Under the new lottery programmes, the key areas to focus on, and demonstrate are:
- people led – meaningfully involving the people 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.
They really want to see projects that have come from the community rather that projects dreamt up by and organisations. However this is not always easy to demonstrate. Show a wide range of ways in which you are working with the community to solve the problems/ challenges they face – where possible include numbers and dates. Anything over a couple of years will be too old. Statistics are useful to back up the work with the community, but should not be relied upon to make the case. Ideally they would like to see how the project idea has evolved and how you have facilitated its development – they will also want to see how the community will be invoked in the projects delivery, not just being recipients
In many ways it is a much more positive approach to funding, using asset based community development ideas. Old applications focused on problems and the challenges, whereas now although they want to know about the challenges, there is also a emphasis on the strength in the community and how this strength can be used to overcome the problems faced. In a way you need to say’ look our community has identified [these ] problems that it is facing which are having [these] impacts on peoples health and wellbeing. However we also have a great many strengths which, with support, we can utilise to help resolve the problems
The connected part needs to show you are not working in isolation and are not duplicating services, but filling a gap (go a gap analysis and tell them you have done this!). Say how this saves resources and that you are making best use of what you have available – again this can reinforce that no one else is providing what the community wants/needs to resolve its problems
As far as project outcomes go keep them simple and have clear ideas for the indicators you can use to measure the success. It is really key to make sure the outcomes relate directly to the needs your community wants to overcome.
Try and relate the information in the bid back to these outcomes and avoid trying to add in too much additional information on unrelated issues. There maybe other problems faced by the community, but if this project is not addressing them it can cloud the project and make it confusing