Busting those Improving Lives grant myths

Thinking of applying for a large grant for Improving Lives? Then you’ve come to the right place as we go about clearing up some of the myths around applying for this funding.

As a recap, our large grants for Improving Lives can provide funding above £150,000 for activities that:

  • Support children, young people and families currently experiencing challenging circumstances
  • Support people that have experienced abuse
  • Tackle loss, isolation and loneliness
  • Challenge discrimination and support people affected by it.

We are looking to fund work that is people-led, strengths based and connected, and you can find out more about what that means on our website.


Here’s the top six myths we hear most about these grants…

1. You can’t have an Improving Lives grant if you have another Big Lottery Fund grant

Actually, you can apply for a large grant for Improving Lives even if you have other grants from us (but you can only hold one large Improving Lives grant at a time)

2. If you have received a large grant before you can’t apply to large grants for Improving Lives

Even if you have received funding of over £10,000 from us before (through another fund), you can potentially still apply, so long as your work fits with one of the activities listed above.

3. We will only fund a new project/service

Not true! We are happy to fund new or ongoing work.

4. You can’t apply for capital funding

There’s an element of truth to this one – our priority with this funding is to support the delivery of activities. So major capital costs – like large scale redevelopment of a building – are not likely to be funded. However, we can fund an element of capital or building work where it is needed to help deliver activities we are funding!

5. You need to have a professional fundraiser to be able to apply

Not true – we want to hear from you in your own words. We aim to make our application process as simple as we can, and we will always offer a phone or face-to-face conversation as part of the application process.

6. The initial conversation to receive an application form is a formal assessment

This isn’t a formal assessment, but we will try and save you time and effort by letting you know whether or not your idea is likely to be something we could fund. If not, we may suggest other more appropriate funds. If your idea has potential to be the kind of thing we would fund, we will usually talk over how you could improve your chances. If it looks like something we could fund, we will suggest you apply (and send you an application form).
Find out more about our grants for Improving Lives here on our website.

If you are interested in applying, or want any other information, please get in touch with us on:
0300 123 7110

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