What types of activity will we fund?
Improving Lives will fund activity that:
- supports children, young people and families currently experiencing challenging circumstances
- supports people that have experienced abuse
- tackles loss, isolation or loneliness
- supports people that experience discrimination and/or work to challenge discrimination
- supports people facing financial hardship.
We will consider activity which aims to prevent as well as respond to these issues.
There are some things that we won’t fund including mainstream employability activity, such as job search support.
All applicants need to demonstrate that their activity is people-led, connected, and strengths-based. We call these our three approaches. Find out more about what that means in the three approaches section of our website.
Who can apply?
- Most organisations are eligible to apply. We're keen to see applications from smaller organisations that we haven’t funded before.
- Existing National Lottery Community Fund grantholders can apply. However, there are restrictions on how many Improving Lives grants you can hold at any one time – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 123 7110 for further information.
How much can you apply for?
You can apply for funding for up to three years and you can apply for between £10,001 and £200,000
Your application may have a better chance if you can demonstrate some level of match funding. However, we can fund up to 100% of the costs of your activity including staff, equipment, premises costs and overheads. We refer to these types of costs as 'revenue costs' and would expect these to be the main focus of your application. You can also include up to £50,000 of minor capital costs as part of your overall activity for items such as building refurbishment or adaptations.
The National Lottery Community Fund is a Living Wage Friendly Funder. This means that we encourage our applicants to pay their staff the UK Living Wage.
Visit the Living Wage Foundation to find out more about the Living Wage.
There are some things we can’t pay for, such as anything you spend money on before you get a decision from us, activities outside the UK and activities that actively promote religion. Check with us if you are unsure.