Help for applicants
Completing a funding application might feel a little daunting but remember, it's time well spent. Thousands of organisations across Scotland receive grants and social investment through us every year.
We want to make the process as easy as possible; we want to help. Read through our advice, follow our top tips, and you’ll get off to the best start.
If you're a social enterprise looking for help and advice regarding investment opportunities, please visit the Social Investment page.
Before you start
- Please checked if you’re eligible for funding. Your organisation and your project/activity need to fit our standard eligibility criteria. The fund page might also have a few criteria too.
- Do you have a clear idea about the project or activity needing support?
- Why is it needed, and how does it fit with your work as a group?
- Do you know the difference you hope it will make within the community you serve?
- Is your application for a building or renovation? Or is the funding to help with an energy-saving initiative? Please check if you're required to use Zero Waste Scotland's Energy Efficiency Business Support Service. Find out more here.
- Do you know what it’s going to cost? Depending on the value of goods or services, you may need to obtain three quotes for any work required for your project or undertake a tendering process. See our Evidencing value for money page to learn more.
- Have you involved your Board or Committee?
- We require you to demonstrate that your annual accounts are subject to an independent inspection. Visit our independent inspection of your accounts page for details.
- And finally, there are a few things we cannot fund. Please check this too!
Get ready to apply
If you’re confident you’ve got everything covered, then let’s get started. You can apply for most of our funds online. Just use the application link on the fund page to register then you’ll receive a unique link to your online application form by email. Don’t worry if you can’t finish it in one go; you can save your work and return to it later.
If an offline form is available, you’ll see this on the fund page as a download. Offline forms will need to be emailed to us once you’re finished. Either way, just make sure you complete all the required fields and remember to attach all the necessary supporting documents. And make sure you meet the application deadline!
Get in touch with us if you have questions about a fund you’re applying for or if you’re experiencing difficulties with the form. If you need help completing a grant application or need additional support, contact your local Third Sector Interface.
What happens next?
If you’ve applied online, you’ll receive an automated confirmation email within a few minutes of submission (if you don’t receive one, check your spam/junk folder just in case). The confirmation email will also include a copy of your completed application for your records.
Your application will then be assessed before a decision’s made on funding. For more detail on this process, visit How funding decisions are made. The timescale for decisions is often listed on the fund page.
If your plans change or you no longer need a grant, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.
If your application is successful, we’ll be in touch as soon as we can. We’ll email you a grant offer detailing what your grant is for, the amount, and any terms and conditions specific to your award. We’ll also let you know when we expect you to have spent your grant, and the feedback we are looking for.
Once you’ve received and accepted your offer, we’ll transfer your money by BACS if all conditions have been met. For some funds, the grant will be paid in instalments rather than a single payment.
Sharing your news
If you've received some funding through Foundation Scotland, please don't keep this a secret!
We actively encourage all of our grantees to publicise their award. You can celebrate your work, update your community on what it means for them, and give our fund donors the recognition they deserve.
We're here to help you with this. Follow the link for some top tips and access to branding you can use.
If you’re not successful, we’ll provide you with some feedback. Under some funds, you may be able to re-apply. Please note that we do not operate an appeals process for unsuccessful applications.
At all times we recommend that you keep an eye out for other funds you may be eligible for here. You can also follow us on social media and sign up to receive our email newsletters for all the latest fund news. For information on other sources of funding in Scotland, we recommend visiting the Funding Scotland website and speaking to your local Third Sector Interface.
Yes, provided the branch is autonomous from the parent organisation with its own bank account, management committee and annual accounts.
This depends on which fund you are applying to. Please check the fund page for more details on this.
Usually, you’ll be expected to spend your grant within 12 months of receipt. Please refer to the conditions of your grant when you accepted.
For some of our funds you can, but there’s no hard and fast rule about how successful a repeat application may be. In some instances, if your project is regarded as critical, it may be funded multiple times. In other cases, and where there’s high competition for available funds, your second application may be treated as a lower priority.
No, you don't need to be a registered charity to apply. However, you must have charitable aims. Occasionally a fund might specifically state they only wish to fund registered charities; this would be noted in the criteria on that fund page.
What information must I provide to show that the costs I am requesting a grant for are realistic and value for money?
When reviewing your grant application, we need to check that any costs you’ve requested represent value for money, whatever the location of the project or applicant group. We also expect applicants to follow good practices concerning managing conflicts of interest when sourcing services or goods. To find out more please visit Evidencing value for money