Great Idea - funding FAQs

A little extra information on who we fund, and why

With the implementation of the 'Great Idea' expression of interest, we thought we'd explain a little more about the people and projects that we award money to and why they receive that investment.

If your question is not answered please feel free to email or call us on 0345 8508 508.

What is our strategy what are our five strategic outcomes?

Our vision is that everyone, regardless of their age, background or level of ability, feels able to engage in sport and physical activity. Some will be young, fit and talented, but most will not be.

We want everyone to feel welcome, to find something in sport and physical activity that meets their needs and for the sector to value them as customers.

We’re not simply working to increase the number of people taking part in sport and physical activity – at the heart of our investment and resource is the wider benefits being active can bring.

Every investment we make will focus on at least one of five outcomes from the Government’s Sporting Future strategy, putting not just what we invest, but why we invest, at the heart of our work.

Sport and physical activity has the power to do so much. It can, for example, help prevent or manage medical conditions, reduce anxiety, stress or depression, improve a person’s confidence or self-esteem, or bring people from diverse backgrounds together.

These benefits have been grouped into five key areas.

Click on the links below to find out about each one, read what the evidence is, and see how you can design a project that achieves these wider benefits:

Sport and activity have the power to transform people’s wellbeing and to create a fitter, healthier and happier nation.

It is these outcomes that will define who we fund, what we fund and where our priorities lie in future.

Can Sport England help me?

Your idea is important to us – if it is a good fit we will try to help you.

We’ve been listening to our customers and we recognise the pressure and substantial amount of time it takes in completing a grant application form especially if you are a volunteer.

We are determined to improve this experience and ease some of the frustration and burden that you may experience.

We have reviewed our processes and have designed a quick, easy and basic form for you to give us some information in respect to your idea.

Please note this is not a funding application but an opportunity for us to find out whether we are able to support your idea by reviewing it against our priorities and outcomes and respond to you quickly, saving you a lot of time and stress.

We are genuinely looking for great ideas that can help us deliver our strategic outcomes and priorities but we will also advise whether a project is suitable to be considered through one of our investment programmes such as Small Grants or the Community Asset Fund.

There are a number of misconceptions about who and what we fund. We fund a whole range of organisation types, including:

  • Small voluntary sports clubs such as archery clubs, judo and cricket clubs
  • Charities
  • Public sector organisations
  • Youth clubs
  • Women’s groups
  • Disability organisations
  • Friends of parks
  • Housing associations

In fact, by changing the way we operate we are actively encouraging organisations who we have never worked with before to come forward with their ideas.

If you are unsure, please feel free to give us a call on 03458 508508 where one of our friendly advisors will be on hand to help you.

What are Sport England looking for?

We are looking for great ideas that will strongly align with our outcomes and priorities. You may not have worked with us previously, there’s no harm in having a conversation, there’s no commitment on either side.  

Ideally the projects should be able to do one of these:

  • Deliver one of our FIVE outcomes – mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, individual development, social and community cohesion, economic development  
  • Align with our priorities – we are specifically looking for projects that target inactivity, have the power to change behaviours and/or target under-represented groups such as women, BAME, disabled or lower socio-economic groups
  • Are demand led with a greater focus on the customer experience at the heart of it
  • Reduce the cost of delivery
  • Be innovative – we are looking for projects that can really think creatively to address the challenges we face
  • Be scalable – maybe your project could start small and we may support it to find if it could be replicated on a larger scale
  • Have the potential to disrupt the market in a positive way and make a substantial difference (like our ‘This Girl Can’ campaign)
  • Come from organisations we have not previously worked with – you may have access to new audiences of people who want to get active but don’t know where to start

If you are unsure, please feel free to give us a call on 03458 508508 where one of our friendly advisors will be on hand to help you.

What could my project include?

We will consider most ideas, from walking and rugby to climbing and archery.

We fund a whole range of sports and projects – 155 different sports to be exact.

We fund revenue projects – which include things like staffing costs, training, coaching costs, basic equipment, marketing etc - these projects may be eligible for funding from our Small Grants.

We also fund capital projects – ranging from equipment purchases, through to refurbishments or brand new facilities - these projects may be eligible for funding from our Community Asset Fund.

If you are unsure, please feel free to give us a call on 03458 508508 where one of our friendly advisors will be on hand to help you.