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Funders really DON’T just want numbers – honest!

May 8, 2018

Colourful words written on the palms and fingers of someones handsIn this guest blog post Nicola Swan from Evaluation Support Scotland talks about what funders really want to be told from funded organisations reporting on their work…

Whether it’s outright or in hushed tones, here at Evaluation Support Scotland we frequently hear third sector organisations say “funders only really want numbers.”

This is a common misconception. Our experience of working with funders and funded organisations tells us that your funder(s) will usually want to see a mix of numbers and stories in your report. Mhairi Reid, Big Lottery Fund told us:

“Stories provide us with valuable learning about practice and impact, and they help bring important statistics to life.”

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Success Rates – Spring 2018

March 29, 2018

Success Rates Spring 2018Thinking of applying for funding, and want to know what your chances are? If so, it’s usually best to get in touch so we can discuss your idea, as your chances can depend on what you want to do! However, we also like to give you a general idea of how busy or competitive our funds are, so here are our success rates for the 6 month period up to 28 February 2018:


National Lottery Awards for All - 54%

At 54%, the success rate for National Lottery Awards for All Scotland has dropped a little, mainly due to a significant increase in applications received this year.

playCheck this two minute video for our top tips to improve your chances.

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Applying for Year of Young People funding?

March 28, 2018

Ammy Nicholson, a young mum, crouching down to pick up her daughterAre you thinking of applying for National Lottery funding to help young people #SparkAChange in their lives during the Year of Young People? Yes? Then this blog’s for you. Here we speak to Ammy whose story is a great example of the type of activity we can fund through our new National Lottery fund.

Ammy Nicholson, 21, knows first-hand the difference National Lottery funded projects can make to young people’s health and wellbeing and she credits the MsMissMrs project for helping her to see that she had a future.

Two years ago Ammy, who worked at a nursery after finishing school aged 16, found herself unable to leave her house as she battled with body image and depression after the birth of her little girl. Now, thanks to the help and support of the team at MsMissMrs in Glasgow, her outlook is much brighter.

She would like to encourage young people and those working with young people to take the opportunity to apply for funding through the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund to spark their own moment of change.

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New National Lottery fund opening for Year of Young People

March 19, 2018

Supporting Year of young People 2018 and the National Lottery logo (white hand with fingers crossed)

To mark the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018, we’re excited to launch a new National Lottery fund to help young people #SparkAChange in their lives.

We’re calling it the Year of the Young People National Lottery Fund, and it’ll offer funding between £3,000 and £10,000 to heritage, community and sports projects that are run for and by young people aged eight to 26.

A pot of £550,000 is available for projects that help young people change their lives for the better, by improving their health and wellbeing.

Wondering how you can get involved or interested in applying? Here’s what you need to know:

Who can apply?

The fund is mainly aimed at voluntary or community organisations, which can be partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations.

Examples of eligible organisations include:

  • youth, community or voluntary groups
  • charities or trusts
  • social enterprises
  • other publicly funded organisations, such as national parks
  • schools.

Read more…

60 seconds with a Funding Officer…

February 27, 2018
Jessie Duncan, a young woman with glasses standing in Glasgow city centre.

Jessie Duncan, Funding Officer

There are currently lots of opportunities to join our team for people who are passionate about supporting communities in Scotland. So to give people an idea what it’s like working at the Big Lottery Fund, we interviewed Jessie Duncan, one of our Funding Officers, to give you the inside scoop…

Hi Jessie. Tell us a bit about what the Big Lottery Fund does.

At the core of what we do is distributing National Lottery money to community groups, charities and other third sector organisations, to help them make a difference to people and their communities.

What made you decide to join the Big Lottery Fund?   

I remember when I first saw the job of Funding Officer being advertised it jumped out at me immediately because of the great reputation that the organisation has.

Coming from a background of working for a charity, I understood the key role that funders like the Big Lottery Fund play in addressing so many important issues, and I saw the job as an opportunity to help shape these decisions.

Read more…

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