The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland learning support for grantholders

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



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.

More learning

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.

Crisis to Recovery Case Studies – adapting and evaluating during Covid-19

In 2020 Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) supported eight projects affected by the COVID-19 crisis to evaluate and learn about their response to the crisis. The aim of this support was to strengthen their response and their recovery, by improving what they do or guiding future plans and strategies. This work was supported by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Why evaluate? Covid-19 learning

In June 2020 we ran a series of ‘Why Evaluate’ peer-learning web events to help organisations evaluate in challenging times.  The seminar series was supported by The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland, and was part of the Inspiring Impact UK-wide programme.

Check out our infographic that captures learning from the seminar series, as well as mini-case studies from participants in the links below:



How to make sure evaluation is useful and used

ESS Director Steven Marwick talks about learning from a How’s it Going? session with NLCF and The Robertson Trust funders and grantholders.

ESS guest blogs on TNLF website

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

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

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.

Related resources

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