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Small grants making a big difference

2 October 2012

By Andrew Hitches-Davies, Funding Manager – Awards for All

Awards for All England is one of BIG’s most popular funding streams. This year in England alone, the budget sits at £56.4million – our largest ever commitment to the scheme.

BIG's Andrew Hitches-Davies

BIG’s Andrew Hitches-Davies

It funds projects that build stronger communities, improve rural and urban environments and create healthier and more active people.

This means that a wide range of projects and organisations, from nationally recognisable charities to the smallest of community groups, can all apply.

Like every funding source, Awards for All England has its rules on eligibility, which for most civil society organisations are easy to meet.

There are also some activities we cannot fund and there are some basic things that assessing officers need to see before they can recommend an application for funding.

Here are some points to consider before applying, based upon some of the most common reasons an applicant is unsuccessful. The best of luck with your future applications!

  • Awards for All England can only fund projects that include arts, sports or heritage activities when it is clear that the main purpose of the project is to meet one or more of the programme outcomes. So, if the purpose of a project is to reduce anti-social behaviour amongst young men, and part of the project includes football coaching, this would more likely be funded than a project where the main purpose is to develop people into football coaches. The majority of projects that are not funded are unsuccessful for this reason. It may be that another funding stream is more appropriate for your project. Visit our website to read more about the alternatives.
  • We can only fund organisations that meet our governance standards. These are quite simple and in line with many other funders. For example, if your organisation is a registered company then we will expect you to have at least three unrelated directors registered with Companies House. We’ll also expect you to have a bank account in the name of your organisation. Read our good governance guide (PDF) for more information.
  • If you need to begin your project on a certain date, such as running an activity alongside the annual village fete, then make sure you send your application in early enough – at least three months in advance.
  • Please remember that Awards for All England can only fund projects where there is a clear need. It’s helpful to consider need as the problem or issue that you’re aiming to address. Try and avoid using generalisations when you’re explaining the need for your project. Remember that we’ll want to see some evidence to show that your project is needed.
  • Through Awards for All England , BIG is very keen to continue to help improve local communities. This doesn’t mean that if you’re from an affluent area your project will be automatically rejected. Likewise, it doesn’t mean that if your project benefits people who are from a deprived background that you will automatically be funded.

Today, an amazing 670 projects across England each share in £5.6 million from the programme. Visit our newsroom to read about all the awards. Are there any in your local area?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 October 2012 12:49 pm

    Very helpful blog, thanks, we will definitely share with others! The section on alternatives is a bit short though and could have included examples of other non-lottery small grants and also perhaps support offered to organisations seeking funding, through the local Councils for Voluntary Services, local authorities, etc.

    • Big Lottery Fund permalink*
      3 October 2012 8:58 am

      Thanks for your comment on the blog – glad you found it useful and want to share further! The Awards for All England website lists alternative small Lottery grants programmes that might suit projects looking for funding support. Alernatively, you can call the advice line on 0845 4 10 20 30 and the team will be more than happy to help you! Thanks!

  2. Samuel muthoka permalink
    10 October 2012 4:20 pm

    Big fund is doing good work.extend the same to kenya especially to person with disability.

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