How does sportsmatch funding work?

Sportsmatch can match, pound for pound, commercial business sponsorship or funding from trusts / private donors (up to a maximum of three) for a sporting project that aims to increase participation and/or improve performance at grassroots level. Your project may be a revenue scheme or, in limited cases, a capital project. Sponsorship may be in cash or in-kind. In order to gain matched funding from Sportsmatch, a joint application that fits in with our criteria should be made by you and your sponsor.

What is the difference between capital and revenue projects?

Capital projects may be eligible if the total cost is £10,000 or under (e.g. outdoor basketball nets, kwik cricket surfaces etc). Sportsmatch cannot form part of a capital Lottery bid or be used for items not relating directly to sport participation (e.g., ground extensions, resurfacing, new stands or building works of any kind). The majority of successful Sportsmatch applications are revenue schemes (e.g. coaching schemes, tournaments, festivals, setting up a new team/league, facility hire – basically anything that will increase participation or improve skills at the grassroots level).

Applications which cover more than one sport are also eligible.

What do you mean by grassroots?

Grassroots participation includes beginners and novices, i.e. those that are new to the sport or who wish to improve basic skills. Schemes that benefit young people, disability groups, black and minority ethnic groups and/or women and girls will be given particularly favourable consideration. Those who do not qualify for matched funding include individual sportsmen and women, county and national standard participants.


What’s the minimum and maximum award?

The minimum award is £1,000 and the maximum is £50,000. If you are a school the minimum award is £500 (the maximum is still £50,000). This is to encourage schools who find it difficult to sell themselves to a commercial sponsor to get matched funding.

The minimum partnership funding of £1,000 (or £500) must come from one eligible source – a number of businesses / Trusts / Individuals cannot club together to make up the minimum sponsorship.


How does the Panel decide?

The Panel will ask the following key questions about your application:

  • Will the sponsored event/activity increase participation and improve standards at the grassroots?
  • Is the partnership funding eligible?
  • Is it new money?
  • Is it a new event or additional event/activity?
  • Does it fall within a priority group?
  • Has Sportsmatch been an incentive to the sponsor?
  • Will Sportsmatch funding allow the event to take place or significantly enhance it?
  • Is the organising body non-profit?
  • Is proper credit and publicity planned for the Sportsmatch award?


Can I get funding for more than one year?

Sportsmatch can co-fund individual projects for a maximum of three years, but our funding will be graduated downwards by 50% each year. Thus in the first year of a three year project we can match the total sum invested by the sponsor; in the second year we can match 50% of the sponsor’s original investment; and in the third year we can match 25% of the original investment. This is because Sportsmatch funding is aimed at helping start schemes, and after a three year funding period it is hoped most schemes will be self financing.

An application must be made each year for matched funding and each application will be considered on its individual merit and in the light of funds available. Your scheme will also be assessed on the previous year’s success, so it is imperative you gain good publicity and exposure for each year of your sponsorship.

If you wish to apply for three year funding, a sponsorship agreement must be signed in the first year to say you and your sponsor will be coming back for matched funding in the second and third years.

Please note that there are no guarantees, even if the first year of a multiple year project is funded, that a second and / or third year of a scheme will receive an award.


Who do I contact with an application?

If you have a query on an application, please contact the regional Scheme Manager for your area. The regional Scheme Manager will be able to advise if your project will qualify and, if it doesn’t, how you may be able to shape a new application.

David Kennedy   08458 508 508
Bhavisha Mistry   08458 508 508
Kevin Thompson   08458 508 508
Kathy O’Neill   08458 508 508

top of page

What do you consider ineligible?

For details of the sorts of projects we will not fund, click here.

Overall, there are a number of reasons why your application may not be eligible, such as your sponsor does not qualify, the participation is too elitist for Sportsmatch, your project has already begun, or the application is to match sponsorship funding aimed at the general running and administration costs of the organising body.

If you are unsure, read the rules thoroughly or contact a Scheme Manager before filling out your application.

What kind of publicity do Sportsmatch expect?

The publicity expected for Sportsmatch and your sponsor depends on the size of your award. However, no matter how small the award there should be a level of publicity generated. Title sponsorship, branding on kit and equipment, cheque ceremonies, press releases, photo calls, radio/TV interviews, logo on literature are just a few examples of gaining exposure for your sponsor and Sportsmatch.

We generally expect no more than 10% of the matched package to be spent on publicity and promotion, although your sponsor may wish to put additional funds in for this. Banners, presentation cheques, posters and a guide on how to get exposure for your event/activity are available from Sportsmatch through your Scheme Manager.

Close Menu