The Big Lottery Fund is the largest distributor of Lottery money to good causes.

They are committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need. The Big Lottery Fund will offer a selection of different funding programmes. For up-to-date information on these please visit or call the Big Lottery helpline on 0845 410 20 30.

Appropriate Lottery projects as of November 2015 include:

  • Awards for All England — makes grants of between £300 -£10,000 to organisations aiming to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. Applications can be made at anytime.
  • Building Better Opportunities – BL is matching funds from the European Social Fund for projects across England that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion. Deadline end of November 2015.
  • Fulfilling Lives: Headstart – Funding partnerships working in schools, with families, community groups and charities so that young people suffering with mental health problems can benefit from joined-up support. No deadline supplied.
  • Parks for People — a fund committed to improving park spaces. No closing date provided.
  • Reaching Communities — Grants: £10,000 – £500,000. 2 funding strands available: Reaching Communities Building: funding to improve the physical condition of a building, primarily through extension and refurbishment; and secondly, Reaching Communities: aims to fund projects that respond to needs identified by communities, and those that fund projects that help those most in need. No closing date supplied.

All of these funds will have their own criteria, guidelines and application forms, so be prepared to dedicate some time to filling it in and collating the numerous bits of information that they will request. Always read the guidelines thoroughly and do not be afraid to call them and ask for advice. You will need to gather information about your accounts, bank statements, as well as signatures from trustees or management committee members.

Should you be awarded funding, make sure you monitor the project closely and feedback to the Big Lottery at the agreed times – it is a good idea to allocate grant monitoring to one person within your organisation to ensure these deadlines are met.

A-Z of fundraising ideas | Budgets | Corporate Donations and Sponsorship | Funding Sources – where to look for support | How to Fundraise in Tough Times | How to Write an Annual Report | How to Write an E-Newsletter | Individual and Small-scale Giving | Local Authority Funding | Local Community Foundations | Online Fundraising | Running Local Events | The Big Lottery Fund | Using Social Media | Using Volunteers | Writing and Application to a Charitable Trust | Writing Effective Fundraising Letters |

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