Supporting great ideas

Supporting Great Ideas awards grants to support innovative and strategically important project ideas that encourage positive social change in Wales.

Suitable for
Voluntary/community organisations and statutory bodies
Funding size
£20,001 and over
Total available
Up to £2 million in the current financial year
Application deadline


How to succeed

Through Supporting Great Ideas, we can make grants to organisations that support innovative and strategically important project ideas that encourage positive social change in Wales.

We are here to help and want to talk to you about your ideas to support innovative and strategically important project ideas that encourage positive social change in Wales.

We will be looking to assess:

  • How your organisation fits with the priorities we have outlined above?
  • What the requested funding would cover?
  • If new / additional activity, please describe what the activity would involve, who it will help and why you think it will support the community.
  • What time period the funding would cover?
  • How much funding you are requesting? Please note that we can’t provide unrestricted funding so do provide us with a budget with the main cost items our funding will cover

Grants are awarded for up to five years and we can fund project activities, operating costs and organisational development costs.

We’re really interested in hearing your ideas. Whether they’re big or small, tell us what you think will improve your community.

Our funding priorities

We want to fund projects that:

  • Are innovative – You may wish to test new approaches which tackle a new or emerging issue or new approaches which aim to deliver better outcomes for the people and communities you support. 
  • Enable organisations to work in new ways, including becoming more digitally capable, enabling mutual help, and building and strengthening the social civic infrastructure that can nurture community action.
  • Enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage.  

Applications will need to meet at least one of the above programme aims.

What we want to see

You developed your idea by involving the community who will benefit

We want to see that you’ve spoken to people and listened to what they have to say.

You understand the existing activities and services that do similar work

Have you spoken to other groups? What can you learn from them, and how can you contribute to what they already do?

You’re committed to diversity and inclusion and making communities environmentally sustainable

We’ll want to know about your equalities policy and your environmental policy if we’re interested in your idea.

Find out more information on our equalities principles and environmental policy.

You’re community led, strengths based and connected

Through all our funding, we’re interested in supporting organisations that are:

  • community led - meaningfully involving the community you’re working with in the development and delivery of your activity
  • strengths based - making the most of the skills that already exist in communities
  • connected - understanding what other relevant organisations are doing and developing good working relationships.

Please contact us if you have an idea by calling 0300 1230735 or emailing

Check if you’re eligible

Who can apply?

You can apply if you’re a:

  • Voluntary/community organisation
  • registered charity or charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
  • statutory body (including local authority, town, parish or community council)
  • not for profit company including companies limited by guarantee and Community Interest Companies with two or more directors (see below for ineligible CICs)
  • group of organisations, as long as the lead applicant is either a voluntary/ community organisation or statutory body.

We can’t accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • organisations based outside the UK
  • anyone who is applying on behalf of another organisation
  • organisations that are aimed at generating profits primarily for private distribution. This includes those without sufficient asset locks or organisations that can pay profits to directors or shareholders, which may include some CICs limited by shares
  • organisations without at least two unconnected* people on the board or committee.

(*not a relation by blood, marriage, in a long-term relationship or people living together at the same address)

We will consider funding unincorporated groups, but normally expect the groups to use our funding to incorporate and, where appropriate, register as a charity.

What can you spend the money on?

We can fund:

  • staff salaries
  • project activities
  • running costs
  • equipment
  • organisational development.

We cannot fund:

  • activities that generate profits for private gain
  • religious activity (although we are able to fund religious organisations if they are providing benefit for the wider community)
  • activities that replace government funding
  • activities that benefit individuals, rather than the wider community
  • retrospective costs
  • loan repayments.

Not sure if you’re eligible?

If you’re not sure If you’re eligible, please contact us by emailing or calling our Advice Line on 0300 1230735.

What to expect

Before you consider submitting an application, it is crucial that you speak with us first so that we can establish whether your idea is suitable for this funding.

There’s no closing date for Supporting great ideas – you can apply at any time.

1. Find out if we can fund you

  • Check that you’re eligible
  • Talk to us (see Getting Started for contact details)

2. Tell us your idea

First, give us a brief outline of what you want to do.

We appreciate you may not have all the details of your idea, but to help us build a good understanding, please be prepared to talk about the following when you contact us:

  1. What you want to do and why?
  2. What difference do you think your idea will make?
  3. How are people and communities involved with your project?
  4. What is the background of your organisation?
  5. How much money do you need from us and for how long?
  6. How does your idea fit in with other local activities?
  7. How is your project innovative* and strategically** important?

*By ‘innovative’ we mean:

  • New kinds of activity and service to tackle new or emerging needs: or
  • New or better ways of delivering an existing service.

**By ‘strategically important’ we mean:

  • Projects of a strategic nature such as those which support communities indirectly, build partnership and effective working across sectors.

Once we have agreed that your project idea is suitable for this funding programme, you can send us an outline proposal in a format that best suits your organisation. For example you can send us a video or email us. If you have any problems submitting your idea in any way, do call us.

We’ll then get in touch with you within two weeks with our initial decision.

3. Submit a full application

If your outline proposal is accepted, we'll ask you to submit a full application.

Your application will be made up of:

  • your proposal for funding
  • organisation details
  • your partnership agreement (if applicable)

You will be sent guidance on how to put together your full proposal including areas that you need to cover. Your Funding Officer will also be able to provide additional advice.

A funding decision on your application will be made by The National Lottery Community Fund’s Wales Committee, based on an assessment by the relevant Funding Officer. You can usually expect a final decision on your full application within 12 weeks.

If you’re successful

You’ll get a call from your Funding Officer and an offer letter in the post.

If you’re unsuccessful

You’ll get a call or email from your Funding Officer letting you know the decision and offering any relevant feedback.

4. Get ongoing support

If you’re successful, we’ll work with you to identify the right level of support throughout the duration of your grant.

We’ll agree your payment plan, how often you’ll update us on your progress, and how we gain assurance for the funding we have awarded.

We’ll also discuss how we can support you to celebrate and promote your funding, engage with the wider community and share your learning with others.