept applications up until noon on Tuesday 7th of November.

The application form is no longer available on our website. If you would like to apply, please get in touch with our friendly Advice Team to discuss your plans – on 0300 123 7110 or by emailing

We anticipate that there will be a lot of competition for grants before the pause and so have extended the turnaround time from application to decision from 8 to 12 weeks. If you are considering applying before the 7th of November, please note that we are only likely to fund projects where young people are strongly involved in the planning and delivery of the work.

Read more…

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