Getting the balance right

Previously we’ve told you about the three approaches we’d like to see in our new funding portfolio – vital support, prevention and community-led and the conversations we’ve been having with a range of people to test ideas, gather opinion and consider options.

picture-040Here at the Big Lottery Fund we thought you might be interested to know the sort of dilemmas we’re grappling with when developing our new funding portfolio. It would be interesting to get your take on some of these:


  • Open outcomes….tighter outcomes
  • Immediate support….Early action, prevention
  • Previous grantholders….New applicants
  • What we know works….Riskier activity
  • Split funding by area….Purely demand led
  • Long term funding….Short term funding
  • Lots of small projects….Fewer large projects
  • Application support….Project support
  • More support….More funding
  • Quicker assessment….In-depth assessment

None of these are a choice of one over the other and in most we’re looking at how we can get a balance of both in our portfolio. There will always be an element of judgement and weighting of priorities.

Why don’t you choose one or two of the dilemmas and let us know what your preferences are?

You can email your thoughts to

You can follow the journey to our new portfolio and comment on Twitter #2020funding or on Facebook, Big Lottery Fund Scotland

You can also follow the journey by subscribing to
Finally, you can leave comments at the bottom of this blog


  1. It is our great concern to congratulate you in the overall support you offer in areas of community development.We see what clearly you are doing is of most necessity to communities who have no link of having funds to sustain their lives.May you receive our cordial appreciation and continue doing the same.

  2. This is really useful information for those of us who have been trying to make sure we fit funding criteria. I am often asked how can I complete this application so that will be acceptable. The main problem often is that what is written in a guideline is not read the same way by every individual or organisation. People understand in very different ways. I applaud the conversations you have been having as this way your message will be clearer and if the message is clear you are less likely to get applications that inadequately match your criteria. The vital support statement, if that is about supporting people making an application would be really welcome as this would help applicants, give you a better idea of the project concerned and there is less likelihood again of applications not meeting criteria. I understand the vital support to a community project is also one of your criteria. All of the above criteria I agree with wholeheartedly.

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