The Big Lottery Fund has doubled the amount of funding available through its grants programme to help charities win contracts and investment.
It also separated the fund into two streams of investment, with a new stream for organisations that are at a more advanced stage and are on the brink of securing investment.
BIG launched the Big Potential programme with £10m last Februry 2014 to make grants of between £25,000 and £75,000. It is a three-year programme designed to enable charities to carry our “in-depth investment readiness work” with approved providers.
The new ‘advanced route’ will allow charities to access grants of up to £150,000 if they are looking to raise investments of over £500,000 and win contracts of over £1m. They should also be clear about how social investment will work for their organisation and be able to “describe a potential deal or interest from investors and need help to close that deal”.
The previous funding stream is now known as the ‘breakthrough route’ and will continue.
Before charities apply to the fund they will be able to access support from Charity Bank, Social Enterprise UK or Locality before submitting an application. They will then be expected to approach an "approved provider" - an intermediary with expertise in helping charities win contracts or investment - and the charity and provider will make a joint bid to the fund.
Geeta Gopalan, vice chair of the England committee at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are committed to ensuring that VCSEs are able to get the right support at the right time, and so the enhanced Big Potential programme is a very important piece of the wider investment readiness offer, that will complement a number of other programmes.”
The Big Potential programme is managed by the Social Investment Business in partnership with Locality, Charity Bank, Social Enterprise UK and the University of Northampton.
Jonathan Jenkins, chief executive of the Social Investment Business, said: “There is more and more evidence that this kind of targeted investment readiness support is delivery results… We are delighted that Big Potential will now offer end-to-end support to those ambitious VCSEs and help them raise investment most appropriate to their needs.”
Applications to the advanced route will open in the summer and organisations can register their interest online.