Big Lottery Improving Lives

Thinking of applying for a large grant for Improving Lives?

The large grant for Improving Lives can provide funding between £150,000 to £1 million generally over three to five years for activities that:

  • Support children, young people and families currently experiencing challenging circumstances
  • Support people that have experienced abuse
  • Tackle loss, isolation and loneliness
  • Challenge discrimination and support people affected by it.

They are looking to fund activities that meet our three approaches, these are; people-led, strengths based and connected

Then read on as they highlight the top nine myths they are most about this fund…


You can’t apply for capital funding

They can consider some capital costs although major capital costs are less likely to be funded. We will not be able to fund capital costs only.


 You can't have an Improving Lives grant if you have another Big Lottery Fund grant

No, you can apply to Improving Lives Large if you have other grants from us. However you can only hold one Improving Lives Large grant at a time.


If you have received a large grant before you can’t apply to large grants for improving lives

Even if you have received funding of over £10,000 before (most prominently being through Investing in Communities) you can potentially apply.


You must have match funding in place

They don't require match funding and will consider requests for 100% costs which show good value for money. However projects that can evidence partnership working may well be able to evidence they are more 'connected' and fit well with the three approaches.


You cannot receive five years of funding

They can consider requests for between three to five years.


It has to be for a new project/service

They can consider new or existing work.


You need to have a professional fundraiser to be able to apply

No, they consider requests from all kinds of people from a wide variety of organisations.


Citizens Advice Bureaux cannot apply

They can consider all organisations. An advice only service is less likely to be considered. An activity should be directly working with people and has to achieve our ‘three approaches’.


The initial conversation to receive an application form is a formal assessment

This is the start of a conversation with you. At the end of this, they are likely to have three recommendations:

  1. There’s potential to take this forward so they will email you an application form.
  2. You might have something there but it needs some work first. If these can be covered, please come back later.
  3. Based on this, we don’t feel there is enough potential. You can nonetheless come back to with another idea.


Get in touch with our Advice Team:
0300 123 7110