Making our voice heard on the future of Big Lottery Fund

Apart from giving everyone the chance to become multimillionaires and create the library of their dreams (or is that just me?), money from the National Lottery plays a vital role in supporting good causes across the country. One of the main vehicles through which the money is dispersed is the Big Lottery Fund (BLF).

In 2012/13, BLF made £778m in awards (most going to voluntary organisations) making it one of our sector’s biggest funders; and many readers of this blog are likely to have received some form of lottery funding at some point. BLF is now consulting on its future funding strategy, considering how it can best make an impact and support the work of voluntary organisations.

Over the next four years £4bn will be distributed to good causes, so it is important that voluntary organisations participate in this discussion and make their voices heard.

To get the views of the sector, BLF has set up an interactive discussion website Your Voice, Our Vision which gives people a chance to talk about their ideas for how to BIG should work and to comment on those of others.

However we appreciate that not everyone will want to publicly state their views or have a specific idea to contribute. So NCVO has set up an anonymous survey which organisations can use to feed in their thoughts. We’ll draw your responses together to highlight some of the themes that emerge and submit these to BLF on behalf of our members.

We also want to take this opportunity to hear about your experiences with BLF and how you think that BLF can improve the way that it awards funding.

The BLF consultation will be running till July and our survey will run till Friday 20th June to give organisations plenty of time to feed in and for us to collate the responses.

Opportunities to influence the strategies of major sector funders do not happen regularly, so whether it is through the BLF website or our survey, it is imperative that the sector engages fully to shape the direction of this important source of funding.

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Andrew was NCVO’s senior policy officer. He covered issues around funding, social investment, tax and the impact of the economy on the voluntary sector. Andrew has left NCVO, but his posts are kept here for reference purposes.

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