Finding external funding

We’ve pulled together a list of some potential sources of funding for your community projects.

Finding external funding for your community projects can feel daunting, but there are a range of options available to you. Here, we provide some useful links to potential funders for projects and groups of all shapes and sizes.

Note that we will continue to update this list, so it’s worth checking back regularly.

  • Foundation Scotland is a community foundation that helps match projects with funders. They have a list of available funds on their website that are separated by regions. There is also guidance for applying for funding through Foundation Scotland.  
  • Grants Online lists new grants available across the UK. The list updates every day. The grants can be filtered depending on the region of the UK or the type of work they will fund.  
  • Grant Finder also lists funding across the UK. The link is for their main grants page but there are lots of sections on their website, including: 
    • Arts, Culture and Heritage Funding. 
    • Environmental Grants, Grants for Children. 
    • Young People and Families. 
  • Charity Excellence has a free Funder Finding Database.  
  • Community Food and Health (Scotland) has a large database of available funding on their website. They split the grants into small, medium and large pots. 
  • The Conservation Volunteers (often called TCV) produce regular lists of funding opportunities.  
  • Creative Star Learning has a list of grants and funding specific to outdoor learning. There is also a list of other useful resources so worth checking out even if you aren’t planning on any outdoor education.
  • Greenspace Scotland has information about grants they provide as well as crowdfunding opportunities and a list of other funding sources.
  • Fife Council have a useful list of funding opportunities. The list is aimed at residents and groups in Fife but many of the funders listed operate across the Scotland and the UK so it’s worth having a look. Be aware that the funders listed cover a range of sectors not just environmental and nature focussed projects or groups.
  • If you prefer to look at a book, you can use The Directory of Grant Making Trusts. It’s published every year by The Directory of Social Change and most local libraries have a copy. 

This list shows some of the major funders in the UK. They fund a variety of projects of all sizes. These are some of the biggest funding organisations and have regular opportunities to apply. Funding from these organisations can range from a few hundred pounds to millions.

  • The National Lottery Community Fund provides funding to a range of projects. The website has lots of advice on their application process to help. You can apply for grants of under £10,000 or over £10,000 if you have a larger project.  
  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund is similar to the Community Fund but focuses on funding projects that preserve local heritage. 
  • The People’s Postcode Trust funds small charities and causes across Scotland. 
  • Comic Relief provides funding to a range of projects at certain times each year. 
  • Kew Gardens have an annual grant to support projects that bring people closer to native plants.
  • Most Housing associations around the UK often fund local projects. If you’re working near to a housing association, it’s worth getting in touch with them. You can find out more on the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations website
  • Many of the major banks have various funds available for local and national projects. You’ll need to find a local branch and get in touch with them. 
  • Jo Walters Trust – UK & Aberdeenshire – schools, outdoor and community groups. Grants specific to maths learning up to £1,000 and Aberdeenshire specific grants up to £2,000
  • John Watson’s Trust – Scotland (primarily Edinburgh and the Lothians) – individuals, groups, organisations and schools. Amounts vary.
  • The Endrick Trust – available to charities in the Greater Glasgow area with an income of less than £2 million per annum.
  • David and June Memorial Trust – North-East Scotland – music, the arts, community centres and youth groups. Grants between £500-£2,000.
  • Aberdeen City Health Improvement Fund – Aberdeen City – anyone living or working in Aberdeen City. Grants up to £5,000.
  • Edinburgh Airport Community Fund – Edinburgh, Falkirk, the Lothians and Fife – funding focusses on specific criteria including zero carbon and enhancing Scotland. Applications open at several points during the year so keep an eye on the website for information about the next opportunity to apply.

The resources here have lots of guidance and advice to help you apply for funding. There’s great information available and some also have downloadable templates.