Our tips as Communities and Families Fund deadline approaches

Children on a swingThe countdown is on! There’s now less than a month left to apply to the Communities and Families Fund, a joint funding programme delivered by us and The Scottish Government.

Grants of between £250 and £10,000 are available to support local projects working with children eight years and under or their parents, and we’ll close to applications on 29 February 2016 at 12 noon. 

If you are looking to apply, here’s our top dos and don’ts to keep you right:

Showing how you’ll achieve our outcomes:
Probably the most important thing you can do to increase the chances of being funded is showing that your project will help achieve the Communities and Families Fund programme ‘outcomes’ – which are the changes we want to see happening as a result of awarding funding. You can read about these on page three of the guidance document.
Tell us what activities will occur as a result of you spending the 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 work focusing on other age groups of children and their families.
Focusing on your local area:
Through the Communities and Families Fund we are keen to fund projects working in local areas, 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 less likely to be funded.

Applying for the right stuff:
Check our guidance materials to make sure that the costs included in your application are eligible. The most common mistake we see here is with staff costs. We can fund overtime and sessional work, but we cannot fund new or existing salary costs through the Communities and Families Fund.
Make sure that any staff costs included are for casual work as and when needed (what we call ‘sessional’ work), or for overtime or additional hours if for existing employees. Apply for contributions to new or existing salaries for full time, part time or fixed term employees.

Getting the community involved:
We want to know how the community you work in will be involved in your project, and what wider benefits the work we fund will have beyond your organisation.
Tell us how many people will benefit. Tell us how you will promote the project, and how local  parents or volunteers will be involved. If you haven’t got any plans like this in place, you can include costs to do so as part of your application. Focus purely on the benefit of the grant to your organisation or people you already work with.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss a project or an application, please get in touch with our BIG Advice team on advicescotland@biglotteryfund.org.uk or 0300 123 7110.

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