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Investing in Ideas

Enabling organisations to develop ways of working that bring improvements to communities
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Funding size:
£500 - £10,000
Total available:
£1 million each year
Application deadline:

What’s it all about?

Investing in Ideas awards grants of £500 to £10,000 to organisations to enable them to think about, develop and test new ideas or improved ways of working that will bring real improvements to communities, and the lives of people most in need.

The success rate for Investing in Ideas funding is 44 per cent based on decisions made between 1 September 2016 and 31 October 2016. In this period we received 25 applications. Our blog has a breakdown of our success rates

There are no deadlines and applications can be submitted at any time.

Before you submit your application to us, please read our blog to help make your application complete. We can only make a decision on your application when it is fully complete.

What are we looking for?

Investing in Ideas will fund groups and organisations of all sizes to improve their skills and knowledge to:

  • think differently about how a service is delivered, and
  • help them to design and test new projects or better ways of working.

All projects must achieve one of more of the following outcomes:

  • People have better chances in life
  • Communities are safer, stronger and more able to work together to tackle inequalities
  • People have better and more sustainable services and environments
  • People and communities are healthier.

We will prioritise applications from organisations with an income of less than £250,000 and for projects that will be delivered in areas within the 15 per cent most deprived according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

For projects that have a heritage, arts or sports focus you may wish to consider funding from other sources as these types of projects are likely to have a weaker fit with the Investing in Ideas programme outcomes.

Who can apply?

  • Voluntary or community sector groups
  • Social enterprises
  • Charities
  • Health bodies
  • Companies limited by guarantee (non-profit making)
  • Local authorities or community councils.

What can you apply for?

Applications can include requests to fund:

  • market research and business planning
  • feasibility studies, technical reports and scheme design studies
  • exchange visits in the UK to see how other projects work
  • community consultation
  • professional advice
  • training for your committee.


Organisation Types

  • Voluntary or community organisation
  • Public sector organisation