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 

The Aviva Community Fund

The Aviva Community Fund offers you the chance to get funding for an important cause in your community.
Open to everyone - Aviva customers, employees, insurance brokers or financial advisers (whether associated with Aviva or not) and the general public – the goal is to enter a project for your community and demonstrate the DIFFERENCE it will make.

Get enough votes from friends, family and supporters in your community and your project could be entered into the Finals, where a judging panel will award the funds.

For more information please see here

Comic Relief announces Tech for Good UK 2016-17

From October 2016 Comic Relief, with Paul Hamlyn Foundation, is launching another UK Tech for Good funding programme.

This will fund 10 digital projects each with up to £46,500, plus £3,500 to enable access to expert support. They have become aware that digital development requires distinct working practices and for this reason we have adapted their model of funding to provide an intensive package of support for grantees. The projects will last for four months (April – July 2017) and will address any of the four programme areas: Empowering Women and Girls, Investing in Children and Young People, Building Stronger Communities, Improving Health and Wellbeing. For further info see www.comicrelief.com/grants.

This programme aims to provide the opportunity for not-for-profit organisations who already have some technological capacity to take their digital innovation projects forward. They are looking to fund teams to make a significant digital step forward within four months.

A wide range of digital interventions will be considered and the aim is to fund projects that:

• Are focused on specific user needs in their design, delivery and development
• Make best use of web, mobile or internet based technologies
• Can scale effectively and offer economies of scale
• Disrupt and challenge existing ways of delivering services

It is important to note that we they looking to fund more than just good ideas. It is important for applicants to show that they understand how to successfully manage a digital project, and that they have sound technical expertise in their management and delivery team. They would expect that some development work will already have taken place

Open: 3rd October, 2016 to 1st November, 2016 (3pm)

Other funding help available

The Funding Scotland database is an excellent resource and will help you narrow down your funder search. If you would like further information about potential sources of funding, or would like help to develop an application for a specific funder please don't hesitate to contact our Funding and Development Worker.

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