Apply for funding through the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) | Western Cape Government

Apply for funding through the National Lotteries Commission (NLC)

The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) considers non-profit organisations, non-profit companies, public benefit trusts, municipalities and educational institutions who apply for funding.

National Lotteries Commission funding

teacher-and-kids-paintingThe NLC is a body that was formed in 1998 and started funding in 2000 in terms of the Lotteries Amendment Act (Act of 57 of 1997). The NLC also regulates the National Lottery, other lotteries and society lotteries. The body is a prominent funding agency of non-profit organisations that help develop our society.

The NLC generates its funding and operational budget from the proceeds of the National Lottery. Each week, the licensed operator transfers 27% of tickets sales to the NLC for operations and distribution to good causes.

The Western Cape has access to a minimum of 5% of funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and these grants are made to registered non-profit organisations involved in sport and recreation, arts, culture and national heritage and social welfare initiatives and programmes. Community health and literacy are but 2 focus areas in the charities sector.

There are 3 committees that consider applications namely:

  • Charities
  • Arts, culture and national heritage
  • Sport and recreation

The committees are called “distributing agencies”. The members are appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industry to assist in awarding funding to deserving non-profit organisations. They’re selected in their areas of expertise to consider applications. 

How to apply

A call for applications is usually made through different media platforms. It's important that you read the guidelines carefully and ensure that all the required information is submitted. If you’re applying for the first time, download or obtain an application form from a NLC office.

Note: If you’re not a first-time applicant download an application from and you’ll need to have the following documents ready:

Application documents

A prescribed application form which changes from time to time. As an applicant you need to use the most current version at the time of applying.

Project motivation, plan and budget

Submit a document that explains the importance of the initiatives your organisation is trying to achieve. Also submit a detailed budget and a business plan of the project you are applying for. 

You'll need to submit the following:

  • A certified copy of registration certificate as a non-profit organisation, non-profit company, public benefit trust, or school registered with the Department of Education.
  • The organisation’s constitution, articles and memorandum of association, or deed of trust.
  • The most recent annual financial statements, signed and dated by a registered accounting officer.
  • At least 2 years’ annual financial statements signed by an independent accounting officer if your organisation hasn’t previously received National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) funding.
  • Annual financial statements for one year, if your organisation previously received funding from NLDTF.

Additional documents:

  • Where an application is related to the development or renovation of a heritage site, you must submit approval from the relevant provincial or national authority.
  • Where an application includes the building or upgrading of infrastructure, you must provide proof of ownership of the land and/or building or proof of a lease agreement.
  • Where an application involves the purchase of assets or equipment, quotations must be provided for these items.
  • In addition, you should try and get your application in as early as possible once a call for applications is issued.

If your organisation falls under one of the following sectors, then you can apply:

1. Charities

This sector gives attention to many social development initiatives and social services which start from healthcare, early childhood development, adult basic literacy and social services in our communities. These would be organisations such as homes for orphanages, homes for the elderly or centres for people with special needs.

The amount of money which is allocated for this sector is 47%. The charities distributing agency has a responsibility to allocate 50% of the available funds to organisations which serve the following activities:

  • Expanding home-based care services through training and developing infrastructure for the care of old people, sick people, and vulnerable groups, including orphaned children.
  • Providing educational facilities for early childhood education and adult literacy programmes, as well as initiatives on vocational training and mentoring for skills development that include disabled people.

2. Arts, Culture and National Heritage

This sector acknowledges the work done in the following activities:

  • Protection and promotion of traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.
  • Promotion of arts and crafts produced by groups of women and disabled people.
  • Development and preserving cultural heritage sites as way to generate revenue and develop communities.

Currently 22% of the total pool of NLDTF money available must be donated to the arts, culture, theatre, fine art, music, dance and national heritage. 

Mom and nurse

3. Sport and Recreation

28% of NLDTF funds can be used for sport and recreation development. This ranges from sport at district level to international participation by the national team as well as individual federations. The NLDTF also has contributed to upgrading and developing sports facilities in underserved areas and underprivileged schools. 


NLC grants are categorised as follows:

Small grants: R1- R500 000
Medium Grants: R500 001 - R5 000 000
Large grants: In excess of R 5 000 000
To get more information about the application, general enquiries and general overview of the funding process you can also go the NLCSA website.

The content on this page was last updated on 12 October 2015