How to apply for grants for improving lives and community-led activity

Here we clarify what’s involved to help you plan applying to grants for improving lives and grants for community-led activity, our main grant funds in Scotland

What’s the process?

We want to help applicants upfront so you know if you’re eligible and your activity is suitable. To provide this service, we are asking organisations to contact us. This is predominantly done by phone (0300 123 7110) or email.Artcore - Lifted - Access support to disabled 10 (1)

Once you contact us we will go through the essential parts. For example, what type of organisation are you, what amount of funding do you need and what your activity is. We’ll also go through our ‘three approaches’ with you.

This isn’t an assessment – it’s the start of our conversation with you on this funding.

What happens at the end of this conversation?

We will usually speak to you for 10-15 minutes. After this, we tend to give one of three recommendations:

  1. Encouraging news! We feel that your idea lines up with what we are looking to fund, so we will send you an application form.
  2. We might consider your proposal – but we need you to clarify things a little, focus on a particular angle, or work up the idea a bit further. Often this means we’ll send you some guidance and thoughts for you to take forward, and then get back to us.
  3. Unfortunately not on this occasion – your plans don’t quite match up with the sort of things we fund, so we don’t think you should apply. If we do not feel you should apply, we will let you know this and the reason(s) why, and try to direct you to any other funds that might be suitable. Don’t forget you can still come back to us with another idea for an activity. This funding is available for the next five years so there is plenty of time.

12I want an application now. Will you send me one if I ask for it?

If you are ready to apply and we’ve discussed its potential we will be more than happy to send one. If you want to refer to an application before then, a sample application is available. This should also be used if you’re still in the early stages of planning out your work – it’s probably the best place to start.

Where are the sample applications?

They are on our website. There is one for grants for improving lives and a separate one for medium grants for community-led activity. On these pages, go down to ‘Related Documents’ (near the bottom) and you will find the sample there.

Any other questions?

We are available on 0300 123 7110, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can email us.


  1. Why do you think applications covering wider geographical activity may struggle to demonstrate the people-led, strengths-based and connected approaches that are important to BIG?

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