Asking for support from the District
Help for groups who are considering asking the District for financial support
What do we need?
In order to be able to apply for grants from anyone, whether that’s the District, or a funder outside of Scouting, you need to be able to explain what you need, and why you need it. Are you asking for one off funding to buy some equipment, to support families who are struggling with the membership fee, to deal with a drop in income, or do you need longer term financial support to get back on your feet?
This guidance was originally written during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, which might have presented you with new challenges you need to find funding to cover. Urgent costs might include:
- The membership fee for some or all members
- Rents, rates and utility bills due to a loss of income
- Equipment to allow leaders to deliver digital programme and join digital meetings
- Equipment to allow young people to join in a digital programme
- Costs of cleaning buildings and equipment
- Personal protective equipment and other coronavirus related costs
When we being to move past coronavirus, or any similar major incident, things you might need help with in the long term could include:
- Everything on the list above plus
- Small or large events that get Scouting going again
- Internet access at scout premises
- Expenses for volunteers who may struggle financially to take part
- Recruitment materials for Groups who have lost members
- External training for Groups that cannot afford to pay
- Programme equipment and material
- And much, much more
Once you have a clear picture of what your needs are, you can then work out how much money you will ask for in support. It is very likely that you will be asked to provide some evidence or documentation to help your request, at the very least the latest set of accounts for the group, so now is a good time to make sure they are up to date. The next task is to contact the District Executive, probably through the District Commissioner and Chairman. It is helpful to explain your situation to them first, this will give you an idea of whether the District is in a position to support you or not. If they aren't, remember, there are other organisations out there who might be able to.
Where else can you get financial support?
Firstly, you should make contact with your local Community Foundation, they will advise you on local grants and funds you can apply for. Secondly, there is a list of national external funds and grants that you can find on our website, and there is also a guide that takes you through how to deal with the application process.
It's also important to speak to your District Executive to ask if they have, or are considering, providing grants to Groups who are in financial need. The District might be in a position to be more responsive than external funders, and they should already know you and your Group, and have a good understanding of the financial support local Scouting needs.
Gift Aid isn’t a grant like those above, it is tax relief provided by the government. If you haven’t done so already you must register for and start claiming Gift Aid. It is a core source of income for many Groups, and allows you to claim 25p back for every £1 donation made to the Group, which includes charitable income from subscriptions and local fundraising, as well as other donations to the Group. In 2019 the average Gift Aid claim per Group was £2,300. If you need any help claiming gift aid see our support pages, or speak to other Trustees and Executive members within your County, Area or Region (Scotland).
Grants and funds for your local group
See our guidance to help find grants outside of Scouting and how to apply for them.Find out where to apply for them
Every group should be claiming Gift Aid, and the process is very straightforward. We take you through it step by step.Learn more about Gift Aid