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Applying for funding for your sport or physical activity project

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

As a funder, we regularly provide awards for organisations which use sport and physical activity to bring about positive change for individuals and communities.

If you are considering an application for a project like this, we recommend familiarising yourself with the points below to ensure you that, firstly, your project does fulfil our criteria and, secondly, your application has the strongest chance of success possible.

More than participation

Our open grant programme has three funding strands; Care and Wellbeing, Strengthening Communities and Realising Potential.  All applicants must demonstrate how the work that they are requesting funding for will deliver positive changes within one of these three areas. In other words, if the main purpose for the work that you are applying for is increasing participation or improving performance you are unlikely to receive funding from us.   There must be an intentional focus on delivering outcomes for individuals and communities.

This approach, where sport and physical activity is intentionally used as a tool to drive outcomes, is known as Sport for Change.  

Further Reading

Meeting an identified need

A strong application should also demonstrate that the work you wish to carry out is based on a clear need within your community or for a defined set of beneficiaries.   This need might relate to social isolation, issues around poor physical or mental health, or a lack of skills or confidence.    Having access to sporting facilities or activities is obviously important in ensuring that positive impacts can happen through sport, but we would not regard it as a need in and by itself.

You should be able to identify if there is a particular group of people that you want to work with to address this need.  For example, are there young people within your community who lack skills and confidence, or do you hope to reduce social isolation for older people through your work?

It will help to think about how your work links to other services and activities being delivered; particularly non-sporting ones such as youth services or health and social care services.  We will also want to know if you are working in partnership with other agencies to help deliver your work.

Further Reading

What can you apply for?

The Robertson Trust can fund both capital (including equipment and buildings) and revenue (including project or staff posts).

If you are considering applying for capital costs for a building, you must be able to demonstrate how a new or developed capital facility will enable you to deliver more or better outcomes for the people in your community – beyond participation in sport. You should also have a clear plan for what you will deliver once the facility is open and how you will operate the facility sustainably. In most cases, we will require a business plan which sets this out.

If the application is for revenue and related to a salary, you should demonstrate how the post will support bringing about positive outcomes for the people that are involved, once again, beyond participation in sport.

Further Reading

Evidencing your impact

When planning your application, you should consider how you will capture and evidence the change/benefits to your beneficiaries. Think about what data is appropriate to gather and how you will do this, how you will make sense of it and how you can present it in a meaningful way for your audience(s).  Equally, make sure your plans are realistic – the amount you gather should be proportionate to the size of your project/service or organisation.

Further Reading

For all of the above points, we also recommend checking out our signposting document specifically for organisations using sports and physical activity. This provides a directory of agencies which can provide support around a number of key areas, including mentoring and support, learning and evaluation and organisational development.

Please also free to contact us with our any queries you may have about a current or potential application by emailing funding@therobertsontrust.org.uk or calling 0141 353 7300.