Funder's Spotlight: National Lottery Community Fund – Reaching Communities England

Author: Mandeep Chohan
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National Lottery Community Fund – Reaching Communities England 

This grant will fund projects or organisations that will do at least one of the following:

  • Bring people together to build strong relationships in and across communities
  • Improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • Help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

They are very flexible and want to respond to your community’s needs therefore, grants are for short and long term (up to 5 years). They will offer funding for:

  • Specific activity, or for broader costs to help your organisation or community
  • One organisation or to bring several organisations together
  • To support people, communities, and organisations most affected by the cost-of-living crisis
  • To help organisations address the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on how they work, now and in the future.

In April 2024 they will be changing their funding for England as part of their new strategy but you do not need to rush to apply before April as the change will be gradual and they will be flexible so that no one misses out.

How to apply:
You can apply two ways, either via their online form or you can email or send them a video about your proposal. There is a full list of questions from the proposal form on the website.

Who can apply?
You can apply if you’re an organisation that serves communities in England and is a:

  • Constituted voluntary or community organisation
  • Registered, exempt or excepted charity
  • Charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
  • Not-for-profit company limited by guarantee - you must be a registered charity or have a not-for-profit 'asset lock' clause in your articles of association
  • Community interest company (CIC)
  • School
  • Statutory body (including local authorities, town, parish or community councils)
  • Community benefit society
  • Co-operative society - you must have a not-for-profit 'asset lock' clause in your society rules and also be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Group of organisations, as long as they're led by an eligible organisation.

They can fund:

  • Direct costs to deliver activities in your community – such as project staff, materials, equipment, room hire, volunteer expenses and project evaluations
  • Organisational development – such as business planning, testing new ways of working, staff training and development, developing governance and leadership, tech or IT purchases or upgrades, developing and sharing impact and learning, and increasing capacity to support collaboration and partnership working
  • Core or fixed costs to support the day-to-day running of your organisation – such as core salaries, rent, utilities, equipment
  • Purchasing, refurbishing or developing of land and buildings.

They can fund some political activity and campaigning, but only if:

  • The activity is not party political. This means that it must be about policy, practice, or legislation rather than opposing or supporting a political party.
  • The activity is meant to help the cause of your organisation and benefit the public or society.

They will not fund projects where political activities are the main purpose. But they can fund projects that are mainly about campaigning.

Find out more and how to apply here