This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Foundations gave more in response to covid

This news post is about 1 year old

Figures show the biggest foundations bolstered voluntary action

New research shows 57% of the country’s top 300 foundations increased their grant-making in 2020–21 in real-terms as a response to the covid pandemic.

Total grants from the top 300 rose from £3.27bn to £3.7bn in this period.

The Association of Charitable Foundations undertook the research.

The 300 organisations in the study represent 90% of all charitable foundations and are responsible for about 40% of all grant-making each year, the researchers say.

The grants included £430m which was spent directly and indirectly on the Covid-19 crisis, including for scientific research, paying for protective equipment and to help people adjust to lockdown.

But the paper also warns: “Despite the evidence of an increase in levels of grant-making, some programmes had to be paused, redirected or repurposed towards Covid relief. 

“In the ‘new normal’ foundations face a number of tough choices and may feel that the charity sector is relying on them to be a consistent, independent and flexible partner when other forms of emergency funding dry up.”

Carol Mack, chief executive of ACF, said: “This year’s research shows how foundations stepped up during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“They increased their spend on grant-making, making over £430m in Covid-related grants to charities from 2019-21. 

“Simultaneously foundations responded by adapting their grant-making practices, collaborating with other funders, pooling funds and flexing their grant-making, all while keeping their own costs stable.”