The National Lottery raises money directly from the public, which is then distributed to a variety of good causes through organisations known as Lottery Distributors. There are six of these operating in England:
Each of these distributes very large amounts of funding and often run several different funding schemes at a time.
Who can apply? Most Lottery schemes are open to voluntary and community organisations, but each one has its own particular rules. Looking for a small grant? There are simplified grant schemes such as Awards for All which make it quicker and easier to apply if you only want small amounts of funding.
Public Money. Lottery funding is public money and is therefore accountable to the Government and ultimately the tax payer. This means that Lottery Distributors ask that you keep quite detailed records of activities and expenditure.
Ethical considerations. Lottery funding is the proceeds of gambling, so it is important to consider (and find out) if there any objections to using it. It is particularly important that this issue is discussed with your management committee.