This report provides an analysis of the data on applications and awards made through the Wellbeing Fund Open Application Process and the Small Grants Fund. These funds were part of the Scottish Government's initial 350 million overall package of funding support to communities, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Wellbeing Fund Open Application Process was set up in partnership between the Scottish Government and national third sector organisations: the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Corra Foundation, Inspiring Scotland and The Hunter Foundation. It took place in two open application rounds between April-June 2020. Third sector organisations across Scotland were able to apply for funding for projects responding to critical emerging needs within vulnerable target groups.
The Small Grants Fund was set up as part of the Scottish Government's Wellbeing Fund to distribute small amounts to support local voluntary groups' responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This report provides analysis of the distribution of this funding. It provides information about the geographical distribution of both funds across local authority areas. For the Wellbeing Fund Open Application Process, the report analyses the distribution of funding across SIMD categories, to different target groups and in relation to project themes. The report provides insights into the emerging needs faced by Scotland's communities and the kinds of projects that were funded.
The key findings in this report are:
For the Wellbeing Fund Open Application Process:
- £21,582,333 was distributed to 955 organisations through the fund.
- There were a total of 1563 applications. The application success rate was 61%.
- The average award size was £22,599. The majority of awards were for smaller amounts, showing that the fund was successful in reaching smaller and community-based organisations.
- Organisations requested funding to support rapid adaptation of their work with vulnerable communities in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Many organisations sought funding in order to adapt their support activities so that they could be delivered remotely. Others requested funding to scale up existing or new activities to meet critical new needs in their communities.
- Organisations all across Scotland benefited from the funding. Twenty-six percent of the funding was awarded to organisations working nationally. Twenty-eight percent went to organisations that work in more than one local authority area. Twenty-nine percent went to organisations working in a single local authority area. Seventeen percent of the funding was to organisations working within a specific community.
- In absolute terms, organisations working in Glasgow City and the City of Edinburgh received the most funding, £4 million and £2.25 million respectively. This reflects the high concentration of population and third sector organisations in these local authorities.
- In terms of amounts received by organisations working in different local authorities by head of population, relatively higher levels of per capita funding went to organisations working in Na h-Eileanan Siar, Glasgow City, Orkney, Edinburgh and Inverclyde.
- The lowest levels of funding per capita went to organisations working in East Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, Falkirk, Shetland and East Dunbartonshire.
- This variation in funding looks different depending on what measure is used, and no single factor explains all the variation. Relevant factors include: variation in rates of application from different areas; variation in sizes of application from different areas; variation in concentrations of third sector organisations in different areas; variation in the degree of negative impacts of Covid-19 being experienced by groups in different areas; the extent to which areas had already received relevant support and funding from other sources; the degree to which the fund was promoted to organisations in each local area.
- The negative impacts of Covid-19 disproportionately affect people and communities which are already affected by different aspects of deprivation. Analysis of a subset of awarded organisations in relation to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) finds that awards to organisations working in a single local area were overwhelmingly targeted to areas of higher deprivation. Among organisations where SIMD data was available, over 72% of the funding went to organisations working in the two most deprived SIMD quintiles. Forty-eight percent of funding went to organisations working in the most deprived SIMD quintile (the most deprived 20% of Scottish postcodes).
- For the proportion of organisations for which we had relevant data (organisations working in a single local area), the analysis also finds that awards were strongly directed towards areas of higher likely vulnerability to the negative impacts of Covid-19, according to the British Red Cross Covid-19 Vulnerability Index. We found that 40% of the amount awarded went to organisations working in areas that were in the highest-risk quintile (the 20% of areas where populations were at highest risk of negative effects of Covid-19). Almost 70% of the funding was awarded to organisations working in the two quintiles where vulnerability to the negative impacts of Covid-19 was highest.
- Applicants were asked to indicate a broad target group for their project. Thirty-two percent of the funding went to organisations targeting children and families; 12% went to projects targeting disabled people; 11% to older people; 9% to younger people; and 8% to minority communities. Twenty-three percent of the total value awarded was to organisations choosing the 'Other' category as the project target group. These projects typically targeted highly vulnerable or at-risk people across multiple target group categories.
- Applicants were also asked to categorise their project within a broad thematic category. The majority (61%) of the funding was awarded to projects aiming to tackle mental health and wellbeing. Food was the focus for 16% of the project funding, reflecting the fact that the Communities Fund had also put in place a separate £70 million Food Fund in place in response to the crisis.
For the Small Grants Fund:
- £4,023,000 was distributed through 1543 grants.
- The average grant amount was £2,607.
- Organisations based in the local authority areas of Glasgow City (£524,000) and City of Edinburgh (£305,000) received the largest share of funding.
- Organisations based in the local authority areas of East Renfrewshire (£32,000), Orkney (£56,000) and East Dunbartonshire (£60,000) received the smallest shares of funding.
- When weighted for population size, the data show that organisations based in South Ayrshire (£4.19), Na h'-Eileanan Siar (£3.29) and Orkney (£2.51) received the largest share of funding per person living in the local authority area.
- Organisations based in East Renfrewshire (£0.33), Aberdeenshire (£0.32) and Stirling (£0.28) received the least per person living in the local authority area.