Thursday, 11 January 2007

The Big Olympics Fund

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD the recent fuss over the likelihood of Lottery cash being used to finance the spiralling cost of the 2012 Olympics. The Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund is very cross about this. He fears that the cash he doles out to small charities and community groups will be spent on athletes' villages and high-speed trains. This, he suggests, is nothing short of a scandal.

We agree. The Big Lottery Fund is probably the country's most important funder of small charities, and without it many would go under. Its size (£500 million a year) means it can bankroll new, grassroots projects that aren't big enough to mount sophisticated fundraising drives.

Small charities are invaluable, and they're already suffering under the weight of multi-million pound charity brands (see previous post). Squeezing this vital source of funding will only hurt them more.

6 comments:

Tom Bailey said...

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LMC said...

Goodness me IG people, surely you aren't implying that the BLF is a QUANGO?

IMO, someone should "whistleblow" to the Charity Commission that the trustees are not obeying the BLF's aims and objectives. Oh, sorry, I forgot, the CC is a non-ministerial government department (= QUANGO ...). [sarcasm MODE off]

It is nothing short of outrageous that the Government can unilaterally hijack a grant-maker's funds for its own agenda. Big up to the CEO for making a fuss.

Anna said...

Your whistleblowing idea is not a bad one, lmc. Well, IG, who's gonna do it?!

Dave Pitchford said...

Hmm it's all a bit more complicated than that. From what we understand, the Big Lottery Fund only gives away half of the Lottery's money, and I would hope they will stick to their charitable aims. The Olympic Lottery Distributor is the new kid on the block who gives away some of the other money. The research to be done here probably starts at the National Lottery Act and winds its way through the DCMS. If anyone has the time...

LMC said...

^^^ Wot Dave said.

The lottery of course is *totally* independent of Government. Odd then, that the Government can move the goalposts when it feels like it :(

Paul Webster said...

The e-petition is getting close to 1000 signatures - i'm sure with more expose we can do better so that they realise this campaign isn't going to go away quietly - sign up here http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Defend-funding/

My blog link to your story is part of this post
http://watfordgap.wordpress.com/2007/01/20/theyre-all-taking-the-weee/


Paul