Volunteering Support Fund 2021 - 2024


With Impact Funding Partners' support we had the opportunity to build and develop a robust and inclusive volunteering practice that can traverse both online and offline spaces. This enabled us to reach and include a higher number of Black and PoC volunteers in our festival and diversify our festival structure, what we showed and also the audiences that attended

The Volunteering Support Fund 2021-2024, worth approximately £1.1million per annum, supports 113 funded projects. 

The purpose of the fund is to enable Scotland’s small to medium-sized third sector organisations to recruit additional volunteers who will contribute towards delivering a new volunteering project, or extending/expanding an existing one, and improve how volunteers are supported in their role. A list of funded projects can be found here.

Impact Funding Partners manages this fund on behalf of the Scottish Government and provides fund management including providing development support and creating opportunities for organisations to come together to share, learn, collaborate and network through participation at themed cluster groups. The  groups provide a platform for funded projects to work on volunteer related issues such as recruitment and retention of volunteers and measuring the impact of volunteering.  

Funded projects contribute towards the following four outcomes:

  1. Increasing the diversity of the third sector’s volunteer pool, especially to include people who experience disadvantage or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering;
  1. Improving opportunities for skills and personal development through volunteering;
  1. Improving the third sector’s capacity to support, train and deploy volunteers; and
  1. Enhancing the services organisations deliver to better meet the needs of the communities they serve.

Funded projects aim to recruit at least:

Year 1 - 6 volunteers, 3 who experience disadvantages or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering

Year 2 - 15 volunteers, 10 who experience disadvantages or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering

Year 3 - 15 volunteers, 10 who experience disadvantages or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering

Priority groups for this fund include:

  • People on low incomes
  • People with mental health conditions
  • People who are physically disabled
  • People with additional support needs
  • People with long-term medical conditions
  • Carers
  • People affected by abuse
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people
  • People with convictions or an offending background
  • Young people at risk of offending
  • People affected by homelessness
  • People from minority ethnic backgrounds
  • People with other disadvantages not listed here

Hear Their Stories... Some examples from the 2018-2021 Fund

Some of the important and valuable work organisations from across Scotland funded through the Volunteering Support Fund carry our each and everyday. 

Merry-Go-Round Glasgow

A special report put together for Refugee Week 2020, Nadia is 19 and left behind her entire family in Tanzania to travel to Scotland where she knew nobody and spoke no English. Merry-Go-Round Glasgow have helped her become a part of her local community feel less isolated and alone.

Scottish Curling

John has been a wheelchair curler for over 5 years, and a qualified coach with Scottish Curling for just over a year. He was recently elected as Chair of the Scottish Wheelchair Curling association. Here he talks about how funding from the Volunteering Support Fund benefitted his development as a coach and how he has used that to teach other disabled curlers.

Ignite Theatre

Growing up Alice (not her real name),19, struggled with social anxiety and low self-esteem. This made finding her place in new spaces with new people an uncomfortable experience. She now volunteers for Ignite Theatre and has discovered a new found confidence and has achieved things she never dreamed were possible.

Volunteering Support Blogs

Healing For The Heart

Healing For The Heart in Glasgow wondered what would happen if they brought together a group of people who were struggling with their mental health and offered them connection and purpose. They could not have predicted what happen…