It looks like there has been a significant change in the way the Lottery gives out its money. In the past there were programmes and you applied for one. Now it looks like it is all about who you know. The Media Trust have just won a £1.89 million bid and the Square Mile has recently received £850k . The Lottery has announced this under its People Powered Change Programme . But if you look at the programme, you can only apply for up to £500k from the Reaching Communities Awards and £10k for the Awards For All. So how do these organisations manage to secure £1.89 million and £850k respectively? Is it secret meetings with the Lottery? Going to the right cocktail parties? Is this the future of the Big Society: not about what you do, but about who you know?
People Powered Change says they are keen to support projects that:
- help talented people make their ideas a reality
- allow people to develop and use their skills more
- enable people and groups to work together better
Maybe they should add, ‘Have to be based in London and attend the right events’. Fairness does not seem to matter any more and this is a real shame.
In the past, the Lottery was always a good funder willing to take some risks, but this is one innovation too far: it lacks transparency, lacks integrity and leaves many bewildered. We now seem to live in a world of deals behind closed doors where only the connected will prosper. Is this the true Big Society? Let the Chief Executive of the Lottery know what you think about these issues. You can get him on his Twitter account @PeterWanless