Many disability organisations have benefited from Lotto funding. We spoke to the National Lottery about how the funding process works.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry’s Rob Davies, there is R1.5 billion available in the current financial year over and above the R3.2 billion already approved and allocated. Between 2000 and the end of March 2011, the total lottery revenue was R15.9 billion and R11 billion has been paid out to good causes. In 2009 it was a slow process with only 11%of funding adjudicated and paid out within three months, in 2011 90% of applications are paid out within three months of adjudication.

How does it work?

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) manages the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) that has been set up according to the Lotteries Act. This Act also requires the Board to report back to Parliament. The licensed operator of the National Lottery, Gidani, transfers funds weekly (34% after VAT) to the NLDTF for allocation.

The Board’s financial year runs from April to March with funds from a particular financial year available for distribution in the following year. There are five broad categories of good causes with charitiescurrently receiving the lion’s share: Charities (45%); Arts, Culture and National Heritage (28%); Sport and Recreation (22%); Miscellaneous Purposes (5%); Reconstruction and Development Programme (0%).

2010 beneficiaries include: The Cerebral Palsy Association (Eastern Cape); The Deaf Community of Cape Town (DCCT); Disabled People South Africa (DPSA); Kungwini Welfare Organisation, Pioneer School fort he Visually Impaired in Worcester and SA National Council for the Blind.

How difficult can it be?

“In 2008 House Otto applied to the NLDTF for fundingand was declined due to us not submitting our Audited Financial Statements(AFS). Because we know the importance of submitting AFS to any organisation, we had submitted them. On appeal the onus was put on us to prove that we had submitted the AFS, but received a letter that we still would not receivefunding as required documents were missing from the original application.

In 2009 we once again submitted an application to theNLDTF and were declined because we had “defaced the application form”. Allapplications made to the NLDTF have to be submitted on their Gazetted PDF form. However, these forms cannot be saved and have to be completed in one sitting. This means that every time changes are made these forms have to be re-completed from scratch.

As quadriplegics, who are not able to complete many pages at one sitting, we were given permission to complete the forms in Wordformat. Subsequently, we were requested to visit the NLDTF offices in Pretoria, where one of their capable officials assisted us in completing the first part of the application in the PDF format. The corrected forms went to the Boardmeeting and once again we were declined because the NLDTF were sticking totheir original decision.

Between 2000 and 2007 the NLDTF granted us total funding in the amount of R1,887,700 for operational expenses, a vehicle, salaries for our staff, monitoring and evaluation, our outreach programs and capacity building workshops and for this we are very grateful.

After attending the 2-day Consultative Indaba we believe the NLDTF has shown that they are willing to listen and are open to suggestions from their beneficiaries and we appreciate this as a first step inthe right direction.”

How to apply

Watch for the call for applications in the press or onthe NLDTF website (there is a link on their website for the next call forapplications) or call the information centre on 0860-065-383. “The next callfor applications is usually after most of the applications from the previouscall have been adjudicated. There is therefore no set time for calls forapplications. We advertise in the major Sunday newspapers and also in regionalnewspapers; also on five African language radio stations; Lottery TV show andon our website,” says Sershan Naidoo, Divisional Manager: Beneficiary and Player Relations and Media Liaison, National Lotteries Board / National LotteryDistribution Trust Fund

When there is a call for applications the forms youneed to submit will be made available for downloaded from the website.According to Naidoo you must use the guidelines provided and submit: a detailedbusiness plan for the project you want funded; a detailed budget for theproject; the project motivation (why your project is important).

Ensure you have the following supporting documents:

Registration certificate as a non-profit organisation/ Section 21 company / public benefit trust / school registered with theDepartment of Education.

Constitution / articles and memorandum of association/ deed of trust.

Most recent annual financial statements signed anddated by a registered accounting officer. Organisations previously allocatedNLDTF funding need to submit one year’s audited financial statements.Organisations not previously allocated NLDTF funding need to submit two years’annual financial statements prepared by an independent accounting officer.

Signed auditor’s report or, for first time applicants,accounting officer’s report.

Applications must be submitted via post or courier or delivered to the NLB offices. No faxes or email applications are accepted. Find out if your application has been received by contacting the Information Centre soon after submitting. Late applications and those outside the advertisedperiod are not accepted.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application once it has been adjudicated. Adjudications are done on afirst-in-first-out basis. If your application is successful, you will receive agrant offer. You have 30 days to accept this by sending back the signed grantagreement and other required information. If you fail to meet this deadline thegrant offer may be withdrawn.

If your application is refused, the relevant Distributing Agency (DA) must explain why. The reason should help you to meetrequirements in future applications. According to Naidoo, DAs meet two to threetimes a month from two to five days at a time. “The time taken per adjudicationis dependent on the ‘size’ of the applications. Requests range from a fewthousand Rand to 10s of millions of Rand. The DAs have to also consider whichaspect of applications they will allocate funds to in a manner that they canspread the funds available amongst all who qualify.”

Once you have been awarded a grant, the documentation is processed by a Grant Officer and forwarded for a compliance check to the Supervisor. Only once this process is complete will it be submitted to the Distributing Agency for approval. The NLB is then in a position to pay.

If you have received previous NLDTF grants you mustensure that progress reports on all of them have been submitted before any new application will be considered.

What’s new?

In June the NLB held a two-day national conference with the non-profit sector. Over 1,500 delegates reviewed the current funding practices and priorities to find ways to ensure that the NLDTF better service the country’s charities.

“Feedback from the Indaba will be presented to the DTI for consideration and implementation of those aspects deemed possible into regulations,” says Naidoo. “The Indaba is a follow up of the 18 roadshows held last year where we explained processes to NGOs. NGOs talked about the challenges experienced in accessing funds.”

Tips for applicants

· Doublecheck your application - Use the checklist on the application form toensure that you have included every document required.

· Early submissions get quicker responses - Start preparing your project motivation, plan and budget before the call for applications.

· Ask for help - Call the Information Centre on 08600 65383.

· Do notuse agents - If you have any difficulties in completing the forms,NLB staff will gladly assist.

· Follow Up– PHONE! PHONE! PHONE! Do not submit and then assume it will go through.Phone the information centre regularly on 0860-065-383 to track yourapplication.