December 1, 2015 : Sandra Hogg

Making a real difference with Funding Scotland

From charities for children to community swimming pools, the service has opened many opportunities

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Ahead of celebrating the first birthday of Funding Scotland we ran a survey to find out how the site had helped its 7000+ users.

One finding that really struck me was in relation to fundraising success.

One third of bids made resulted in funding being received, and more than half were noted as still awaiting a decision.

As we move into our second year, we’ll be working hard to make the site even more effective

One of those successful bidders was Afton Water Leisure Ltd (AWL), a social enterprise which runs the open air pool at Cumnock in Ayrshire.

AWL attracted funding from Foundation Scotland Express Grants. This has made a real difference to what the organisation has been able to offer a range of people in the local community.

The funding helped AWL employ a lifeguard/swimming teacher to deliver an hour long ‘early bird’ session for swimmer’s looking to their ability and general well-being. This took place for four days each week and several ladies attended on a regular basis.

Some of the funding went towards providing a lifesaving teacher who worked with six young people in sessions which included basic first aid over an eight week period.

On top of that, AWL managed to use the funding to buy some additional learn to swim aids, which are a big help during school swimming lessons.

The effects are impressive: New Cumnock Primary School is the only school in East Ayrshire where all pupils P1 to P7 received five learn to swim sessions each.

The open air pool at Cumnock in Ayrshire

Stepping Stones for Families, a charity which works with communities across the north of Glasgow, has seen Funding Scotland become its go-to resource for funding searches.

I was heartening to hear from Garry Donegan, a Resource and Information Officer with the organisation, who said that he considers the site to be a “very comprehensive database of funders” which is also “very timely and will come in most useful for the foreseeable future.”

We’ve also had positive feedback from Andrea Kaszewski, Grants Manager with Children in Scotland, who said:

“Since SCVO launched Funding Scotland earlier this year my team and I have used this free online search engine several times and found it quick, simple and easy to use.

“The search results are provided in seconds in a concise list format and alerted us to a few grant giving organisations (funders) we hadn’t heard of or considered previously.”

It is so satisfying to hear about the real difference that Funding Scotland is making to these charities and the people they support.

As we move into our second year, we’ll be working hard to make the site even more effective for the third sector across the length and breadth of Scotland. Make sure that you sign up with the service and get in on some of the action.

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

by Sandra Hogg