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Investing in Ideas

Enabling organisations to develop ways of working that bring improvements to communities
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Funding size:
£500 - £10,000
Total available:
£1 million each year
Application deadline:

What’s it all about?

Please note that the Investing in Ideas application form will be out of date as of 31 March 2017 so please do not fill the form in after this time. However, all of the same funding will still be available to apply for through our Awards for All programme. Please contact our advice line on 0300 123 7110 if you would like to discuss making an application to Investing in Ideas before the end of March 2017.

Our aim is to make it easier to apply for funding of up to £10,000. Previous feedback from applicants has highlighted uncertainty on whether to apply to Awards for All or Investing in Ideas. As a result we are moving the Investing in Ideas budget into Awards For All creating one streamlined small grants option.

Investing in Ideas awards grants of £500 to £10,000 to organisations to enable them to think about, develop and test new ideas or improved ways of working that will bring real improvements to communities, and the lives of people most in need.

Before you submit your application to us, please read our blog to help make your application complete. We can only make a decision on your application when it is fully complete.

What are we looking for?

Investing in Ideas will fund groups and organisations of all sizes to improve their skills and knowledge to:

  • think differently about how a service is delivered, and
  • help them to design and test new projects or better ways of working.

All projects must achieve one of more of the following outcomes:

  • People have better chances in life
  • Communities are safer, stronger and more able to work together to tackle inequalities
  • People have better and more sustainable services and environments
  • People and communities are healthier.

We will prioritise applications from organisations with an income of less than £250,000 and for projects that will be delivered in areas within the 15 per cent most deprived according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

For projects that have a heritage, arts or sports focus you may wish to consider funding from other sources as these types of projects are likely to have a weaker fit with the Investing in Ideas programme outcomes.

Who can apply?

  • Voluntary or community sector groups
  • Social enterprises
  • Charities
  • Health bodies
  • Companies limited by guarantee (non-profit making)
  • Local authorities or community councils.

What can you apply for?

Applications can include requests to fund:

  • market research and business planning
  • feasibility studies, technical reports and scheme design studies
  • exchange visits in the UK to see how other projects work
  • community consultation
  • professional advice
  • training for your committee.

The Big Lottery Fund is a living wage friendly funder. This means that we encourage our applicants to pay their staff the UK Living Wage.

Please visit our Living Wage page for more information


Organisation Types

  • Voluntary or community organisation
  • Public sector organisation