Back to all News

Sporting organisation? What we won’t fund - and what we might!

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.

Back in 2017, we wrote a blog post with advice for sporting organisations interested in applying to our open awards programme.

The fact that this post continues to receive visits daily and remains one of the most viewed blogs on our website highlights the level of interest - which is great! The Robertson Trust has a long-standing track record of funding organisations which use sport and physical activity to bring about change and we are well aware of the positive impact sport can make for individuals and communities. However, it is this idea of change - addressing an identified need  - which is key to submitting a successful application.

The recent launch of our Wee Grants for Wee Groups pilot, which has attracted significant interest from sporting organisations, seems like a good time to remind potential applicants about what we are looking for in applications. This time, as opposed to tips, we thought it may be useful to provide some practical examples of applications we would and would not fund consider funding, perhaps more importantly, the rationale for the decision.

Applications we may fund...

Example 1
A community football club runs its activities from its local community centre, where an older people’s social group also meets. From conversations with volunteers at the older people’s group, the football club knows that there are older men in the community who aren’t getting out of the house much, but who don’t feel comfortable coming along to the older people’s group, as it’s mainly attended by women. The football club applies for a grant to cover the coaching and venue hire costs of providing walking football sessions for local older men, as a way of getting them out to meet with other people, and to help improve their general wellbeing.
Fundable? Yes! The club is using football to address disadvantage i.e. the isolation experienced by local older men, a need which it has identified in its community.
Example 2
An athletics club working in a deprived community knows that there is a problem with anti-social behavior amongst local young people. It applies for a grant to run free, Friday night athletics sessions for young people, to encourage them to move away from anti-social behavior and take part in a more positive activity.
Fundable? Yes! The club is using athletics to address the anti-social behavior it has seen locally amongst young people experiencing disadvantage.
Example 3
A cycling club working in a community with a large Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) population is aware that there are issues with racism locally. It also notices that the BAME community is not reflected in its membership.  From speaking to local BAME people, it finds that they are interested in participating but don’t have or can’t afford to buy their own bikes. They’re also worried they might not be welcome at activities attended mainly by the original local population. The club applies for a Wee Grant to hold a community cycling festival to encourage the two sections of the community to come together; also to purchase some bikes that can be used by anyone coming along to their activities without their own bike.
Fundable? Yes! The club is using cycling as a way of improving community cohesion and ensuring its activities are inclusive for all sections of the community.

Applications we wouldn't fund...

Example 1
A golf club has seen a drop in its membership. It applies for a grant to buy some new equipment and run taster sessions to encourage more people to participate.
Fundable? No. The main focus of the work is to increase participation in golf, not to address disadvantage.
Example 2
A swimming club has noticed that young female members often stop participating at around the time they go to secondary school. It wants to encourage girls to stay in the sport and so it applies for a grant to hold girls only sessions.
Fundable? No. Although the club has identified an issue, the work is focused only on participation amongst girls, rather than focusing on addressing a specific need or disadvantage.
Example 3
A rugby club wishes to send its members on a residential course where they’ll have the opportunity to receive high-quality coaching from ex-professionals. It applies for a grant to cover transport and accommodation costs.
Fundable? No. The residential is about improving performance rather than tackling disadvantage.