Funding and Fundraising
Fundraisers make a massive difference for people and communities in Glasgow. Their vital work inspires supporters and funders to get involved with worthwhile causes and make our city a better place.
To help local fundraisers explore new approaches to fundraising and diversify their income generation, we offer a wide range of resources, training and support. Get started below with free support for community groups, voluntary organisations, and social enterprises in Glasgow. Plus, find out more about our new Funding Advice Service.
Fundraising Quick Guide Videos
Fundraising looks different for every organisation. Your fundraising activities will depend on your mission, goals and the capacity of your team. However, there are some common factors to consider and our short videos give a quick guide into key insights. Visit our YouTube Page to watch all of our most recent video guides. You can also download a written transcript for each video.
Free Fundraising Training
Our two-hour training sessions give key insights and practical advice about various fundraising topics. We promote good fundraising practice, illustrate actual examples and build networking opportunities for mutual support. Many sessions provide “take away” resources for future reference.
Check out our programme below and book your place on Eventbrite.
- Developing your Fundraising Plan
- Creating and Using your Case for Support
- Making Better Applications
- Digital and Online Fundraising
Please read our advice on who can attend our sessions.
Our Funding Officer has also worked with THRE – Third Sector Human Rights and Equalities to develop a short course on’ Funding and Fundraising: A Human Rights and Equalities First Approach’. Whether you are responsible for your organisation’s funding strategy or give advice to external organisations as a funding officer we hope to give you more confidence in applying a human rights and equalities approach to your work. Visit THRE’s Eventbrite page to book on: https://thre.eventbrite.com
“One of the best ‘funding related’ sessions I’ve ever attended. Thank you, much appreciated!”
“A great session today which really helped to consolidate my learning. Thank you for all the useful links to further advice.”
Opportunities for Grant Funding
There are many different ways to secure funding for your work in Glasgow. While grants can play an important part in your funding mix, they often have terms and conditions attached that restrict use to one particular purpose or project. Therefore, your fundraising plan should also contain other ways of securing more sustainable income. We offer a range of resources and support to help you find potential grant-makers for your cause and to enable you to make a strong application.
Training resources for grant funding applications
- Watch our Fundraising Quick Guide Video, “Applying for Grants”
- Book your place at our online training session, “Making Better Applications”
Finding grant funding opportunities
- Sign up for our Bulletin newsletter
We highlight weekly funding opportunities that are carefully chosen and relevant for Glasgow and the local sector.
- Search on Funding Scotland
Create a free account and access opportunities from grant-making trusts and foundations, powered by SCVO. They provide excellent information about grant funding. Use the filters to identify potential funding sources.
- Search the GCVS Open 4 Community GrantFinder
By providing access to the Open 4 Community GrantFinder system we can help support voluntary sector organisations in Glasgow with their fundraising. This tool provides access to a wealth of funding opportunities, through an easy-to-use database which hosts grants of all sizes. Our Open 4 Community platform is available to locally-based, small community, voluntary or charitable organisations with a turnover of up to £1m p.a. who hold a Glasgow postcode. Full terms and conditions on the website – GCVS 4 Community – idoxopen4community.co.uk
- Visit our Environmental Grants Directory, updated monthly
Are you looking for funding for an environmental project? Our Directory provides lots of information on current grant opportunities in Glasgow. You’ll also find helpful links to relevant networks, toolkits and sources of general fundraising guidance and advice.
- Check out previous funding news on our blog.
Grant application review service
If you have been writing text for a grant funding application and would appreciate a “critical friend” to look over your final draft before you submit, then ask us for an application review. We will give you some honest feedback to help strengthen your bid. Please email your draft text in a Word file to email@example.com and include “application review” in the subject line. We also request you please give us at least 48hrs notice to respond.
Open 4 Community GrantFinder
We are delighted to provide access to our Open 4 Community GrantFinder system to enable us to support voluntary sector organisations in Glasgow with their fundraising. This tool provides access to a wealth of funding opportunities, all through an easy-to-use database which hosts grants of all sizes, from hyper-local to global.
GrantFinder is a powerful funding database used by professional fundraisers and organisations across the UK. Our Open 4 Community platform is available to locally-based, small community, voluntary or charitable organisations with a turnover of up to £1m p.a. who hold a Glasgow postcode. There are full terms and conditions on the website for more information.
Access the site here: GCVS 4 Community – idoxopen4community.co.uk
For assistance, please contact our Funding Advice Officer June by email. There are also support tools on the ‘Help and Advice’ section on the Open 4 Communities website.
Our Scotland-Wide Funding Advice Service
In addition to offering free guidance and training for groups and voluntary organisations in Glasgow, we also wish to help organisations across the country that require more significant, long-term support during these tough financial times.
Our Funding Advice Service is here to help voluntary organisations across Scotland with affordable expert advice and guidance. Speak to us about how we can support your organisation with the following:
- Comprehensive Strategy Advice
- Fundraising Plan Development
- Tailored Grant Funding Support
- Customised Resources and Templates
- Bespoke Training Delivered Directly to Your Team
- In-Person / Online 1-1 Guidance Sessions
Why not arrange a friendly chat with our Funding Advice Officer June to discuss your needs?
Opportunities for Income Generation
Most charities in Scotland today earn most of their income and you should consider options as part of your fundraising strategy. You can generate income in different ways such as successful tender bids for public sector contracts; trading and sales; social enterprise; and corporate partnership.
If you are considering any of these options to earn income, please seek legal advice about how they might affect your charitable status or governance. You can also find information from the Scottish Charity Regulator, OSCR: ‘OSCR publishes new guidance on trading’.
Our partners in Glasgow also offer a wealth of advice and support. Some links below:
- GSEN, Glasgow Social Enterprise Network
- CEIS, Community Enterprise in Scotland
- Glasgow City Council procurement advice
- Just Enterprise justenterprise.org
- Community Enterprise Accelerate
- The Charity Retail Association charityretail.org.uk
GCVS and partners held a webinar on this topic in October 2021 called “Earning your Bread and Butter: Inspiring Ideas to Diversify Income”. Provided jointly by GCVS, CEIS and GSEN, this event looked at how small community groups, charities and voluntary organisations could incorporate earned income to their funding mix.
To find similar future events, follow us on Eventbrite
In this section we use the term “Group” to mean a constituted not for profit organisation – including registered charities, unincorporated associations, charitable trusts, SCIOs, Community Interest Companies, Benefit Societies etc.
Best Practice and Regulation
Is there any law about raising funds that we should know about?
Yes, lots! The Code of Fundraising Practice is the standard for all fundraising activity being carried out across the UK. You should check the appropriate section of the Code before starting any fundraising activity. It’s here: fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code
We want to do a ‘bag-pack’ in our local supermarket. Do we need a license?
No, but you do need the permission of the supermarket and you must make sure that any collecting boxes are sealed. Find out more
We want to collect from house to house around our local area in Glasgow. What do we need to do?
You’ll need a license from Glasgow City Council (Find out more) – the license will say exactly which streets and dates you can collect on, and there are additional requirements, like making sure that your collectors have badges. Find out more from OSCR.
I am a trustee of a small charity. A friend has told me that I am legally responsible for ensuring that they charity has enough money to carry out its work. Is that true?
Yes. In law, trustees are legally responsible – OSCR offer specific guidance for trustees – Find out more
Can we raise funds in our local school by getting the children to grow flowers?
Great idea! Make sure that you keep the children safe, and the money safe by following the Code of Fundraising Practice’s guidance on fundraising involving children: Find out more
I don’t understand all of the terms and language used in fundraising. Where can I get help?
The Code of Fundraising Practice has a useful glossary of terms here
Working with Businesses
A local business has offered to sponsor our family fun day. They are anxious about VAT implications. Help?
As a charity, you do not pay VAT when you buy some goods and services. However, VAT may be charged when you give or receive sponsorship. The guidance is HERE
Using a Consultant or Freelance fundraiser
One of our trustees has suggested using a freelance fundraiser to raise funds for our group. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has some useful guidance about working with consultants and freelance fundraisers. They include some top tips to consider beforehand.
Our group wants to write to our members and supporters to ask for money. Can we do this?
Can we send our supporters “thank you” letters if they have given us a donation?
Can we send our volunteers Christmas cards?
You must take great care to comply with the legal requirements for all forms of fundraising communications, including direct mail. You can find comprehensive, practical advice in the Code of Fundraising Practice. Please see Section 3: Processing personal data (information) and also section 9: Fundraising communications and advertisements
We want to run a raffle as part of an event. Do we need a license?
The Gambling Commission has published a really handy quick guide about the requirements for all types of raffles and lotteries. You can also find practical guidance in the Code of Fundraising Practice. If you need a license, apply to Glasgow City Council.
We’re running a fundraising event for the first time – is there anywhere we can find some guidance?
Events take a lot of time, money and effort to organize, often with little profit. However, they can help you to raise awareness for your cause and reach new audiences. The Code of Fundraising practice has clear guidance on all types of events. See Section 11: events. You can also find good advice on events fundraising from the Chartered Institute of Fundraising
What is Gift Aid?
The Gift Aid scheme, administered by HMRC, allows charities or CASCs to reclaim the basic rate of tax which an individual tax-payer has paid on their donation. So, if an individual who is a tax-payer makes a donation to you of £100, if they give their consent and if you are registered with HMRC, your charity can reclaim £25. For more information: www.gov.uk/claim-gift-aid
What can my charity claim Gift Aid on?
Gift Aid can be claimed on donations from individuals, but there are also ‘special rules’ for activities like sponsored events, auctions, membership subscriptions, donations of goods to charity shops (www.gov.uk/claim-gift-aid/what-you-can-claim-it-on) – and there’s the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme too (www.gov.uk/claim-gift-aid/small-donations-scheme)
Applying for grants
What are grant-making trusts and what do they do?
There are many thousands of grant-makers and each one is very different, with their own history, funding priorities and reasons for giving. You can find key information on this topic in our 11-minute video. GCVS Applying for Grants – YouTube
How can I find potential funders for my group?
A good place to start looking for funders is with SCVO’s Funding Scotland service. You can search their online directory free of charge to find the grant makers with the best fit for your work. Also, you can subscribe to the free weekly newsletter service from GCVS. This contains funding updates for groups in Glasgow. GCVS newsletter
How do I improve my chances of my application being successful?
Preparation is key. Research the funding priorities of potential funders, check their eligibility criteria and read their guidelines carefully. There is huge competition for grant funding and only one in five grant applications is successful on average. Therefore, in order to secure sufficient funding, you will need to apply to several different funders at the same time. GCVS regularly provides free training sessions on “Making Better Applications”. Book your place here.
The funder is asking me how I will be able to “Demonstrate impact”. Help?
GCVS offers training and support to help you to set achievable outcomes and measure the impact of your work – the difference that your group makes in the local community. Have a look at our Quality and Impact page for training and resources.
I have heard that there is a way of donating to charity direct from my pay. Is this true?
Yes – under the Payroll Giving Scheme, employers register with a Payroll Giving Agency, which administers the scheme. Employees can then give direct to their favourite causes and receive the tax benefit themselves. For a basic rate tax-payer to give a donation of £10.00 a month, only £8.00 is deducted from their salary. Information for groups here: www.gov.uk/payroll-giving
Where do I find out what volunteers can and can’t do when they’re fundraising for us?
Have a look at the Code of Fundraising Practice’s section on working with volunteers.
A volunteer wants to organise a fundraising event for us?
That’s brilliant news! If they are planning an event which you agree to and are supporting, then the volunteer is acting “on behalf of” your organisation. The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has some helpful advice on working with volunteer fundraisers.
How can I find volunteers to help us to raise funds?
Contact our TSI partner, Volunteer Glasgow, they can help you to find, recruit, induct and manage your volunteers www.volunteerglasgow.org
(Information updated September 2022)
1-to-1 Support Surgeries
Are you looking for advice or more in-depth feedback about funding or fundraising for your group or organisation?
Our funding surgeries give you the chance to discuss income generation with our Funding Officer, June Burgess who will help you focus on sustainable funding models.
If you have attended our funding related training sessions and browsed our online resources but would still welcome some one-to-one guidance or targeted support, why not book an appointment using our online automated system.
Surgeries are held by Teams video call, or by telephone, and usually last around 45 minutes. (You only need access to a browser like Chrome or Edge and not a Teams account for a video call). You will also receive written information afterwards containing top tips, action points and links to further information.
Read our most recent Bulletin issues for the latest funding news: