COVID-19 support for the third sector

Information and support for third sector organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community and third sector support 

We're working with the Scottish Government and our partner agencies to bring you information and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. We're in daily contact with the Government helping to shape and influence specific support packages related to the third sector to ensure those operating in our region are represented. 

The main hub for third sector support at the moment is through the SCVO website. This hub is being updated on a daily basis and includes information on funding sources available, remote working, new service delivery models, as well as giving you the option to sign up to a newsletter to keep you up to date as regularly as possible. 

Visit the SCVO website

Read more +

Government funding for communities and the third sector

On 18th March, Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government announced an investment of £350 million to support local communities and households in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The investment comprises a range of funds to be delivered using a combination of approaches to ensure that resource is mobilised quickly to the places and people where it is needed.

Funds available include: 

£20m Supporting Communities Fund

The supporting communities fund includes an initial investment of £10m, with approval for a further £10m, targeted through community anchor organisations (CAO) that are already playing a key active role in providing services within the community and will likely have established networking and connections through the communities. The CAO's will help to support a co-ordinated approach locally, working with other active local charities, third sector organisations, volunteers, communities of interest and making links with the Local Authority, Third Sector Interfaces and other statutory providers. They are acting as a conduit for funding to help channel support where it is needed most.

Update 18 May 2020: HIE has approved 137 grants worth £2.88 million to community anchor organisations located from Argyll to Shetland, and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray. Read more.

A list of all communities who have secured Supporting Communities Fund awards is available on the SCVO website here

WELLBEING FUND - phase two now closed

The Wellbeing Fund supports organisations across the third sector that are providing important services for people as a result of coronavirus.

£10m has already been allocated for immediate priorities and £7 million has been committed to provide around 2,000 charities with small grants through Corra, Inspiring Scotland, STV Appeal, SCVO and Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces. The remaining £33 million was open to bids from Third Sector Organisations until 22 May.

Food Fund

£60 million has been allocated to structured public sector responses to support people facing additional barriers to accessing food, including those in the “shielded group”. A further £10 million is being used to support third sector infrastructure and community based action on food provision.   

Applications were made through the Wellbeing Fund and a list of groups which were successful is available here



The Scottish Government has allocated £20m towards a third sector resilience fund. It has been set up to help third sector organisations affected by cash flow and other problems as an impact of COVID-19. 


This fund supports registered charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises that already deliver vital services in communities but find themselves in financial difficulties as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The primary aim of this fund is to help organisations stabilise and manage cashflows over this difficult period.


The Fund is being delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation. Grants of between £5,000-£100,000 can be awarded. In addition there will be up to a further £5m available in fully flexible, 0% interest loans starting at £50,000.

Applications for the Third Sector Resilience Fund opened on Wednesday 25th March. Interested applicants are encouraged to read the fund’s Guidance Notes and FAQs prior to starting an application.

Phase 2 of the Third Sector Resilience Fund is now available 

Due to the overwhelming demand for the fund, the Scottish Government has announced a second phase and pledged additional funding. 

For Phase 2, the guidance and criteria have been adapted to maximise the number of third sector organisations that benefit from it. 

Visit the SCVO Hub to apply


Other sources of funding for communities and the third sector

There are a number of funding sources available to community groups and third sector organisations now available. The following includes government funds being delivered through some of our partnership organisations and includes links to their websites to find out more and information on how to apply. 

Community Response, Recovery & Resilience Fund

In partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, Foundation Scotland is delivering the Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. The RRR fund supports local charities and grassroots organisations across Scotland to help them respond to the outbreak of Covid-19 and recover from its impact. To date £1.3m has been distributed. The criteria has changed to organisations with a income of less than £125,000 being eligible. They aim to turn around funding applications swiftly, and to keep the application process straightforward.

Apply on Foundation Scotland website

Credit Union Resilience Loans

The Scottish Government has set up the Credit Union Resilience Fund to support credit unions who need additional support during this difficult period. It is hoped that this fund will support credit unions with their working capital as well as with their liquidity. Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is managing the fund.

Find out more and apply on the SIS website

Foundation Scotland - Community Response, Recovery & Resilience Fund

The Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRR fund) will support local charities and grassroots organisations across Scotland to help them respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and recover from its impacts.

In partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, Foundation Scotland is delivering the fund. Launched by the Duke of Cambridge, the National Emergencies Trust (NET) is a fundraising appeal which will distribute money through several foundations which cover the UK. Foundation Scotland is the lead partner for NET in Scotland.

The first stage of response is about providing emergency funding for local charities and grassroots organisations who are currently supporting some of Scotland’s most affected and vulnerable people.

Longer term, recovery and resilience measures will be about funding a wider group of local charities and community organisations whose operations and finances have been affected.

Find out more on Foundation Scotland's website

CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) has launched a rapid response fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK.   

Visit the CAF website






Read more +

Plunkett Foundation

A dedicated programme of support has been launched by the Plunkett Foundation to help rural community businesses across the UK as they battle the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus lockdown.

Thanks to funding from the Co-op, Plunkett will offer a dedicated package of free Covid-19 support for open and trading community businesses, as well as those developing groups that have been affected by the pandemic.

The new scheme will focus on getting one-to-one support to groups that need it the most. This will include free practical support from Plunkett’s national network of specialist community businesses advisers. All forms of community business – including woodlands, farms, bakeries, pubs and shops – will be able to get support, advice and guidance on a range of issues such as;

  • developing short – medium term cash flow,
  • reviewing business plans,
  • applying for funding,
  • upholding good practice governance,
  • utilising community shares and accessing government support.

Read more here

Read more +

Scottish Crown Estate revenue available for COVID-19 pressures

A new tranche of money is being released that could help support businesses and charities through the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses and third sector organisations will be able to make use of the Scottish Crown Estate fund totalling £7.2 million.

In total 26 councils which have coastlines can tap into the fund. It is aimed at offering direct support to struggling coastal enterprises and organisations and comes after an agreement between the Scottish government and local authorities’ organisation Cosla.

Environment and climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham said “Following discussions with Cosla we have written to local authorities to encourage them to look at ways they can use these funds, where required, to help hard-pressed businesses and organisations to get through this challenging period.”

It is the Scottish government’s intention to ensure that the next tranche of funding is distributed as swiftly as possible to local authorities.

Full news report available on the COSLA website. We'll update this page when routes to apply are available. 

Read more +

Employee ownership sector support

Read coronavirus (COVID-19) advice from the Employee Ownership Association - including access to their webinars and FAQs from members of the employee-owned community.

Visit the EOA website 

Read more +