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Fundraising Fundamentals, Section 7.6


Cultivation of Government and Lottery Funding

In the UK and many countries around the world, universities have traditionally received a significant amount of their funding from government. Development directors should have an understanding of how government (also called statutory) funding works, how their institutions access it and any future forecasts for this funding (which may also affect philanthropic fundraising goals).

From time to time, governments may ring fence additional funds for special initiatives, which universities can bid for. It may be that much of this type of funding is already monitored and bid for by other areas of your institution, such as the research office. However, the development director is in a great position to identify and broker opportunities to work across departmental boundaries and with external contacts, such as philanthropic supporters, to develop or strengthen bids for government funding.

National lottery funding is also a well-established source of income for many charities and some universities in the UK. Many lottery funds welcome applications from education institutions but can place restrictions around eligibility, depending on the status of the institution. For example, the institution may have to be recognised as having ‘exempt charitable status’.

The guidelines for applying for lottery funding are detailed and freely available. Guidelines may vary between different funds and can depend on who is administering the funding. Development directors should be diligent in researching the potential of lottery funding as an income stream and should keep abreast of information regarding new funds that may offer new opportunities.

It is also worth considering partnership approaches to these types of funding. A university or educational institution may be precluded from being a main applicant in a submission for funding, but it could benefit as a partner in a larger application.

Action Items
  • Make sure you have an understanding of how government funding works, how your institutions access it, any future forecasts for this funding and how you can assist with special initiative funding if/when it becomes available.
  • If lottery funding is available in your country, research the guidelines and determine if this funding stream is an appropriate match for your institution.

You Might Also Want to Read:

Partnering with other advancement-related departments
Gift acceptance policies


CASE provides information on government matched funding schemes, as well as resources about government relations, including sample political activity policies.

McCallum describes key performance indicators that lead to giving, and how that informs his institution's cultivation model.