“In the last five years, BIG has been able to broaden their horizons and become the leading grant allocation body – managing money on behalf of other bodies. The grant management system by Logica has played a big part in this evolution. Some of the innovations developed by Logica, such as system support for decision making, have been labelled as world leading.” Miranda Collett Head of Data Management, Big Lottery Fund
About Big Lottery Fund (BIG)
BIG is the largest distributor of National Lottery money to good causes in the United Kingdom.
Its mission is to bring real improvements to communities and lives of people most in need. The organisation does this by using money raised by The National Lottery to fund projects for health, education, environmental and charitable purposes.
What Big Lottery Fund Needed
BIG reaches into the heart of communities in the UK and helps those most in need - in the form
VCS organisations that count on BIG to award grants are increasing in number. In 2007, BIG
decided to strengthen the grant management process. They wanted to do this in a way that would not only handle increasing volumes of applicants but also cope with the distribution of funds and changing business environment - without making major alterations to existing applications. The solution needed to be easy-touse, resilient and effective in terms of cost and changing functionality.
Logica designed, built and implemented the Merlin Suite - now the established portal for BIG. It’s the primary business tool used by BIG’s grants officers and managers, and aids other departments like finance, particularly in reporting and payment of grants. Users benefit by rapid
access to the system, the ability to self-configure workflow for funding programmes and resilience through hosting the system across two sites.
Users can access the application with the help of duplicated server farms located at different
physical sites. They need to simply click on another link from the start menu. This enhances robustness in the event of outages.
A success story
Now, five years later, BIG has every reason to be satisfied with the way the grant management
process has been re-engineered and ironed out.
To put it simply, people from various departments of BIG now rely on the system instead of using lists. For example, the finance department can define and manage the distribution of grant money to successful applicants using the payments functionality provided by us. Grants officers can provide data about applications to help decide who is to be awarded money. Managers can easily access a range of reporting features - both pre-defined and ad-hoc - through a separate application for enquiries.
What makes this possible is a reliable process that has proved to be extremely useful in coping with change, cost-effective, resilient and is timetested.