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

We are able to help you to identify funding sources and to provide support with your funding application. If you would like to receive further information please contact VAO by email here or telephone 01856 872897

Malcolm Scott Voluntary Action Orkneys Community Development Worker has created a funding receipe that should help you with your funding applications. Available to view here 

funding recipe

Another great way to see what funding is available is to visit Funding Scotland website:

Funding Scotland lists funders with a track record of supporting projects in Scotland. It includes grants, loans, prizes and other support. It is a valuable resource for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations of all shapes and sizes. It does not include funding opportunities for individuals or businesses.

Please click here to visit their website.

Applying for funding - The ultimate guide from the big lottery click here

 For full details on funding opportunities please see the links below, these are listed in the Month they will be closing.

Current Funding Opportunities


Closing Date June 2020 

We’ve launched our Independent Age Grants Fund to help smaller organisations across the UK support older people most affected by COVID-19.  I would be very grateful if this information could be shared in your regular newsletters, or funding-specific newsletter if you have one.

Closing Date July 2020

New training grant – the Council (through Business Gateway) is piloting a new training grant, which will cover up to 90% of training costs, up to a maximum of £1,000.  Further information on the grant is available by clicking here.


No Closing Date

Small Grant Scheme

The Foundation understands that charities are now operating within very different circumstances since the March 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.  We are keen to be as flexible as can be in our support of small charities during this difficult and constantly changing ongoing period, while maintaining a focus on those who can demonstrate a clear (usually local) need for their services and financial viability over the twelve months from the date of their application.

Community Capacity Building Fund

Small grants from this fund are being offered to communities/community groups in association Voluntary Action Orkney and the Orkney Partnership’s Living Well Delivery Group.

The National Lottery Community Fund (Scotland) – Community Led Activity

Funding to support communities to bring real improvements to the places they live and the wellbeing of those in need. They will fund organisations to deliver work that achieves the following outcomes: Everyone in the community has the opportunity to influence and get involved in community led activity; people in the community are better connected and work together to improve their wellbeing. The National Lottery Community Fund is the new name for the Big Lottery. Full details available here

Tampon Tax Community Fund for Women and Girls Opens Shortly

The Tampon Tax Community Fund will be delivered locally across the UK through a partnership between the UK Community Foundations and its local Community Foundation members.

National Lottery Awards for all offers funding to support what matter to people and communities

This fund has a relatively high success rate and can help your organisation deliver projects, acquire equipment, or try something new. National Lottery Awards for All has three funding priorities and you must be able to tell us in your application how your project or activity will:

  • bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage

BBC Children in Need

Awards grants each year to organisations supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund Accepting Applications

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, run by the Museums Association, funds projects which develop collections to achieve social impact

Woodward Charitable Trust Accepting Applications for Main Grants 

UK registered charities with an annual turnover of less than £300,000 can apply now for funding for one-off projects that address the Trust’s current priorities.

Small Grants to Support Capital Improvements for UK Theatres 

This capital fund awards grants of up to £5,000 to theatres across the UK run by charities and not-for-profit groups that can clearly demonstrate the value capital improvements to their theatres would make to their work in local communities.

New small grants fund: The Family Recovery Initiative Fund (FRIF)

Corra Foundation, in conjunction with partners the Scottish Government Substance Misuse Unit and Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD) have launched a new small grants fund to support families affected by alcohol or drugs.

Funding for young people to take part in their communities.

ILF (Independent Living Fund) Scotland has opened an exciting new fund (totalling £5 million per year) for young people who need support in Scotland.

New small grants fund: The Family Recovery Initiative Fund (FRIF) 

Corra Foundation, in conjunction with partners the Scottish Government Substance Misuse Unit and Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD) have launched a new small grants fund to support families affected by alcohol or drugs. 

New Names for Lottery Funders

The  Big Lottery Fund, the UK’s largest community funder - which distributes 40% of the good cause money raised by National Lottery players - will now be called The National Lottery Community Fund.

Big Changes at the Heritage Lottery Fund

A fresh new identity and name – from Heritage Lottery Fund to The National Lottery Heritage Fund – is designed to thank National Lottery players and help people better understand the difference they make when they buy a ticket.

More than £3 million available for charities and good causes

Local charities and good causes are being encouraged to apply for funding of over £3 million that has been raised by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery

Community Development and Capacity Building Fund

Small grants from this fund are offered to communities/community groups in association with the Partnership’s Living Well Delivery Group. The funding is available to support the establishment and/or development of new and innovative activities in local communities that will help to keep people with long term health conditions, including older people, active and socially engaged. 

£0.6M funding for short breaks projects for carers & the people they care for: APPLY NOW

This funding is for third sector (voluntary organisations) operating in Scotland. You do not have to be a registered charity to apply. However, your organisation must have a constitution that states your organisation’s purposes are solely charitable and that it delivers public benefit in achieving its purpose(s). 

Circular Economy Investment Fund

We are investing £18 million as grant funding to small and medium sized enterprises who are helping to create a more circular economy.  The Circular Economy Investment Fund is a funding opportunity for businesses and organisations in Scotland working in all business and social economy sectors.

Nationwide Commumity Funding

Community Funding  available from Nationwide 



The MSE Charity - Grants OpenYouth Scotland Rural Action FundGrants to Protect Biodiversity and EcosystemsThe Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation – revised strategy updatePrinciples for Positive Partnership

View all here



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