Make:IT:Happen Fund FAQs

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Why can’t I see how to apply?

The Make:IT:Happen funds are currently closed. Check back in early 2014 for the next round of opportunities!

Can I apply to more than one Make:IT:Happen Fund area at a time?
You can only apply to one Make:IT:Happen fund during each application period. However, you can apply to the other Make:IT:Happen funds, or can re-apply to the same category if not successful, in subsequent application periods

If I have previously received funds from one area of the Make:IT:Happen Fund, can I apply again to another area?
Yes. You can strengthen your application by showing how you will build on the strategic impacts gained from previous Make:IT:Happen investment.

Can I reapply to same area of the Make:IT:Happen Fund if I was not successful the first time?
Yes. However, please do not resubmit the same application.  You will likely need to rethink your approach and make changes to your application even if you submit an application for the same/similar project.

Can I reapply to another area of the Make:IT:Happen Fund if I have already made an unsuccessful application?
Yes (however, see questions above for same criteria applying!)

Can individuals apply?
If they apply in partnership with an organisation (please see Guidance)

What happens if my partner/or other funder in the project pulls out of the project?  Can I find another partner/funder?
AmbITion Scotland will help as much as possible in the unlikely event that this situation occurs.  Each case will need to be assessed on a case by case basis. These situations are unlikely but not unheard of.  Please see the AmbITion Scotland case study What To Do When Things Go Wrong for how one organisation dealt with such a situation.

My business isn’t currently a non-profit but I’m interested in learning more about setting up as a charity or social enterprise.  Where can I go?
Not for profit Scottish arts, cultural or heritage organisations are welcome to apply to the Make:IT:Happen fund.  If you are interested in learning more about setting up as a charity in Scotland, OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator) publish a range of useful resources.  We recommend Setting up a Charity in Scotland as a good place to start.  If you are interested in learning more about social enterprises, try exploring the Cultural Enterprise Office’s useful FAQ.  Other resources are available from Firstport, an organisation offering support and funding for people setting up social enterprises in Scotland.

Can the money be used to fund a new or temporary staff member to carry out the digital development work?
The AmbITion Scotland programme is committed to organisational development from within.  We would prefer to support further training for staff members to gain the skills and embed them in the core team.  Digital development should be undertaken as part of core organisational development as it can and will touch so many different areas of the organisation.

When will I receive the funding if I am successful?
Once the contracts are signed and in place we will advance the main budget retaining a proportion until the final reporting elements are received.

Will I have to use an AmbITion Scotland  advisor if I apply for the AmbITion Approach fund?
Yes. AmbITion Scotland has brokered relationships with a pool of external specialist advisors who are experienced in supporting organisations through a process of change and the use of digital technologies. Applicants will be matched with an advisor in consultation with the AmbITion Scotland team. The final choice will rest with the organisation.

Is the deadline really on a Sunday?
Yes. We know we won’t be reviewing the applications until Monday, so we set the deadline to Sunday. Please keep in mind, however, that the team do not work over the weekends.  If you leave it until the last moment to set up a user account or find that you are having a technical problems using the online application facility, we will not be available to help until Monday.  If you have a question about how best to approach the application please make sure you get in touch with one of the team during the working week.

How should I deal with VAT in regards to a Make:IT:Happen fund application or award?
All planned expenses in a Make:IT:Happen fund application should take account of VAT (i.e be gross figures). The AmbITion Scotland team recognise that some organisations can recover their VAT while others are not able to do so, either in full or in part. As this will be specific to each individual organisation, we rely on the applicant organisations to take full account of and responsibility for this when planning for the expenditure and potential recovery of VAT. Doing so demonstrates robust and pragmatic financial planning.

Why are the AmbITion Approach Funds, Organisational Development Funds and Sustainable AmbITion judged by a panel whist the Digital Content Development Fund is judged by a peer review process?
AmbITion Scotland’s commitment to peer review extends to the panel make up.  The pool of panellists includes participants from the 2009-11 round of AmbITion Scotland activity.  The peer review system is a new model of funding and we are testing its application on one area of the fund.  Additionally, some of the other funding areas call for more specialised knowledge to assessing applicant’s potential to succeed.  Some funding areas that are focused on business operations might contain confidential information which may not be appropriate for more open voting.

How will the peer review process work and why has AmbITion Scotland decided to judge applications to the Digital Content Development Fund using this method?
AmbITion Scotland believes that the members of the cultural and heritage sectors have a collective experience to share and accordingly invites them into the decision making process.The Peer Review process is a new way of making decisions about disbursing funds for AmbITion Scotland; we will be learning from this pilot scheme and sharing our findings. We believe it is a positive learning opportunity which will engage participants more deeply & build equity in the application process.
The model is also resonant with the principles of open innovation, which broadly hold that exposure to and influence from ideas that originate both inside and outside an organisation can promote greater innovation and benefit the multiple players involved in the sharing.  More info from: See also AmbITion Scotland’s webinar on Open Innovation presented in partnership with the Festivals Innovation Lab.

Do you know of anyone else who does something similar to the peer review process?
AmbITion Scotland colleague Kevin Harrison of Artlink Central has participated in similar systems in his work. He explains some of the value to him was a huge amount of learning and that “only through sharing could we trigger some of the possible collaborations”.In the United Kingdom, some local governments have experimented with a model of Participatory Budgeting.  Learn more at The BIG Lottery has also experimented with popular voting. In the United States, The Case Foundation have been researching participatory giving since 2007 through their Make It Your Own Awards and America’s Giving Challenge.  This work has taken full advantage of the power of digital tools to involve large numbers of people.A model of peer review has been used in academic publication and funding for generations and is in practice around the world.  The practice and guidance for the Make:IT:Happen Fund peer review system was made in reference to the best practice published by the European Science Foundation European Peer Review Guide (2011).

What if my idea for the Digital Content Development Fund is confidential or contains trade secrets which I don’t want to share with a peer review panel?
The Make:IT:Happen Fund is committed to an ethic of openness and transparency.  The Digital Content Development Fund is designed in this spirit.  The Make:IT:Happen Fund will require that information acquired while participating in the peer review panel be treated as confidential.  In addition, applications will be anonymised before they are shared.  If however you feel that you are not willing to submit information to a peer review process we recommend applying to one of the other funding streams.

I’m happy to be involved in the peer review process but what do I do if I feel I don’t necessarily have the expertise to judge a particular digital content development application?
No one knows everything about new technologies! We think, though, that if you’ve been thinking about and researching the possibilities of digital development for yourself that you will be able to bring that information to bear on your peers’ ideas.  If something really sparks your imagination it may be worth learning more about it.  That’s the positive thing about the process – the opportunity to learn from others and being inspired!

Participating in the peer review process seems quite time intensive.  Why should I give up my time to take part in it?
AmbITion Scotland respects that everyone has very limited time.  We have devised our application form to be as short (both to complete and to read) and purposeful as possible.  We have also devised the assessment criteria to include only the most essential and relevant criteria to support the decision-making process.  The peer review process was designed to build equity in the funding process, demonstrate the range of excellent projects undertaken in the sector and make the process of disbursing funds more open and transparent.AmbITion Scotland intends that participating in the peer review process will help applicants understand why investment allocations were made as they will have been exposed to the full range and quality of competing proposals.  Our aim is that it will spark people’s imagination and interest in greater collaboration. Moreover, peer review is the first step in the process which also includes involvement in the online AmbITion Scotland Ex:change Marketplace.

I’d like to apply to the Digital Content Development Programme but I’m concerned about the demand on my time from the peer review process. Could you give me an idea of how many applications I may be expected to peer review?
We expect that applications will be divided up into groups of between 6 – 10 applications.  In the event of a two tiered process of assessment, only those organisations that are still in the running will be asked to continue reviewing applications.  We respect that there are tremendous pressures on everyone’s time.  AmbITion Scotland has intentionally kept the application form short and sharp so that you will only be reading (and submitting) the most essential information.  Similarly the assessment forms are targeted and designed to be very straightforward to use.

Are there plans to extend the Make:IT:Happen Fund after 2013?
Not at this time. AmbITion Scotland is a two-year fixed term project and the final projects to receive funding from the Make:IT:Happen Fund will need to report by 28 February 2014

Who do I go to for help in the application process?
If you have any questions about Ambition Scotland or the Make:IT: Happen fund you can contact the AmbITion Scotland team – Ashley Smith Hammond, AmbITion Scotland Project Manager: [email protected] and/or Ela Zych-Watson, AmbITion Scotland Project Administrator: [email protected] on 0141 248 6864.

Do you have a process for reviewing funding decisions?
AmbITion Scotland considers the content of all Make:IT:Happen fund applications carefully, and ensures that application procedures are followed correctly. On request we can review our procedures in relation to your application to give you some assurance that the decision was reached appropriately. Please appreciate that we have limited funds to allocate and the panel’s decision-making is based on making awards to the strongest applications. That said, in specific cases it may possible to review the substance of a decision made by the Make:IT:Happen fund panel. Have a conversation with Ashley Smith Hammond, AmbITion Scotland Project Manager if you would like more information about this 0141 248 6864.