Digital Campaign Funding - Tranche 2

Digital Campaign Funding - Tranche 2

Applications for this funding stream are now closed.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund's Digital Campaign is currently in development, launching in early 2020. The initiative will have a number of workstreams - or tranches - each with the aim of growing digital skills in the heritage sector.

One of these workstreams, Tranche 2, makes grants available to organisations or partnerships that can support small heritage organisations to increase their digital skills. (Other workstreams in our Digital Campaign will be announced at later dates).   

The total available funding under this tranche is £250,000, across all grants. We anticipate making only a small number of grants (we will even consider single applications asking for the whole £250,000). However many grants we make, one key consideration will be that small heritage organisations right across the UK can benefit.  

Earlier in 2019 we ran an extensive discovery process to design the Digital Campaign, and then carried out two public briefings on the tranches that came out of it. This tranche has been shaped by many contributions from across the sector. 

How the process works 

  1. Read the Application Guidance £10,000 to £250,000 carefully to find additional criteria to help with your application.  
  2. Review the key documents below including the £10,000 to £250,000 application guidance and application help notes. 
  3. Submit a full application via our online application portal by noon on 18 November 2019.

Who can apply 

You can apply if you are:

  • a not-for-profit organisation  
  • a partnership led by a not-for-profit organisation  

What we are looking for

We are looking for organisations and partnerships with the right skills to help smaller heritage organisations to grow their own digital skills and confidence. We’re also looking for evidence that applicants have helped people and organisations to become more digitally confident. Successful applicants must use the funding provided to supply support that is available free of charge to heritage organisations.   

We are looking for applications that clearly explain how you will provide this support. Our ambition is to grow the number of smaller heritage organisations in the UK that have the skills required to make use of digital technologies when those skills are helpful and appropriate. 

We are not specifying in advance how applicants should offer their digital skills development support to heritage organisations. We are not requiring that skills development support must be delivered in a particular type or number of classes, via a helpline, face-to-face mentoring or any particular method or channel. This flexibility is to encourage applicants to bring their own experience and ideas to the table about how smaller, less digitally confident heritage organisations can best receive support in growing their own digital skills. 

There are a few key important factors that applicants will need to be aware of:


Once the grants are fully rolled out, it is important that a heritage organisation in any part of the UK is able to access digital skills development support. This means that if an applicant’s reach covers, for example, only Scotland, then we would need to make a further grant award to one or more organisation(s) to cover other parts of the UK. We welcome applications that cover only part(s) of the UK, but bidders should be aware that these will necessarily become part of a network of wider coverage.  


We expect that applications will reflect the fact that meeting face-to-face is easier in some parts of the country than others, and that you will suggest different approaches to teaching and learning depending on location and the practicalities of travel. 


The National Lottery Heritage Fund will from time to time refer heritage organisations to the successful applicants. The organisations that will be referred will often have very low digital skills and confidence, and they will be looking for assistance to grow their digital skills from a low base. Nationwide we expect this number of referrals to total at least 60, over a period of 6-12 months. Successful applicants must be in a position to respond to these referrals, and to assist the organisations referred.

This support does not have to be delivered through 1:1 mentoring; we will accept applications that will take referred organisations and make them part of wider groups or skills development initiatives.  


As well as offering digital skills development to organisations referred by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, applicants should explain how they will successfully market their free-to-use support to heritage organisations. 


We expect all applicants to describe what kind of support they will deliver, how often and for what duration, in their applications. We do not require or expect an exact schedule, but we do require a summary of types and amounts of activity. 


We require that applicants supply skills development support over a period of 12 months.  However, we are aware that it may not be possible to offer full support straight away, and we are happy to accept applications that include a ramp-up period prior to the start of the 12 months, where only a lower or limited level of support will be on offer. The maximum project length for these projects will be two years to include achieving permission to start, ramp up, delivery of the 12 months training, and evaluation.  


We expect that applicants will take steps to measure the skills progress of organisations that they help, but we do not expect a detailed description of this in applications. We will have detailed conversations with successful applicants to ensure that measurement of progress is, to some extent, standardised for comparability across projects. 

Audience data skills

We expect applicants to suggest which skills mix they plan to offer to beneficiary organisations, and we do not require a list of specific skills to be taught. We do, however, have one exception: where possible, applicants should deliver at least some education or training on the use of audience data by heritage organisations. This should not, however, dominate the skills development offered. 

Plan your financial contribution

If you are applying for between £100,000 and £250,000 you’ll need to contribute at least 5% of your project costs. We describe this contribution as ‘partnership funding’ and it doesn’t all have to be in the form of cash. Please see our application guidance for more details. 

How to apply 

In order to apply, visit our application portal and register an account. From the pull-down menu please select £10,000-£250,000. Then choose 'Start full application'. Please note there is no specific ‘Digital Campaign’ application form. 

  • Please insert the hashtag #Digital2 at the start of your project title, to help us correctly identify your application.  

  • In question 1, you do not have to give evidence of need or demand, as the Fund has identified this independently. 

  • You do not need to answer questions 1k and 2a - please put ‘NA’. For question 2b please select 'other'. 

  • The full list of valid programme outcomes can be found here. Please note that applications that do not state they will meet the mandatory outcome cannot be considered for funding. There is no obligation to name more than one outcome, and we encourage you not to claim more outcomes than you really think you can deliver. 

The deadline for full applications is noon on 18 November 2019.  

When we assess your full application, we will consider the following:  

  • your track-record and experience of helping individuals and organisations to grow their digital skills, especially from a low base
  • how strongly your project will achieve the mandatory outcome  
  • the coherence, quality and deliverability of your plans
  • your ability to help organisations with diverse needs in diverse locations  
  • the overall amount of support you plan to offer  
  • your willingness to work in collaboration with other organisations.  
  • overall value for money

Applications will be considered by an internal panel convened especially for this awarding process. 

If your bid is successful, we reserve the right to offer you a different amount than you have asked for to ensure UK-wide coverage from a range of bidders. We would discuss this in principle with you in advance of the decision-making panel. 

Key dates  

  • The deadline for full applications is noon on 18 November 2019. 
  • The Digital Campaign assessment panel will take place on 5 December 2019.  
  • Applicants will be notified by 16 December 2019. 

Documents to help you apply