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The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland learning support for grantholders

National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland learning support for grantholders is run by Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) on behalf of The National Lottery Community Fund in Scotland from November 2017 to 2020

Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) is delivering free learning and self-evaluation support to a range of National Lottery Community Fund grantholders in Scotland from November 2017 to 2020.

What difference will this support make to me as a National Lottery Community Fund grantholder?

Learning and self-evaluation will help you tell the story of your impact to funders and help you improve and deliver even better work.

Grantholders will be better able to:

  • self-evaluate their work
  • use learning to improve delivery
  • demonstrate the difference they are making and
  • share their learning with others.

What support is on offer?

Grantholders can take up a range of support such as:

1-1 tailored support:

This is a face to face meeting tailored to grantholder specific needs such as: 

  • identifying and creating evaluation methods and tools that fit your work
  • making sense of feedback and data for learning and reports
  • embedding evaluation and involving the people you work with.

Let’s Evaluate! workshops

There are three workshops that grantholders can attend (one, two or all three) of the following workshops:

 Getting Started

  • clarifying the difference you want to make and what you need to evaluate 

Make to Measure

  • choosing the right evaluation methods and tools and developing a plan

Telling My Story

  • analysing data collected, using analysis for learning and reporting.

Online resources


Making it stick - embedding evaluation in your organisation - 1st October 2018 

Fit for purpose evaluation - 18th December 2018

Getting Ready for Reporting - 4th March 2019

Stats and Stories - 8th August 2019 

Help! I've got stuck with my evaluation - 18 November 2019

Our next webinar 'Mapping Outcomes' is on Monday 2 March 2020. 

Sorry, the webinar is currently full, but it will be recorded and posted on our website after the event. 


Workbooks cover the key information given at workshops and include exercises to work through. These can be used in addition to attending a workshop or instead of workshops. 

You can also access our resources here including method sheets and tools and our evaluation support guides.

Additional support, resources, and case studies will be developed in the future including:

  • webinars to share tools, approaches and learning 
  • peer learning and specialist events
  • new sections on the website will include emerging tools, methods, blogs and case studies, including in relation to the Big Lottery Fund’s three approaches.

Topics and dates will be developed in response to emerging grantholder needs. Keep in touch through this page.


How to get support?

If you are interested in accessing learning support please contact your Funding Officer at The National Community Lottery Fund Scotland. All support is free of charge to the grantholder. Once a referral has been made, the ESS team will discuss your support needs with you and agree how best to meet them.

Learning and self-evaluation support is not mandatory but is an opportunity to learn more about how your organisation and the service you deliver is working.


Involving young people in evaluation

Why bother involving people in evaluation - beyond feedback?BLF Why bother? workshop

Involving young people in evaluation

ESS is working with the National Lottery Community Fund to provide learning and self-evaluation support to their grantholders in Scotland. More information ...


Martin Cawley, Scotland Director, Big Lottery Fund - Why learning from others is important

In the video below Martin Cawley, Scotland Director, Big Lottery Fund, talks about the importance of providing opportunities for grantholders to learn from each other.


More learning

Messages from The National Lottery Community Fund grantholders 

Messages fro grantholdersIn February 2019 five grantholders came together with ESS and the Community Fund to share their evaluation successes and learning.  In October 2019 NLCF and The Robertson Trust grantholders joined with ESS at a similar event. Their top tips for other grantholders are in this short slide show here.




How to make sure evaluation is useful and used - Steven Marwick, shares some favourite ways to make evaluaiton useful

How do I know my evaluation is good enough? - ESS Director Steven Marwick provides helpful tips for grantholders who are worried about getting their evaluation 'right'

Involving young people to lead on evaluation Nicola Swan, ESS Evaluation Support Manager, writes about encouraging young people to get involved - or even take charge - of evaluation

Developing evaluation culture in your organisation - a challenge worth taking on!- Louise Bowen, Knowledge and Networks Officer at Evaluation Support Scotland gives tips on how to get people on board with evaluation

Funders really DON’T just want numbers – honest! - Nicola Swan, ESS Evaluation Support Manager, talks about what funders really want to be told from funded organisations reporting on their work

Facing the fear of evaluation - Martha Lester-Cribb, ESS Senior Evaluation Support Manager, shares her top tips for making self-evaluation less scary


Related Resources

ESS support guide

ESS Support Guide 4b Reflective practice

Includes suggestions of ways to prompt your reflective practice and tools to get you thinking in a systematic way in ...


Stats and stories webinar

Webinar: Stats and stories took place on Thursday 8th August 2019 (re:recorded on Monday 12th August)


Creating an evaluation plan

In this less than 2 minute video Nicola Swan, ESS's Evaluation Support Manager talks about how to create an evaluation ...

Case study

Case study: Adapting project outcomes if things don't initially work out

In this case study CHANGES Community Health Project talk about how their learning throughout their project helped them to improve ...

Case study

Case study: Doing something different to feedback to our funders

This case study shows how funders that are flexible with their reporting requirements help funded organisations tell their story.

Case study

Case study: Clear communication and constructive feedback

This case study is an example of how funders can support funded organisations during the application stage and reporting.


Choosing the right evaluation methods

Shona Wells, ESS Training Officer talks about what to consider when choosing an evaluation method that is right for you ...


Working out what to measure: Setting indicators

Grace Robertson, Training Officer at Evaluation Support Scotland talks through what to measure and setting indicators in less than one ...


How to write an outcome

Shona Wells, Training Officer talks you through writing an outcome in one minute!


What is an indicator?

Grace Robertson, Training Officer at Evaluation Support Scotland explains indicators in less than one minute!


What is an outcome?

Listen to Shona Wells, Training Officer explain what is an outcome, in one minute!


Young people taking the lead on evaluation

Young people taking the lead on evaluation - Key messages from 11th April 2019

Why bother involving people in evaluation? – Beyond feedback

This workbook can help you plan why, when and how to involve the people you work with in evaluation.


Making it stick webinar

Webinar: Making it stick - embedding evaluation in your organisation took place on Monday 1st October 2018 at 10am.


Getting Ready to Report - webinar

Webinar: Getting Ready to report took place on 4th March 2019


Fit for purpose webinar

Webinar: Fit for purpose evaluation took place on 18 December 2018

Evaluation method

Using case records

Using case records method sheet shows you how to make use of the information you collect during everyday practice to ...


Help! I've got stuck with my evaluation!

Webinar: Help! I've got stuck with my evaluation took place on 18th November 2019

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