As Dinah Washington once sang – what a difference a day makes. Well here at the Big Lottery Fund we’re celebrating the difference a whole year has made, thanks to our new five year funding offer of small, medium and large grants!
One year ago, in November 2015, we launched a brand new £250 million portfolio of funding which included our Community Led and Improving Lives funds. We made our first grants from this new funding portfolio in March 2016 and since then have awarded over £19 million to 128 groups.
But let’s not forget the 1,197 groups that have also benefited from our open small grants programmes – Awards for All and Investing and Ideas – proving that the smallest amounts of money can also make the biggest difference.
From community gardens, healthy eating projects and volunteer led activities within local community centres right through to befriending and mentoring projects for disengaged young people and arts initiatives for people with mental health difficulties, we’ve funded something for everyone across Scotland.
Check out our infographic for an overview of our small, medium and large grants funding in the last year.
So what else has changed for us, and more importantly for the people that have applied to us? Well, with the introduction of medium sized grants (£10,000 to £150,000), we changed the way we worked, to make it easier, simpler and faster for groups to access our funding. For groups applying for under £150,000 this is now a much speedier one stage application process.
This also meant we were able to reach out to new groups many of which had only received small grants previously or indeed had never applied before.
And we refined our focus by asking groups applying for medium and large grants to tell us in their application form how their project meets one of our three approaches – people led, strengths based and connected within their community.
Here’s to year two and many more successful applications for Big Lottery funding!