The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is part of a £350m support package for the sector as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
TSRF supports charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises across the third sector who are at risk of closure due to a sharp decrease in income or that are unable to deliver their services during this difficult period. The fund will distribute over £20m of emergency funds during the coming months.
TSRF is specifically targeted at charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and other third sector organisations that are based in Scotland and/or primarily delivering services/activities in Scottish communities, but that find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The funding’s primary intention is to help these organisations to stabilise and manage cashflow over this difficult period.
TSRF is delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and Corra Foundation and provides grants up to £75,000. In addition, there is a further £5m available in fully flexible, 0% interest loans starting at £50,000.
- (Grants) Up to £15,000 are supported by Corra Foundation
- (Grants) £15,000 – £75,000 are supported by Firstport
- (Loans) £50,000 – £250,000 are supported by Social Investment Scotland
For all grant requests of £50,000 or above, a loan (incorporated organisations only), a grant or a mix of grant and loan funding will be considered and recommended where appropriate. This approach helps ensure that vital funds benefit the maximum number of organisations possible.
In such cases that organisations are assessed as potential loan awardees, they will be directed to work with a member of the Social Investment Scotland team to progress the loan portion of their application. Where blended finance is recommended, the loan element can start at £25,000.
The response to the Coronavirus pandemic is a fluid situation and a number of emergency funds and support schemes have become available to organisations struggling during this time. We expect interested applicants to have spoken to their current funders to discuss how existing funding can be used during this period, as well as considered whether other UK Government or Scottish Government COVID19 emergency schemes are more suitable. We strongly encourage you to assess all the schemes available to your organisation and only apply to the Third Sector Resilience Fund if this is the most appropriate for your individual circumstances.
If you are unsure, you might find it helpful to speak to your treasurer, a business advisor or the person who usually helps you with the organisation’s finances. You can also access support through the Just Enterprise programme.
Step one: Applicants should complete the eligibility checker, which will determine whether their organisation meets the criteria for funding. The checker will also ask about the level of support required in order to connect you to the appropriate next stage in the process.
Step two: If the organisation is eligible, applicants will be asked to complete a brief application form. This will ask for more details about the organisation structure and size, and the additional financial challenges expected as a result of the pandemic. In the application form you will be asked about your current financial position including cashflow, restricted funding and reserves. It will be important that you have this information available. You will also be asked to provide supporting documents – your most recent annual accounts and bank statement(s). Please note that if your accounts show high levels of reserves, we cannot consider your application unless you can explain why you are unable to tap into these.
Grant application forms will also ask applicants to provide bank details to enable payments to be made as quickly as possible. We will use the uploaded copy of your most recent bank statement to verify these details.
Please note that if you are applying for a grant of £50,000 or above, or a loan, you may be asked for some of the following in addition to the documentation mentioned above:
- Last two years of Annual Accounts
- Management Accounts (covering the period from when the last set of Annual Accounts ended)
- Cash Flow Forecast (including assumptions)
- Four month Income/Expenditure calculation
- Business Continuity Plan (The Scottish Government has produced a useful checklist of what a BCP should include, you can find it here. While we are not looking for a lengthy, in-depth document, we want to confirm that your organisation is taking the necessary steps to prepare for and mitigate the potential disruption).
If your organisation is asked to provide these documents and not able to do so, or need some help to put these together, one to one support is available through the Just Enterprise programme.
In some circumstances we may need to contact you to discuss your application so please ensure the contact details you provide are for someone who is able to do this.
Step three: You will receive an automatic email acknowledging receipt of your application. We aim to assess all applications within 10 working days, and issue a decision as soon as possible.
Step four: You will receive an email advising you of the decision. If you are successful, the payments will be made direct to the bank account given in the application form.
Due to the nature of this support, if you are successful you will not be expected to spend valuable time and resources on lengthy reporting.
At a later date, depending on the level of funding an organisation has accessed, Firstport, Social Investment Scotland or Corra Foundation will be in touch to request brief updates on how the organisation is doing. Confirmation will be sought that your organisation is still in operation and you may be asked for specific details such as number of staff in employment or monthly income levels.