Grants from the National Lottery seem to becoming ever more focused on being community led, and for applications to be successful this must be clearly demonstrated. This must be meaningful engagement and not presenting a finalised project for approval.
Undertake a gap analysis – they want to be assured that your project not only does not duplicate other services/activities but also how it fits in/complements with what is going on. The more connected your organisation is the stronger your application will be
You must be able to demonstrate you have looked for other services – maybe through the CVC, or using infoengine.
You will need to show who you have spoken to and when, and what they have said about the project/ how they will work with you. This can often be added as an extra document listing:
- Which organisation
- Who you spoke to
- What they offer
- How this differs to your work
- How the work is complementary
Consultation is key, and they will want to know how many people you have spoken to, how and when, and what peoples, need/concerns are. You will need to make efforts to reach beyond your existing membership – as their maybe needs that you are not meeting that you could. Of great importance is to remember you are not consulting on your project – you are asking about the needs in the community and what you can do to help people overcome them.
The more that the community is involved throughout the project the better, from identifying need, to designing the service and evaluation/running it the better. Also consider what volunteering opportunities can be within the project
The project must also build on your existing strengths – so be clear about what you do well, how sell this is working, but also what is preventing this working better/or for everyone.