For Communities

Foundation Scotland works with communities to realise the full potential that community benefit funding can bring to an area. We provide support in establishing, managing and distributing community benefit funds, while ensuring that local people have complete control over how funds are used. Our services are free to the community as we ask developers to pay for our involvement, over and above the level of community benefit agreed. However sometimes communities choose to contract Foundation Scotland specifically for one or a number of the services below.

We provide services to communities in the following areas:


The receipt of community benefit will usually requirs a legally constituted body to hold funds and administer payments. One route is to establish a charitable trust or company, with local people serving on a governing board. Foundation Scotland is well placed to provide Secretariat support to such Trusts. We currently support the delivery of three community companies established for this purpose.

We also offer an alternative, called a Foundation Scotland Charitable Trust, which passes the considerable legal, auditing and reporting requirements to the trustees of Foundation Scotland.

The Charitable Trust is established in the name of your local area or wind farm development, and all funds held in the Trust are ring-fenced for your specific community. We will work with a Panel of local people who will guide the strategy and decision making. Funds are held in an interest paying bank account, and regular statements on balances and all uses of the Trust’s funds are shared..

Community Endowment

Some communities wish to set aside a portion of community benefit funds in the form of a charitable endowment. This is a sum of money (capital) that is invested for the longer-term, the annual income of which is used to fund further community activities. Foundation Scotland administers approximately £20 million in endowments for community groups, charities, individuals and companies and can provide a straightforward investment arrangement.

Community Panels

We support communities in establishing local Panels who can then make decisions on funding awards and oversee the implementation of community benefit funding.


Foundation Scotland is a professional grant maker that distributes over £5M a year for a range of clients. We have considerable experience of distributing funding to charities and community groups.

Our grant making services include:

  • Promoting the availability of funding.
  • Receiving, vetting and assessing applications.
  • Providing brief reports for Community Panels to use.
  • Corresponding with all applicants.
  • Agreeing terms of award and arranging payment.
  • Monitoring and following up on funded projects.

As part of the service, we create dedicated pages about your Trust on our website providing relevant information to applicants, including an application form with guidelines to download.

Community Profiling & Action Planning

Foundation Scotland can undertake and publish a social-economic overview of your local area, identifying priorities and opportunities for your community. This information can help local decision-makers to set priorities for the Fund and be used as a basis to attract additional funding from other funders, such as the local authority and Big Lottery Fund. 

We can also assist in the development of local community action plans and fund strategies aimed at helping communities direct their funds for maximum impact.

Community profile example: E.ON Camster.

Developmental Support

Foundation Scotland can help with evaluating current grant-making practice or programmes or the development of new community initiatives and services in your area, particularly where there is no obvious local organisation to take ideas forward. These may relate to local needs or opportunities identified in the Community Profile. Our approach supports and empowers local people to develop their own ideas, providing professional assistance and guidance as and when required.


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