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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.

Scottish Government funding of voluntary organisations: a case study of voluntary sector intermediaries

This case study is part of a series of work undertaken by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) looking into the funding situation of Scottish voluntary organisations. In this paper, we draw upon the experiences of voluntary sector intermediaries to shine a light on how the Scottish Government directly funds voluntary organisations, including the processes it adopts and how it interacts with those that receive funding. 

The interviews held with intermediaries to inform this case study highlighted several recurring themes on the challenges that voluntary sector organisations encounter in their funding relationships with the Scottish Government, including funding that is disseminated by Non-Departmental Public Bodies and other organisations on behalf of the Scottish Government. The case study concludes that a convincing response to these challenges from the Scottish Government and those responsible for disseminating funds would include:

  • Adopting timely processes for funding decision making and payment of funds
  • Providing written documentation for effective and consistent communication
  • Offering real multi-year funding falling between at least 3-5 years with uplifts
  • Providing an inflationary uplift to ensure that organisations and their staff can meet rising costs
  • Providing meaningful core costs to help to build services and support income generation
  • Being transparent around funding to organisations and from government
  • Offering flexible unrestricted funding to support changing need and gaps
  • Modernising approaches to monitoring and reporting to capture real success
  • Building consistent and accessible applications and fund information to help with planning
  • Establishing visible relationships and partnership from senior civil servants who have power.

Read the full report:

Last modified on 16 April 2024