Communities and Families Fund – Dos and Don’ts

Back in May this year, The Scottish Government and Big Lottery Fund announced Communities and Families Fund. This is a joint fund offering small grants (between £250 and £10,000) to support projects working with young children and their parents.

The criteria for deciding which projects we will fund are laid out in full in the programme guidance document. In this blog piece we will concentrate on a few dos and don’ts that we think are important based on the applications we have received so far.

Programme outcomes:
Probably the most important factor in improving the chances of your application being funded is showing that your project will help achieve the Communities and Families Fund programme outcomes.
Tell us what activities will occur as a result of your grant, and explain the positive impacts these will have for children aged 0-8 and their families Apply just for items or materials without explaining what activities they will be used for, or apply for projects focusing on other age groups of children and their families.
Local projects:
Through the Communities and Families Fund we want to fund projects working in a local area, and supporting those specific communities.
Focus your project on particular local areas, and make this clear in your application (e.g. ‘the project will be based in and serving Partick’). The more specific you can be the better! Target your project too broadly (e.g. ‘the project will serve Greater Glasgow’). Projects working across whole local authorities, or the whole country, are unlikely to be funded.
Eligible costs:
Make sure that the costs included in your application are eligible. The most common issue we have here is with staff costs. We cannot fund salary costs through Communities and Families Fund, only sessional staff costs.
Make clear that any staff costs you include are for staff working as and when needed, rather than employed directly by your organisation on a permanent, fixed-term or other contract. Apply for salaries for full time, part time or fixed term staff. We cannot fund these costs through Communities and Families Fund!
Community involvement:
We want to know how the community you work in will be involved in your project, and what wider impact your work will have beyond your organisation.
Tell us how you will promote the project (e.g. events or marketing), and how local volunteers or parents will be involved. If you haven’t got any plans in place, you can apply for funding to do so. Focus purely on the benefit of the grant to your organisation or existing participants

If you would like to discuss a project or an application, please get in touch with our enquiries team at


Leave a Reply to Your burning questions – April update | The Big Lottery Fund Scotland Blog Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s