What types of activity will we fund?
As part of our COVID-19 response we particularly want to support:
- Organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19
- Organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of COVID-19
- Organisations with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19
We may consider supporting your response to COVID-19 even if your work would not typically meet the funding criteria for these grants. We recommend getting in touch to discuss your idea if you feel this is the case.
If you want to put in an application that is not related to COVID-19, you are welcome to do so. However there is likely to be greater competition for our funding, and it may take longer to get a decision from us.
Our usual funding priorities are below
Our grants for 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 and loneliness
- challenges discrimination and supports people affected by it.
We will consider activity which aims to prevent as well as respond to these issues.
We also want to fund work that 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 The National Lottery Community Fund grantholders can apply.
- There are restrictions on how many improving lives grants you can hold at any one time – contact us for further information, or see the sample application forms.
What size and duration of funding is available?
You can apply for funding for up to three years and in exceptional circumstances we may consider applications up to five years to improve or continue existing services, or to develop new activity.
Funding is normally available up to £500,000. Larger requests should be discussed with our funding team however we are keen to spread our funding as best we can, so are much less likely to offer grants of more than £500,000 routinely.
All applications may have a better chance if they can demonstrate some level of match funding. We will mainly provide revenue funding, but can also consider some capital costs where they are related to the activity we are funding.