Funding Support

For all third sector groups, funding is becoming increasingly hard to source with applications taking up time and resources that could be spent on delivering your services. We can help share the workload by:

  • Identifying potential sources of funding
  • Working with you to submit a comprehensive funding application, including writing sections of the form for you*
  • Advising on monitoring and evaluation systems to report back to funders
  • Helping with project planning and writing business plans
  • Reviewing the structure of your group including governance for financial strength

* Please note: Voluntary Action Orkney will not complete your funding application in its entirety – you know your organisation/project better than us. We also cannot guarantee success with securing funding but, with our experienced staff and knowledge of the third sector, we will work with you to improve your chances.

Repsol Sinopec and Liam McArthur, MSP, Small Grants Scheme



Small Grants Scheme 

also incorporating Liam McArthur awards

Voluntary Action Orkney (VAO) is grateful to Repsol Sinopec for their donation which the VAO Board has decided to disburse as grants in order to support the work of small, community groups. VAO is also grateful to Liam McArthur, MSP, for his continuing donations which have been added to the Repsol Sinpec donation to increase the amount available.

Grants are offered to voluntary and community groups through the Small Grants Scheme, administered by VAO Board of Directors. Groups with charitable objectives (excepting party political groups), are eligible to apply for a grant of up to £500 maximum for a project to help their community.

The VAO Board of Directors will consider all applications and decide which projects will benefit. Their decision will be final.

Recipients of grants must claim the total sum awarded within twelve months of allocation. To claim the grant, VAO will require proof of expenditure, either a receipted invoice or an invoice to be paid. Grants will not be paid retrospectively.

Application forms are avilable by contacting:

Voluntary Action Orkney,
Anchor Buildings
6 Bridge Street,
Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1HR
Tel: (01856) 872897

Please click on the links for an information leaflet and here for an application form


Deadline: Completed forms must be returned by 17th March 2017.

Your Island Your Choice Inter-Island Fund

A unique and Exciting funding opportunity for projects across the non-linked islands.

VAO has been awarded funding from the Community Choices Fund, with contributions from community planning partners, to deliver the Your Island Your Choice small grants participatory budgeting programme where island residents decide for themselves which project should receive funding.
Who can apply?
• Any community/voluntary group, even informal groups, can apply for funding from £200 to £6,000
• You don’t have to come from an existing group or constituted organisation to apply for funds but all the activities have to happen in more than one non-linked island to benefit their communities
• Your ideas need to meet one of the identified key themes:

  • Positive Ageing
  • Health and Sustainable Communities
  • Vibrant Economic Environment

• Your project must benefit as many people as possible
• Your project must help make the isles a better place for everyone (excludes Orkney mainland and the linked islands)
• Large or small, single or collaborative projects welcome

How to Apply?

If your idea fits in with one of the identified themes please complete and submit the application form to Voluntary Action Orkney, who may contact you for additional information.

If the application meets the criteria then island representatives will vote for their favourite projects at an event to be held in Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall on 25th March 2017. At that event you will be required to do a short 2 to 3 minute presentation about your project/activity and the difference it will make to island communities.

You can download the application form here 

Or if you prefer please contact Meghan or the Admin team to request an application pack.

Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity Opens for First Round of 2017

The Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity has relaunched for 2017. After a strategic review, the charity has now adopted a themed approach for each funding round.

There will now be two funding rounds per year with applications invited in February and September.

To be eligible, projects must address the theme set out by the charity:

  • Raising the Next Generation projects should focus on children, youth, and families. Applications will be accepted from 1 February 2017 to 3 March 2017.
  • Life Changing Transitions projects should focus on bereavement, redundancy, retirement, relationship breakdown, homelessness, offenders and resettlement. Applications will be accepted from 1 September 2017 to 29 September 2017.

Most grants will be for less than £5,000.

Small to medium-sized non-profit organisations with a constitution can apply. This includes UK registered charities, community interest companies, social enterprises and credit unions.

To be eligible, applicants should have an annual income of less than £500,000 and have unrestricted reserves that are less than six months of their running costs.

The MSE Charity will consider full project cost recovery, but costs must only relate to the project itself and not the organisation's core funding.

The Raising the Next Generation grant round is open from 1 February until 3 March 2017 but will close as soon as 40 applications are accepted.

The Scottish Government’s new two year £18.9 million Aspiring Communities Fund is currently inviting applications for the first funding round

There are two stages that organisations should consider applying for, and we intend to run several funding rounds for both stages. This challenge Fund is being delivered by Social Justice and Regeneration Division, with the Scottish Government as Lead Partner for the 2014-2020 European Social Fund (ESF) Programme.

The Fund will help enable community bodies and third sector organisations in our most deprived and fragile communities to develop and deliver long-term local solutions that address local priorities and needs, increase active inclusion and build on the assets of local communities to reduce poverty and to enable inclusive growth.  Successful projects will put communities first by involving local people in the process and support the aims of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan to change deep seated, multi-generational deprivation, poverty and inequalities.  Through this fund we will explore partnership approaches between statutory bodies and local communities with a shared interest in exploring new and sustainable ways of working to improve local outcomes. 

The fund will contribute to the achievement of the Scottish ESF Operational Programme targets for:

  • Community based or community services supported
  • New childcare places available
  • Deprived or fragile communities supported

and Aspiring Communities Fund targets for:

  • Increase in earned turnover of supported organisations
  • New or improved community owned assets (capital for acquisition from other non ESF sources).

What It Will Fund

The aim of this funding is to strengthen and empower communities, increase levels of economic activity, stimulate inclusive growth, local service provision and inclusion by:

  • Enabling communities to design and establish new or enhanced services addressing poverty and inequalities;
  • Supporting staff posts within community organisations to increase levels of economic activity, local service provision and inclusion, and enhance community resilience.
  • Accelerating the implementation of projects and services delivering longer lasting solutions that empower individuals and communities to shape their futures by involving local people in the process.

Empowering communities can be achieved by:

  • delivering on community-led solutions that tackle priorities that matter most to communities,  or
  • for more vulnerable and harder to reach groups, through local interventions that act as a catalyst for engagement and offer opportunities and pathways for social and community integration.

Following a flat rate cost model, the Fund will contribute to direct staff costs and indirect costs associated with delivery of approved Structural Funds activity.

The Fund supports new or enhanced activity only, and cannot be used for activities previously or currently funded under any other ESF funding programmes.

For more information please contact Meghan here at VAO 

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