A to Z of funding (S)


Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the national body for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. SCVO's website provides advice and information for any third sector organisations looking for help with funding, governance, training and a host of other sector-related issues.

Mansfield Traquair Centre
15 Mansfield Place
T: 0131 556 3882
E: enquiries@scvo.org.uk

Brunswick House
51 Wilson St
G1 1UZ
T: 0141 552 7111

Fairways House
Fairways Business Park
Castle Heather
T: 01463 235 633

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Scottish Government

The Scottish Government was known as the Scottish Executive when it was established in 1999 following the first elections to the Scottish Parliament. The current administration was formed after elections in May 2007 and is currently governed by the Scottish National Party. The Executive is led by a First Minister who is nominated by the Parliament and in turn appoints the other Scottish Ministers who make up the Cabinet.

Website: Scottish Government

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Scottish Government Voluntary Issues Unit

The Voluntary Issues Unit (VIU) is based in the Scottish Government Development Department, within the Social Justice Group. The Voluntary Issues Unit is the lead division for taking forward the partnership between Scottish government and the voluntary sector.

Third Sector Unit
3-H South
Scottish Government
Victoria Quay
T: 0131 244 5199
W: www.scotland.gov.uk

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Service level agreement (SLA)

SLAs are used by local authorities to fund particular services provided by many voluntary organisations. They are more like a contract than a grant; more often than not they are contracts.

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Service planning

Local authority jargon. Key questions are:

  • What is the need?
  • What will the need be?
  • What services are in place now?
  • Where are the gaps and the overlaps?

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Small Charities Coalition

The Small Charities Coalition exists to help small charities access the skills, experience and resources they need to achieve their aims. The Coalition are like a voluntary sector matchmaking service, matching small charities with other organisations that have the skills, experience, and in some cases resources, that the small charity lacks. These skills and experience may come from a fellow small charity - known as a friend to the Coalition - or from a supporter, for example a larger charity or a business. Becoming a friend of the Coalition is FREE based on the premise that friends donate 24 hours of their time over a year to help their fellow small charities.

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Social economy

The French term l'économie sociale is widely used in Europe and refers to co-operatives, mutual organisations and 'associations' (which are like our voluntary organisations). In the UK the term generally means organisations that have social objectives instead of, or as well as, commercial ones. Co-ops, credit unions, community businesses, self-help groups, professional associations and charities might all be considered part of the social economy.

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Social enterprise

Social enterprises are businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.

The Social Enterprise Coalition - the UK trade body that brings together all types of social enterprise to promote the sector and share knowledge - gives a clear definition: If you generate the bulk of your income from trading (over 50%, or at least 25% for start-ups) and use the majority of your profits to further social or environmental goals, then your business or charity could be classed as a social enterprise.

Well known social enterprises include Cafedirect, The Big Issue, The Co-operative Group, Welsh Water (Glas Cymru), and the Eden Project but there are many other social enterprises operating in a wide range of industries from farmers markets and recycling companies to transport providers and childcare.

The Government has introduced a new regulated legal structure, the Community Interest Company, for social enterprises. Some social enterprises will choose not to become CICs and remain as charitable companies or governed by constitution/trust deed and so will retain their charity status. A kitemark has now been developed for social enterprises.

For more information about Social Enterprise go to the Social Enterprise Coalition website. The government's Business Link website contains some guidelines and advice, see: Develop Your Social Enterprise Idea.

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Social Enterprise Coalition

The UK’s national body for social enterprise; represents a wide range of social enterprises, regional and national support networks and other related organisations.

W: www.socialenterprise.org.uk

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Social exclusion

A phrase first used by the EU bureaucracy and now commonly used in the UK, particularly by government. It is often used instead of the word 'poverty' in discussions about disadvantage. It refers to people who are 'excluded' from society and so do not play an active part in the life of the country. What causes people to be excluded is usually lack of money, jobs, opportunities and training, but other factors may also cause social exclusion.

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Social Impact Bonds

Social Impact Bonds are a form of outcomes-based contract in which public sector commissioners commit to pay for significant improvement in social outcomes (such as a reduction in offending rates, or in the number of people being admitted to hospital) for a defined population.

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Social Investment Business

The Social Investment Business manages government funds on behalf of the Office of Civil Society, the Department of Health and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

W: www.thesocialinvestmentbusiness.org

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Social responsibility

The idea that organisations and individuals have a responsibility to the society in which they operate and should contribute to it. Many companies do their grant-making through departments of social responsibility.

Corporate social responsibility is also a widely used term that describes a company's commitment to social needs.

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Sponsors give money to good causes in return for the right to have their name connected with that of the good cause. How much of a connection they get has to be negotiated and will depend on the nature of the cause, the nature of the sponsor, and the amount of money involved.

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People or organisations who have a stake in an organisation, or an interest in a service or issue.

Stakeholders in a voluntary organisation include management committee members, other volunteers, staff, users of the service, funders, customers, suppliers, neighbours in the community.

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Stakeholder pensions

Stakeholder pensions are designed for people without access to employer sponsored pension arrangements. Most organisations that employ 5 people or more have to ensure that their employees have access to a stakeholder pension, though they don't necessarily have to contribute towards one.

If you are employing people and aren't sure if you need to provide access to one, the website of the Pensions Regulator has a 'decision tree' which helps you work it out at www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk.

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Statement of Financial Activities (SOFA)

Statement of Financial Activities required by the Charity Commission if charities submit accruals accounts. It is used instead of a statement of Income and Expenditure. What is required is described in the SORP.

The main differences between the SOFA and conventional Income and Expenditure accounts are:

  • the SOFA must include capital transactions as well as revenue transactions;
  • the SOFA must include transfers between capital and revenue accounts;
  • instead of 'income', the SOFA should have a heading called 'incoming resources'; this section should show the value of donated goods or services as well as money income
  • instead of 'expenditure', the SOFA should have a heading called 'resources expended'; this section should show the value of donated goods or services used up as well as money expenditure.

'Expenditure' is usually divided up into 'natural' categories like salaries, office costs, printing, whereas if charities have a gross income of more than £100,000 the SOFA divide up 'resources expended' into three categories: The previous 'functional' catergories have since been replaced by three main activity groups:

  • charitable activity (achieving the charitys charitable objectives);
  • fundraising activity (raising funds to expend on charitable objectives);
  • governance activity (overseeing the work of the charity).

The value of volunteers' time should be included in the notes to the accounts, as should details about trustees' expenses.

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Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP)

The SORP sets out standards for accounting by charities, including what information should be included in annual accounts. It applies to virtually all charitable organisations in England and Wales. The only exceptions are charities that have their own SORP (e.g. the SORP for Registered Social Landlords).

SORP is a comprehensive summary of how accounting standards, charity law, relevant company law and best practice impacts on the preparation of charity accounts and reports. Further information can be found on the following page of the Charity Commission website: SORP, Charity Accounts and Reports: what you need to know

The underlying principles of the Charities SORP are unchanged, however there were some key changes made in 2005. For example, there are now more focused recommendations for the content of Trustees Annual Reports emphasising the reporting of activities and achievements against organisational objectives, and a separate appendix summarising the significant exemptions available to smaller charities

Charities preparing accruals accounts should use SORP 2005 when preparing their trustees annual reports and accounts. Further information about SORP 2005 can be found on the Charity Commission website.

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A statute is an Act of Parliament; hence statutory bodies are organisations set up by Act of parliament. They often have statutory responsibilities - things that they must do by law. For example, local authorities have a statutory responsibility to provide appropriate care for people with disabilities.

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Strategic funding

Funding may be granted in which the broader aims and needs of the funder take precedence. Usually awarded on an annual review basis – also referred to as ‘grant-in-aid’.

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Strategy, strategic planning

Being strategic is about thinking ahead. Strategic planning concentrates on the steps an organisation needs to take to achieve its goals. It takes into account what else is going on, and the impact that other agencies or events might have. Organisations look at what might happen and what might go wrong, as well as what they expect to happen.

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If you receive more than you spend over a given period the difference is a surplus. It is the opposite of a deficit. If the organisation is a commercial one, the surplus is usually described as profit.

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If something is sustainable it can be kept going. Funders may want evidence that a project is 'sustainable'. This means they want to know how the project will be paid for once their money comes to an end.

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