Getting Your Group Ready to Apply

I’ve got a great idea for a project. But is my group even eligible for a grant?

Most funders – including The National Lottery Community Fund – will typically only fund organisations to run a project, not individual people. So let’s look at what it takes to be eligible for one of our grants…


What does my organisation need in place?

Whether you are part of an existing organisation, or are just setting something up, there are a few basic things it will need in place before you are ready to start filling in your application to The National Lottery Community Fund. These are:

1. A governing document such as a constitution

This document needs to lay out the name and purpose of your organisation. It should also cover how it will work, like: how people join; how your committee will work; when you’ll have meetings, and so on.

2. A committee or board with at least two unrelated members (or three if you are applying for more than £10,000)

By unrelated we just mean people who aren’t family members (like siblings, parents and children, married couples or civil partners), or living at the same address.

3. A bank account in your organisation’s name (as written on the constitution)

You’ll also need to make sure that at least two unrelated people are required to approve the withdrawal or spending of money from the account

4. Annual financial accounts

These should clearly state the name of your organisation (again, as on the constitution). They also must show the start and end dates for the 12 month period they cover (e.g. 1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018).

They don’t need to be produced by a professional, or audited by accountants, but they will need to be signed as accurate by at least two members of your committee.

If your organisation is still in its first 12 months, we will ask for a projection instead, listing any expected spending or income (including any grants you are applying for) over the next year.

I’m not sure how to set up an organisation. Where can I get help?

Getting your charitable organisation set up can be hard work, but there’s loads of help out there.

A great place to start for people in Scotland is the ‘Setting up a charity’ section of the SCVO website. This provides a step-by-step guide on setting up a new group or organisation, and some useful resources like model governing documents.

You could also get help from your local Third Sector Interface.

Do we have to be a registered charity?

No. Some funders will only fund registered charities, but you don’t need to be one to access any National Lottery Community Fund grants.

Right, we’ve got all that in place. What next?

If you’d like to talk about which of our grants might be suitable just get in touch with us – we’re happy to have a chat and point you in the right direction.

To find other funders in Scotland, also check out the free Funding Scotland search engine.

Good luck!


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