Who can apply

We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to good causes across the UK. Generally, we only award funding to organisations to run projects.

You need to be a constituted group or organisation to apply for funding

We can’t fund individual people.

We only fund groups or organisations to run projects. And we fund lots of different types of organisations.

If you are a voluntary or community group (not an incorporated organisation) wanting to apply for our funding, you need to have a written constitution (or governing document) which sets out rules on how your organisation is run – this is known as being ‘constituted’.

What your organisation needs in place to apply

There are a few basic things your organisation will need in place, before you can apply to us for National Lottery funding. These include:

  • A governing document, such as a constitution – This sets out the name and purpose of your organisation. It should also cover how it will work. So, things like how people join, how your committee will work, and when you’ll have meetings. Branches of larger organisations need their own governing document. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has advice on writing a constitution. Similarly, GOV.UK provides information on how to write your charity's governing document.
  • A committee or board with at least two unrelated members (or three on some funding programmes) - By unrelated we mean people who aren’t family members, such as siblings, parents and children, married couples or civil partners or people living at the same address.
  • A bank account in your organisation’s name (as written on your constitution or governing document) – You’ll also need to make sure that at least two unrelated people are needed to transfer money from the account.
  • Yearly financial accounts – We want to know the date your accounts wrap up each year and how much income you have. If you don’t have yearly accounts, as you’re a new organisation (less than 15 months old), we’ll still look at your application.

Where you can get help setting up an organisation

There’s lots of help and advice available to set up a charitable organisation.

For organisations in England and Wales
Visit the ‘Setting up a charity’ section of the NCVO KnowHow website.

For organisations in Scotland
Visit the ‘Setting up a charity’ section of the SCVO website. It also includes model governing documents that you can use as a starting point for your own group.

For organisations in Northern Ireland
Visit the ‘Setting up a charitable company’ section of the NICVA website.

What types of organisations can apply

We can usually accept applications from:

  • voluntary or community organisations
  • registered charities
  • constituted groups or clubs
  • not-for-profit companies or Community Interest Companies
  • statutory bodies (including town, parish and community councils).

But this might be different depending on which of our funding programmes you apply to. And you can read more about what we define as a Voluntary, Community or Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisation here.

Who can’t we accept applications from?

We usually can’t accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • companies limited by shares
  • organisations outside the UK
  • one organisation applying on behalf of another.

But this might be different depending on which of our programmes you apply to.

If you’re not sure whether you can apply

Contact us. We’d be happy to help.