Women’s Fund for Scotland – Grant Guidelines
Please read the detailed information on this page.
Key Information and Dates:
Grant Size: Up to £5,000
Area: All of Scotland
Fund open for applications: 9th October 2023
Deadline for applications: 16 November 2023
Decisions to applicants: 19 February 2024
Amount available £100,000
How to apply: This fund is now open for applications. To access the form, please click on the link here. Applicants will have until midnight on deadline day to submit an application.
Our grant making services are provided by Foundation Scotland see our page on their website here
You can download a PDF version of these guidelines here: Women’s Fund for Scotland Grant making guidelines 2022
About our Funding
The Women’s Fund for Scotland aims to promote systemic change in Scotland to empower women, and to help overcome the multiple disadvantages and discriminatory practices that females experience throughout their lives.
Our vision is of a Scotland in which women participate equally at all levels of society, free from any barriers to full and equal engagement in political, institutional, economic, and cultural life, including freedom from the fear of abuse and sex-based violence.
To date we have made almost 1,000 grants, to over 640 groups with a value of £3 million.
All members of the community benefit from the investment made in women and girls 12+
Purpose of our funding
We are aiming to develop a sustainable network of grass roots organisations throughout Scotland which are supporting women and girls to achievements in line with our investment themes. To this end our grant programme in 2022/23 will offer unrestricted grants to sustain existing work with women and girls or to support new work in line with our investment themes and priorities.
Applications must be from eligible organisations, clearly relate to at least one Investment Theme and address at least one of our Funding Priorities.
Applications should demonstrate how they fit into one or more of our key investment themes of:
- Building skills and confidence
- Improving health and well-being
- Growing social connections
- Moving on from abuse
- Developing leadership and innovation
- Combatting poverty and building financial resilience
Our Funding Priorities
All applications will be considered according to these funding priorities. Applications which most clearly fit one or more of these will be prioritised. They are:
- Women’s organisations, especially those run by and for women
- Community-based organisations running projects with women and girls
- Projects supporting disadvantaged women and girls
- Empowering women and making a tangible difference to their lives
- Supporting women to escape and recover from domestic or sexual abuse
- Using our limited resources for maximum long-term impact and improving organisational sustainability
- To support the Scottish Government’s wider strategic objectives
- To ensure so far as possible Scotland-wide distribution of funds.
Organisations who have a proven track record of working with women and girls can apply for an unrestricted grant of up to £5,000.
For those organisations who choose to apply for project specific funding, please be reminded that you cannot submit a request for less than 25% of your total project cost. This means that your overall project budget cannot exceed £20,000.00.
Applicants should give 3 SMART objectives relating to their work with women and girls. These objectives should relate to our investment themes and will form the basis for monitoring at the end of the grant. Priority will be given to organisations who can demonstrate previous achievements from their work and who have plans for longer term sustainability.
What size of grant will we give?
We will award grants up to a maximum of £5000
Who can apply?
Any properly constituted non-profit organisation which meets our criteria may apply, including charities, social enterprises, and unincorporated organisations.
Organisations with an annual turnover of more than £500,000 are not eligible for funding. Please note that if we are oversubscribed, we will give priority consideration to organisations with an annual turnover not greater than £300,000
Further details of the eligibility criteria are given below. Please read them carefully as they will form part of any assessment of your application.
All applicants must fit our grant making partner Foundation Scotland’s funding criteria. Before progressing your application please visit their Common eligibility criteria
What we can’t fund
We try to be as flexible as possible to encourage innovation, however, we do not fund:
- Uniformed, political, or religious organisations except where they are running a project which would otherwise be eligible, and which does not promote any religion or a political purpose. (For example, a project promoting women’s participation in the political process may be eligible where it is for women of all political persuasions.)
- Organisations with an annual turnover of greater than £500,000 are not eligible for funding
- Organisations that pay less than the living wage of £10.90 per hour (2022)
- Projects primarily targeted at girls under the age of 12
- Projects for mixed groups (i.e., males and females)even groups that, for example, are 90% female, 10% male
- Applications from individuals
- Activities that have already taken place
- repayment of loans and debts;
- general fundraising appeals;
- trips abroad;
- activities that are the responsibility of statutory authorities.
- Our grant making partner has some standard exclusions that apply to all funds. Before progressing with your application please visit What can’t be funded.
How are decisions made?
Our funding is allocated based on decisions made by a grant making panel which includes Trustees, members of staff, volunteers, and representatives from the women’s voluntary and community sector. Our grant making partner provide administrative support.
For more information on how we assess and allocate funding please visit How funding decisions are made
How to apply
We’re open for applications – see links at top of page for application form
Frequently asked questions
What does ‘activities that have already taken place’ mean?
This means that we cannot fund work that has already started e.g., a project that starts before our panel date. All work for the grant must be set for some point after the panel meeting and to allow time for any terms and conditions to be met. This does not mean a project has to be new. If you have an existing project that you think meets our criteria, we could potentially fund the future delivery of it. We find that many applicants choose the start date of their work to be around 6-8 weeks after our advertised panel date.
How long does the funding last?
We offer grants of up to £5,000 paid as a single grant– how this is spent will affect how long the funding lasts for. We ask for monitoring and evaluation 12 months after the grant is made.
Why is your income bar set at £500,000 with a prioritisation of supporting organisations with an income of up to £300,000?
We have set this income restriction because we recognise that our small grants will make more of a difference to smaller organisations. As well as managing the volume of applications we will receive for our limited funding pot.
Will you fund a previously funded project?
We will look at an application for a previously funded project if it meets all of our current aims, criteria, guidelines, etc, but there are no guarantees as to whether or not we will be able to fund it again.
Why don’t you offer bigger grants?
Like you we are a fundraising organisation, like you we have our own objectives to meet as well as monitoring and evaluation to submit. Our grant sizes are based on how much funding we have been able to raise to meet those objectives. We would love to be able to offer bigger grants.
Do you offer multi-year grants?
No, not at this time.
Could you clarify your position on funding for men?
Our funding is not to be used for men – therefore mixed groups where men are some of the attendees cannot be supported by us. Our funding is for the direct benefit of women and girls 12+. For example, a group that taught IT skills to Dads or male carers would not be eligible but a group teaching IT skills to girls 12+ would be eligible
Could you explain the limit on consumable items please?
If you have applied to us for a project, requesting £5,000, the maximum that can be spent on consumable items is £1,000 or 20%. Consumable items could be food for a cooking project, supplies for a craft project, travel expenses or childcare expense
Do we provide grants to help support women who are struggling financially?
We do not provide income to support individual women or families for any purpose, whether in the form of cash or vouchers for items such as fuel, clothing, etc
What does SMART mean?
Smart stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based
Mercedes Green, Fund Adviser
0141 341 4967