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BIG Statement on Solicitations

10 June 2011

In accordance with DCMS guidance, the Big Lottery Fund has the power to fund in a wide range of different ways from open demand led programmes like Reaching Communities to targeted programmes (such as Improving Futures or Youth In Focus) and solicited bids.

No solicitation goes forward without the approval of a business case by the relevant Board or Committee. No award is made without the application being fully assessed by officers independent of those involved in the discussions with the solicited organisation following an audited process which is then signed off by the appropriate non-executive.

We maintain a broad dialogue with the voluntary sector at large about emerging programmes, themes and strategies and occasionally this throws up an opportunity to invest in the delivery of outcomes we are not reaching through our demand-led programmes. We have made no secret of our powers to solicit and it is part of our intelligent funding approach to grasp those opportunities.

In the past year solicited bids from throughout the UK included The Big Lunch through the Eden Project, NCVO for Sustainable Funding Project, Third Sector Research Centre with the University of Birmingham and HMP Parc in Wales.

Solicitation remains a part of our intelligent funding approach. We have no ring-fenced budget for solicited bids but it will always remain a small percentage of our funding for the simple reason that these opportunities are few and far between. The vast majority of our funding goes into our open demand-led programmes.

Opportunities for solicitations usually emerge from a mix of intelligence gathering and discussions with the voluntary sector, always informed by the strategic directions provided by our non-executives about the outcomes they would like to see our funding achieve.

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