One of Scotland's most important foundations has revealed the staggering impact Covid-19 has on demand for grants
Demand for funding in Scotland doubled as a result of Covid-19, one of Scotland’s most important grant makers has revealed.
Foundation Scotland has noted a significant increase in the number of funding applications submitted in the last six months compared to the same period last year.
Since the start of the crisis, the Scottish funder has received almost the same number of applications as it received in the whole of the last financial year. The number of charities and community groups receiving funding across all the charity’s funding programmes has grown by a staggering 92%.
The community foundation was quick to respond to the impending crisis. Its Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund launched at the end of March and was the first source of community funding to open as the coronavirus pandemic hit the country. Working in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust (NET), £3.6 million has been awarded to the sector in Scotland so far. This sizable new source of funding has to date enabled over 900 organisations to deliver key services to over one million people throughout the crisis across the length and breadth of the country.
Foundation Scotland distributes charitable funds on behalf of over 400 individuals, families, companies, public bodies and charitable trusts including this key partnership with NET. The foundation manages over 120 funding programmes and has distributed £100m to the third sector since its launch in 1996.
Helen Wray, programme manager at Foundation Scotland, said: “We could see the impact that Covid was going to have and we knew we needed to move extremely quickly so that we could continue to deliver reliable financial support to groups delivering essential services across the country. Fortunately, our partnership with NET meant we were able to respond immediately and could open and offer new funding opportunities. At the same time, we have kept all of our other important funding streams open as normal. We are working relentlessly to get support to where it is needed most through this challenging time. Since April this year, we have assessed the same volume of applications as we did through the entirety of 2019.
“We appreciate that funding is becoming harder to secure and demand for essential services is often higher than ever before. So we are delighted that due to an increase in funding from NET, we are able to continue to offer these essential awards to allow groups to apply for support where they need it most. We are however encouraging groups to apply as soon as they can.”
The Foundation Scotland Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund continues to offer grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to constituted community groups and registered charities. The fund is currently in its ‘recovery’ phase supporting organisations to plan ahead, to continue their operations in the ‘new normal’, re-establish or re-design their activities to comply with new regulations. Examples of projects include those needing support to restart face to face services, counselling groups helping those experiencing mental health issues, bereavement and domestic abuse support services and organisations needing to increase hygiene policies to safely reopen.
Foundation Scotland is eager to distribute funds quickly to communities in need and is appealing to eligible groups to apply quickly as they respond and recover from the crisis.