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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.

Holyrood opens inquiry into third sector funding


What can be done to make the process more efficient?

Charities and funders have been urged to take part in a new Scottish Parliament inquiry aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the public funding process.

Holyrood’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee has launched a consultation on third sector funding and wants to understand what can be done to make the process more efficient, so available funding can be used more effectively.

The committee’s findings will be shared with the Scottish Government in advance of its next budget.

Scotland’s third sector faces significant challenges due to increasing demand and wider economic issues, as has been shown through the work of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations’ (SCVO) Third Sector Tracker.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a surge in demand for charity services and support. Furthermore, the impact of the cost of living crisis on household budgets has resulted in individuals and families seeking help when they did not need it before.

Additionally, due to the price rises associated with inflation, third sector organisations are having to spending more on their running costs.

Over recent years the committee has heard that third sector organisations need access to longer term funding, unrestricted core funding and accessible and consistent approaches to funding applications and reporting.

Now the committee would like to collate views from the third sector and its funders so that it can examine the public funding landscape and make recommendations to the Scottish Government.

Collette Stevenson MSP, convener of the Social Justice and Social Security Committee, said: “We have heard third sector organisations’ concerns about the challenges they face with an increased demand for their services offset against a backdrop of greater pressure on their funding.

“With a significant amount of the third sector’s funding coming from contracts and grants issued by local authorities, the Scottish Government and other statutory funders, we would like to understand what public bodies could do to ensure their processes and funding are fair and efficient."

Kirsten Hogg, head of policy and research at SCVO, welcomed the inquiry, saying: “Voluntary organisations have long called for changes to the funding landscape, as encompassed in the fair funding principles which SCVO developed with the sector. 

“Having secured commitments from government and other funders to take steps towards a fairer funding environment, we must now see those turned into actions, and we are grateful that the committee’s inquiry will hear from voluntary organisations about the extent to which this is the case.”

The consultation is now open. Third sector organisations and their funders can view the questions in the consultation and respond here:



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23 days ago

Yet another attempt to avoid taking action by 'consulting' instead of acting. The problems are well known and well described already. While the Government dithers good charities will go to the wall.