If you don’t have the time (or the desire!) to read this blog in its entirety – just read this: we are looking for voluntary organisations who are expecting funding from the Scottish Government in the forthcoming financial year to take part in a quick and easy monthly survey for six months. To get involved, contact details can be found at the bottom.
If you do have time to read the whole blog – here’s a bit more on why we’re doing it:
At SCVO, we’ve been working hard over the last couple of years to build our Fair Funding asks in response to what the sector has told us. We’ve also been putting a lot of time and effort into taking those asks to parliament. A result of that has been the Scottish Government’s commitment to Fairer Funding by 2026 and, although that remains largely undefined at present, some additional commitments have filtered out since.
One of those commitments relates to funding notifications. We know that timely decision making, and subsequent issuing of funds, is crucial to ensuring no organisation is disadvantaged by the funding process. When decisions and notifications are delayed, organisations are plunged into uncertainty which can have hugely negative impacts on their ability to deliver services, retain staff, and plan ahead. And so, as part of our Fair Funding package, we have been asking the Scottish Government to ensure funding decisions are issued no later than December and funds paid no later than the start of the tax year in April.
We were encouraged, then, when Colin Smyth MSP submitted a written question at parliament at the end of November, asking “what action it is taking to ensure that its funding decisions regarding support for the voluntary sector are issued no later than December, and that any funds are paid no later than the start of the tax year in April”. The fact that we had not had prior contact with Colin would suggest that our Fair Funding calls, with the support of sector organisations echoing those calls, are very much landing with MSPs.
But even more encouraging was the Scottish Government’s response. “We understand that organisations need timely grant decisions and payments in order to reduce financial uncertainty and effectively resource delivery,” the Cabinet Secretary said. “In line with the commitment given by the First Minister, we are working, within the context of the Scottish Budget process, to issue notifications of funding arrangements to third sector organisations, as soon as is practicably possible and no later than end of March for funding beginning on 1 April.”
With that in mind, we are keen to track the experiences of voluntary organisations who expect to receive funding from the Scottish Government this coming financial year. We’re looking to build a group of such organisations to participate in a monthly survey, beginning in a few weeks and running for six months. The survey itself will be quick and easy to complete, the results gathered will be kept entirely anonymous, and your participation will allow us to document the journeys of organisations between February and July this year in terms of the relevant correspondence and notifications they are receiving from the Scottish Government.
In July, we will then hopefully be able to congratulate the Scottish Government on realising this commitment on timely notifications. Alternatively, if that is not the case, we will have the statistics that will allow us to hold the Scottish Government to account and to demand that Fairer Funding genuinely does incorporate this and many other of our Fair Funding asks in future.
If your organisation is awaiting notification from the Scottish Government on funding for the forthcoming financial year and you'd like to participate in this series of surveys, or you would like a little more information, please get in touch with Jason Henderson at: email@example.com.