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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Giving by companies can be difficult and time-consuming, and you need to decide your ethical policy before making any approach. Check that a company's business values or practices don't conflict with what your organisation stands for.

Look at the business news and your local and regional press for information on local businesses. Your local Chamber of Commerce can help you find out which companies operate in your area. Research is key in finding out how a company decides who to support. Check if there are any published guidelines on the company's website, or try to make a good match of your project to a company's products and services, or their customers' interests.

Companies can provide support in a variety of different ways:

  • through grant making trusts which channel the company's donations
  • cash donations through local branches and national headquarters
  • Payroll Giving allows employees to have charitable donations deducted from their salary before tax, so the charity gets more, and it costs the donor less
  • matching money raised/donated by employees for your organisation
  • sponsorship of an event, award scheme, project or publication
  • Cause Related Marketing (CRM) where a company's services and products can gain kudos by being associated with your cause. This is usually arranged through PR and advertising agencies, but could be tried on a smaller scale with a local company
  • through buying advertising space in programmes and publications
  • donations of products, e.g. computers, stationery, food products, raffle prizes, discount vouchers. InKind Direct facilitates the donation of unused/surplus goods from businesses to charities and voluntary organisations
  • Provision of facilities and services, e.g. printing, catering, transport, meeting rooms, venues for events
  • Personnel expertise to help with legal, financial, marketing, HR, managerial or planning, either through secondments or volunteers from their workforce
  • Running internal events to raise funds on your behalf e.g. company challenges, marathons, bake sales

The key issue for smaller charities is to be realistic about how company support can benefit you, and how much time and energy you may have to expend for a small return. Start with smaller, local businesses. Personal contact is always the most effective so use your networks to find out who the most relevant person is to contact in the company.

If you get support make sure your obligations are clear, on reporting requirements and whether you have to show the company's logo, etc. Don't forget to thank the company, and report back on the difference the donation has made. Send them your annual report and continue to nurture the relationship!

Last modified on 19 August 2022
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