Funding sources

Funding can come from many different places: 

  • Local Authority Grants 
  • Government Grants 
  • Grants from other Bodies and Trusts 
  • Sponsorship/Fundraising · Donations 
  • Social Enterprise 
  • Income Generation/Income Maximisation

Local Authority Grants

Grants are different from loans in that you do not have to pay them back. Grants are sometimes offered by the Government to encourage people to attend training or to help people who are disadvantaged or need assistance. This means they can contribute on an equal basis in their community.

Grants may be available from your Local Authority. You can get information from your Equalities Officer or they might refer you to a Council Grant Scheme. Please  see Appendix 2 for contact details.

Government Grants via Scottish Disability Equality Forum (SDEF)

SDEF receive an annual grant for Access Panels from the Scottish Government. To be eligible each Access Panel must be properly constituted, a member of SDEF (Umbrella Body), be recognised by its Local Authority and have a bank account. 

The criteria for these grants are determined by the Scottish Government. 

The criteria are:

  • Relevant training for members of the Access Panel
  • Development of the services offered by the Access Panel
  • Production of local access materials and information on access
  • Development of the Access Panel as an organisation
  • Purchase of equipment – e.g. computers and furniture
  • To enable attendance and participation at meetings

Grants from other Bodies/Trusts

When applying for grants, you must make sure you meet the appropriate criteria when filling out your application form. Grant application packs usually come with explanatory notes. 

Please see Appendix 1 for a list of some External Funding Bodies and the criteria for their grants.


Sponsorship is usually done for promotional purposes, to generate publicity or to obtain access to a wider audience for advertising or information purposes.

This could be different ways of funding events or various activities, for example, getting a local business to pay for the printing of a newsletter. In return for that sponsorship, the business usually asks for advertising on your newsletter and therefore increases the places they advertise.


A donation is a gift that is made by an individual or an organisation to an organisation, charity or a private foundation that does not need paid back.

This could be done by appealing for donations through the local media (newspaper, television and radio) and therefore raising awareness of the Access Panel. This could also be someone making a contribution to the Panel as a Beneficiary from their estate, or that of a friend or relative. Collections tins can be a good way of collecting small amounts of money.

Social Enterprise

A social enterprise is an organisation which reinvests its profits for social purpose as opposed to making financial gain. This means that any money made is used to develop the organisation rather than to make profit.

An idea for this could be a small stall or business, perhaps set up in the local shopping centre, such as Thrift Shop. This way money is being paid in return for some sort of service.

Income Generation/Income Maximisation

Income generation/maximisation is when income is created or maximised and more money or funds are produced. For instance, income could be generated by providing training, access surveys, audits etc.

Fundraising Events

A fundraising event is a public event that encourages people to participate in order to raise money for a specific cause or organisation. As well as raising funds for the Access Panel, this could also help increase membership and promote awareness.