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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.

Minister makes fairer funding commitment to sector

This news post is about 1 year old

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirmed the move on Tuesday.

Scotland’s voluntary sector has welcomed a commitment from the Government in Holyrood to providing fairer funding during this term. 

On Tuesday the Scottish Government published ‘Equality, opportunity, community: New leadership - A fresh start’, outlining the current First Minister’s vision for Scotland and the outcomes he and his government aim to achieve by 2026.

In the section written by Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Shirley-Anne Somerville, the minister committed to have brought forward fairer funding models for the third sector by 2026. 

She wrote: “As the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, working with my Cabinet colleagues,

I commit that by 2026 I will have… progressed Fairer Funding arrangements, including exploring options to implement multi-year funding deals, enabling the third sector to secure the resilience and capacity it needs to support the transformation and delivery of person-centred services for Scotland’s people and support our thriving social enterprise economy.”

The move has been welcomed by those working in the charity and voluntary sector. 

However, those representing the sector warned that this commitment must be turned into a reality, offering to work with the Scottish Government.

SCVO chief executive Anna Fowlie said: “I welcome the Scottish Government’s latest commitment to progress Fairer Funding across its support for the voluntary sector, including the commitment to multi-year funding. Despite similar statements made by previous governments, progress to date has fallen far short of what is required, so I hope this marks a fresh start as promised.  

"Real action is needed for this commitment to materialise. We need to see the Scottish Government take concrete steps to incorporate SCVO’s call for Fair Funding, addressing short-term funding cycles and tackling ingrained operational issues such as delayed decision-making, inconsistent processes, and poor communication. 

"While I appreciate the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to becoming a Fair Work Nation by 2025, it is crucial that funding uplifts are provided across grants and contracts to sustain the public services that voluntary organisations provide, and to ensure that all staff delivering those services receive at least the Real Living Wage.  

"Faced with these funding challenges, the ability of voluntary organisations to deliver essential services across Scotland will continue to suffer, impacting their staff, volunteers, and the people they support. We need a new approach to funding the voluntary sector that is long-term, flexible, sustainable, and accessible. 

"I hope that the latest commitment from the Scottish Government signifies its readiness to play its part in achieving Fair Funding for voluntary organisations across Scotland.”