November 30, 2015 : Sandra Hogg

Happy first birthday Funding Scotland!

Looking back on a hugely successful year.

fs-1stbirthday-tw

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since we launched Funding Scotland as a new free online funding search. It’s grown up fast but is now past the early teething problems and is happily toddling along as the go to tool for organisations in Scotland looking for funding.

Our aim is to provide a free, high quality, Scotland-focused, funding information. We’re proud to have achieved that.

Since our launch we’ve more than doubled the number of searchable funds and I’m astonished that the rise in registrations to use the site still shows no sign of slowing down. We now have over 7000 registered users, growing at a rate of around 100 per week.

we know that having high quality information is what matters so we work hard to provide daily updates

Our user survey this year yielded some fascinating results and will help us shape the search in the future. Happily, user satisfaction is high with 90% recommending it to others and 83% finding it easy to use.

But importantly, Funding Scotland is leading to funding success. Nearly half of those who used the search applied for funding. One third were successful, while half were still waiting for a decision.

Funding_Scotland_Infographic-Nov15

As a trustee of my local village hall I know that having easy access to funding information is vital to small charities. A third of our users are from small grassroots organisations like mine.

But whatever the size of the organisation, we know that having high quality information is what matters so we work hard to provide daily updates.

Funding Scotland still has some growing up to do though, and we’ll use feedback from our first year and user survey to make things even better for our second year.

Planned improvements include improving the look and feel of the site, simplifying categories and improving the keyword search. We’re also developing a more sophisticated paid-for product to help us sustain Funding Scotland in the future.

Funding Scotland is managed by a small but perfectly formed team (dubbed the funder birds by some!) that includes me, Rhonda McLean, Tracey Bird and Ann Rowe and recently joined by Gemma Wilkie.

But we could not have got where we are without the input and help from Julie Christie at Parkhead CAB and early development work by Harriet Grant.

I’m looking forward to Funding Scotland’s next stage of development. Let’s hope it’s not the terrible twos!

Important: Opinions expressed by bloggers are their own and don't represent those of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

by Sandra Hogg