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Website Q&A

WHY DO YOU ONLY FUND CHARITIES SUPPORTING VULNERABLE GROUPS?

As part our five-year strategy, we have decided to focus our funding initially on smaller charities supporting vulnerable groups. The impact of the cost of living crisis on quality of life is profound, with a particularly devastating impact on vulnerable people who are more susceptible to experiencing harm, discrimination, or disadvantage. As our work to support vulnerable people develops, we will review the charities we work with and review our approach in line with this.

WHY DO YOU ONLY FUND SMALLER CHARITIES?

We work in partnership with charities that understand the needs and aspirations of vulnerable people and can make a lasting difference to their lives. We provide flexible, unrestricted funding and additional support to help charities grow stronger and thrive beyond the lifetime of their grant. Our focus on smaller charities is where we believe our combination of funding and additional support can make the greatest impact on those we partner with. As our work to support smaller charities develops, we will review the charities we work with and review our approach in line with this.

WHAT CAN WE SPEND UNRESTRICTED FUNDING ON?

Unrestricted funding gives charities much greater scope to cover all essential costs and deal with challenges quickly and effectively. Unrestricted funding can be used towards core costs, delivery costs, project costs and/or general running costs enabling charities to use their funding in the way that helps them best.

I’M INVOLVED WITH A SMALL COMMUNITY GROUP, CAN WE APPLY FOR FUNDING?

Our grants programmes are only available to charities registered in Scotland (with a charity number beginning with SC0).

OUR CHARITY ONLY DOES OVERSEAS WORK, CAN WE APPLY FOR FUNDING?

If your charity’s Geographical Spread entry on your charity’s OSCR record only states “Overseas only”, then your charity is not eligible to apply. All funding distributed through our grants programmes is intended to support communities in Scotland.

WE RUN AN ANIMAL CHARITY THAT’S BASED IN SCOTLAND, CAN WE APPLY FOR FUNDING?

If your charity’s Purposes entry on your charity’s OSCR record only states “the advancement of animal welfare”, then your charity is not eligible to apply. To be eligible, a charity must also have a purpose where people in the community benefit from your work. For further clarity, you can view OSCR’s 16 charitable purposes here.

WE ARE A RELIGIOUS ORGANISATION, CAN WE APPLY FOR FUNDING?

If your charity’s Purposes entry on OSCR only states “the advancement of religion”, then your charity is not eligible to apply. For further clarity, you can view OSCR’s 16 charitable purposes here.

I RUN A COMMUNITY INVESTMENT COMPANY (CIC), CAN I APPLY?

Our grants programmes are only available to charities registered in Scotland (with a charity number beginning with SC0).

MY CHARITY GIVES GRANTS TO SMALLER GROUPS CAN WE APPLY?

If your charity’s Types of activity undertaken entry on your charity’s OSCR record only states "It makes grants, donations or gifts to organisations" then your charity is not eligible to apply.

HOW QUICKLY WILL WE HEAR IF WE’VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL?

You can find the timeline for each grants programme on our website. This will provide you with the date that you can expect to hear from us about the outcome of your application. https://bankofscotlandfoundation.org/   
 

CAN YOU SEND ME A COPY OF OUR CHARITY’S PREVIOUS APPLICATION?

We’re afraid not, but the person who completed the application will be able to log in to your charity’s account to access the information there. If this person has left your charity, please visit the Technical section of this Q&A for guidance on Usernames and Passwords or contact the Foundation team on enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

CAN WE ACCESS THE APPLICATION FORM BEFORE THE PROGRAMME OPENS?

A sample of the application form for each grants programme can be found on our website so you can gather the information you need in plenty of time. Please note, you will not be able to access the actual application form until the programme opens.

HOW WILL I KNOW THAT OUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED?

When your application is submitted you will receive a submission number. Please keep a note of this in case you need to get in contact with us about your application. If you don’t receive a submission number, please contact the team so we can check your application has been received. You can email the team on enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

CAN WE RECEIVE HELP IN COMPLETING OUR APPLICATION?

If you are unsure of what information is needed or are having any problems with the form, then please do get in touch. You can email the team on enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

CAN I PUT IN MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS FOR THE SAME CHARITY FOR THE SAME GRANT   
PROGRAMME?

No, we’re afraid not. If we receive multiple applications, we will get in touch so your charity can confirm which applications need to be deleted from our system.

HOW QUICKLY WILL WE HEAR IF WE’VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL?

You can find the timeline for each grants programme on our website. This will provide you with the date that you can expect to hear from us about the outcome of your application. https://bankofscotlandfoundation.org/funding-programmes 

WHERE ELSE MIGHT WE BE ABLE TO FIND FUNDING?

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations‘ Funding Scotland search engine gives access to up to date, high-quality information on funding opportunities for voluntary organisations. It’s free to any organisation in Scotland and lets you search over 1,200 funding opportunities including trust funding, lottery, statutory funds and more.

WE WERE DECLINED A GRANT AS OUR PURPOSE ON OSCR IS “THE ADVANCEMENT OF RELIGION” BUT WE DO A LOT OF COMMUNITY WORK. WHY WAS THIS?

Having “the advancement of religion” as your only Purpose on OSCR does not make it clear to us that you do other work within your community. You can contact OSCR to update your record with any relevant information, for example, "the prevention or relief of poverty" or "the advancement of education". https://www.oscr.org.uk/contact-oscr

WE WERE RECENTLY DECLINED A GRANT BECAUSE OUR ACCOUNTS WERE OVERDUE AT OSCR. WE HAVE SENT THEM TO OSCR NOW, CAN OUR APPLICATION BE RECONSIDERED? 

Unfortunately not. As you have received your decline email, this means that the tranche is now closed and all funding has been allocated to other charities. You are welcome to apply to future grants programmes that your charity may be eligible for.

WE WERE RECENTLY DECLINED A GRANT BECAUSE OUR ACCOUNTS WERE OVERDUE AT OSCR. WE HAVE LOOKED AT THE WEBSITE AND CAN SEE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN CHECKED AND ARE UP TO DATE. WHY WERE WE DECLINED?

We begin assessing applications from the moment the programme closes. When undertaking our checks, your charity’s accounts will have shown as being overdue on OSCR and will have been declined because of that. OSCR will have received the accounts after the date of assessment. Due to the high number of applications we receive, we are unfortunately unable to check OSCR for updates. You are welcome to apply to future grants programmes that your charity may be eligible for.

WE WERE RECENTLY DECLINED A GRANT BECAUSE OUR CONFIRMATION STATEMENT IS OVERDUE AT COMPANIES HOUSE. WHY WAS THIS?

To be eligible for funding, charitable companies that are regulated by both OSCR and Companies House must up to date with the statutory, legal, and regulatory requirements of running a company. This includes ensuring confirmation statements are provided to Companies House within a certain timeframe. You are welcome to apply to future grants programmes that your charity may be eligible for once your confirmation statement is up to date.

I RECEIVED A DECLINE E-MAIL FOR YOUR REACH / INVEST / CHANGE PROGRAMME, CAN OUR CHARITY APPLY TO YOUR NEW PROGRAMMES?

The email you received from us includes information on when you can reapply to our grant programmes. If you are still unsure, please email the team on enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk and we will let you know.  

I RECEIVED AN E-MAIL SAYING WE HADN’T PROVIDED CERTAIN INFORMATION WITH OUR APPLICATION FOR YOUR REACH / INVEST / CHANGE PROGRAMME, CAN OUR CHARITY APPLY TO YOUR NEW PROGRAMMES?

If your charity received a letter from us saying your application was missing information (for example your accounts weren’t signed), then yes, you are able to apply to our new programmes if you meet the eligibility criteria.

WE HAVE FUNDING FROM BANK OF SCOTLAND FOUNDATION, CAN WE APPLY FOR OTHER FOUNDATION GRANTS?

You can only hold one grant from us at a time. Your grant Terms & Conditions confirm this and let you know when you are eligible to apply again. If you are unclear, please email the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk and we will let you know.

THE TERM OF OUR CURRENT GRANT HAS ENDED. CAN WE APPLY FOR A NEW GRANT?

Please check your grant Terms & Conditions to find out when you are eligible to apply again. If you are unclear, please email the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk   
and we will let you know.

WE WANT TO COMPLETE AN EVALUATION FORM SO WE CAN APPLY FOR FUNDING AGAIN. WHERE CAN WE FIND THIS?

An Evaluation form will be sent to you by the Grant Manager near the end of the term of your grant. Please check your grant Terms & Conditions to find out when you are eligible to apply again. If you are unclear, please email the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk and we will let you know.

WE’RE DUE TO COMPLETE AN EVALUATION FORM FOR THE GRANT WE RECEIVED LAST YEAR. WHERE CAN WE FIND THIS?

An Evaluation form will be sent to you by the Grant Manager near the end of the term of your grant.

I WANT TO PRINT OFF A COPY OF OUR PREVIOUS APPLICATION, HOW DO I DO THAT?

You will need to log in to your online account to access the application in question. From there you will be able to print it off. You can log in using the register / sign in button on the top left of the home screen https://bankofscotlandfoundation.org/

I WANT TO SEE OUR PREVIOUS APPLICATION, WHERE DO I FIND THAT?

You can find all the applications you have made in your online account. You can log in using the register / sign in button on the top left of the home screen https://bankofscotlandfoundation.org/

I CAN’T LOG IN TO MY ACCOUNT AS IT SAYS MY PASSWORD / USERNAME IS INCORRECT, WHAT DO I DO?

You can reset your username / password via our website. Simply click on the register / sign in button on the top left of the home screen https://bankofscotlandfoundation.org/ it will take you to the section where you enter your username / password. Underneath that you will see the option to reset your username / password.

Once you have done so, an email will be sent to the email that is linked to the account. If you do not receive an email, please check your junk folder.

If you still haven’t received an email with the link, please contact the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

I KNOW I’M PUTTING IN THE CORRECT USERNAME AND PASSWORD BUT I CAN’T ACCESS THE SYSTEM, WHAT DO I DO?

You can reset your username / password via our website. Simply click on the register / sign in button on the top left of the home screen https://bankofscotlandfoundation.org/ it will take you to the section where you enter your username / password. Underneath that you will see the option to reset your username / password.

Once you have done so, an email will be sent to the email that is linked to the account. If you do not receive an email, please check your junk folder.

If you still haven’t received an email with the link, please contact the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

I CAN’T REMEMBER MY USERNAME / PASSWORD, WHAT DO I DO?

You can contact the team who can advise you of your username. Please contact the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

We are unable to access your password due to security reasons, so you can reset your password via our website. Simply click on the register / sign in button on the top left of the home screen https://bankofscotlandfoundation.org/ it will take you to the section where you enter your password. Underneath that you will see the option to reset your password.

Once you have done so, an email will be sent to the email that is linked to the account. If you do not receive an email, please check your junk folder.

If you still haven’t received an email with the link, please contact the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

IT SAYS THE DOCUMENTS I’M TRYING TO ATTACH TO MY APPLICATION ARE TOO BIG, WHAT DO I DO?

You can try to reduce the size of your file by converting it to a PDF – you can find out how to do this on our YouTube channel. If you are having difficulties, you can contact the Foundation team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428 for help.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHEN YOU ASK FOR THE CHARITY’S LATEST ANNUAL INCOME AND WHERE   
CAN I FIND THAT?

You can find your charity’s latest annual income in the Annual Information Submission History section of its OSCR entry https://www.oscr.org.uk/. Enter your charity’s number or full name in the search box, press enter, and the record should appear.

The annual income is the latest figure listed taken from the latest set of accounts that OSCR have checked – see example below.

Year EndIncomeExpenditureAnnual Return ReceivedAccounts ReceivedLatest Accounts
Dec 2021£54,000£52,000June 2022Yes 
Dec 2022£55,000£53,000June 2023Yes 
Dec 2023     

If you have difficulty accessing your charity’s record, please contact OSCR.

OUR LATEST ANNUAL INCOME RECORDED ON OSCR IS SLIGHTLY ABOVE THE MAXIMUM FOR THE PROGRAMME WE WANT TO APPLY FOR. CAN WE STILL APPLY TO THE PROGRAMME? 

We’re afraid not. To be eligible, the latest annual income shown on a charity’s OSCR record must be within the limits set for that programme. You are welcome to apply to future grants programmes that your charity may be eligible for. In the meantime, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations‘ Funding Scotland search engine gives access to up to date, high-quality information on funding opportunities for voluntary organisations. It’s free to any organisation in Scotland and lets you search over 1,200 funding opportunities including trust funding, lottery, statutory funds and more. 

OUR LATEST ANNUAL INCOME RECORDED ON OSCR IS ABOVE THE MAXIMUM FOR THE PROGRAMME WE WANT TO APPLY TO, BUT THE INCOME FOR THIS CURRENT YEAR WILL LIKELY BE LESS AND FALL WITHIN THE INCOME BRACKET. DOES THIS MEAN WE CAN WE APPLY? 

We’re afraid not. We’re not able to take in to account the income of the current financial year as the charity’s annual accounts have not been checked by OSCR. You are welcome to apply to future grants programmes that your charity may be eligible for. 

OUR LATEST ACCOUNTS ARE WITH OUR ACCOUNTANT, ARE THEY THE SET OF ACCOUNTS WE NEED TO SEND WITH OUR APPLICATION? 

No, we would not be able to accept these accounts. For the purposes of applying to the Foundation, your latest accounts are the most recent accounts that have been checked by OSCR – see example below. In this example, it is the accounts year ending December 2022 that should be submitted to us.

Year EndIncomeExpenditureAnnual Return ReceivedAccounts ReceivedLatest Accounts
Dec 2021£54,000£52,000June 2022Yes 
Dec 2022£55,000£53,000June 2023Yes 
Dec 2023     

HOW CAN I FIND OUT HOW MANY YEARS OF ACCOUNTS WE HAVE LODGED AT OSCR TO KNOW IF MY CHARITY IS ELIGIBLE?

The easiest way to find out is to check your OSCR record. Scroll down until you see the Annual Information Submission History section.   
In the example below, the charity has two years of accounts lodged with OSCR. 

Year EndIncomeExpenditureAnnual Return ReceivedAccounts ReceivedLatest Accounts
Dec 2021£54,000£52,000June 2022Yes 
Dec 2022£55,000£53,000June 2023Yes 
Dec 2023     

I’M UNSURE OF WHICH ANNUAL ACCOUNTS WE NEED TO PROVIDE. 

The easiest way to find out is to check your OSCR record. Scroll down until you see the Annual Information Submission History section. We need the most recent set of accounts that OSCR has checked according to this section of their website see example below. 

In this example, it is the accounts year ending December 2022 that should be submitted to us. 

Year EndIncomeExpenditureAnnual Return ReceivedAccounts ReceivedLatest Accounts
Dec 2021£54,000£52,000June 2022Yes 
Dec 2022£55,000£53,000June 2023Yes 
Dec 2023     

If you are about to apply to a programme and will be sending your latest accounts to OSCR in the next week or so, please do not send those to us as it is unlikely that they will have been checked by OSCR at the time of assessment. Please send us the most recent accounts that have been checked by OSCR.

YOU ASK FOR SIGNED ANNUAL ACCOUNTS, BUT OUR CHARITY HAS NEVER SIGNED OURS, WHAT DO WE DO? 

The balance sheet of your annual accounts must be signed by a Board member. The Independent Examiner’s Report must also be signed. 

In line with OSCR, we accept physical signatures, documents that have been digitally signed and typed names. We cannot accept accounts where signatures have been blacked out.

I STILL HAVE SOME QUESTIONS, SO HOW DO I GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU?

In the first instance, we ask you to check our Q&A’s and any additional resources available on our website. However, we understand that you may still have questions that can’t be answered from this information. You can email the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

WHAT’S THE MINIMUM / MAXIMUM GRANT WE CAN APPLY FOR THROUGH THE EMPOWER   
PROGRAMME?

Our Empower programme offers charities a three-year, unrestricted grant of £150,000 (£50,000 per year). Eligible charities that support vulnerable people and have an annual income of between £150,000-£500,000 can apply. Charities must also have a minimum of three years accounts checked by OSCR.

OUR CHARITY LESS THAN THREE YEARS ACCOUNTS CHECKED BY OSCR, CAN WE APPLY?

We’re afraid not. To be eligible, your charity must have a minimum of three years’ accounts checked by OSCR. You are welcome to apply to future grants programmes that your charity may be eligible for.

WHAT CAN WE APPLY FOR FUNDING FOR? 

Our Empower programme offers a three-year unrestricted grant of £150k (£50k per annum). Unrestricted funding can be used towards core costs, delivery costs, project costs and/or general running costs enabling charities to use their funding in the way that helps them best. 

Whilst our funding is unrestricted, charities are asked to provide a broad indication of what our funding may be used for. (Please note that our funding may not be used for project costs or overheads incurred before the grant application is received, any costs not related to delivering outcomes such as a contribution to reserves and notional costs that will never be incurred e.g., rent free premises).

THE EMPOWER PROGRAMMES FOCUSES ON SUPPORTING VULNERABLE PEOPLE, WHAT TYPES OF CHARITIES WILL YOU FUND?

Charities we support will be required to demonstrate that they put vulnerable people at the heart of everything they do. Vulnerable people can be impacted by a range of factors such as their social, economic, geographic location, or physical circumstances. Examples of vulnerability can include education barriers, mobility/transport issues, learning disabilities, family-related challenges, poverty, housing and employment difficulties, and poor mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

If you are unsure if your charity supports vulnerable people, you can contact the team at enquiries@bankofscotlandfoundation.co.uk or phone 07385 024428.

HOW MANY YEARS OF FUNDING CAN I APPLY FOR THROUGH THE EMPOWER PROGRAMME?

Successful applicants will be awarded a three- year grant through Empower.

HOW DO I APPLY TO YOUR EMPOWER GRANT PROGRAMMES?

First, we recommend visiting our website and using our eligibility checker to make sure you are eligible to apply.

Then, if your charity is eligible, you can press the Apply button on the Empower page of our website once the programme is open to applications.