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Foundation Scotland manages all applications to the Essentia Foundation. The next round of funding, for multi year grants, opens on 13th May 2024.

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Home | News | The Case for Multi-Year Funding


For community groups and charities across Scotland, securing grant funding is often a yearly challenge. According to data from 360 giving, the vast majority of grants in the UK are awarded on a single-year basis, with 77% of grants in 2021-22 having a duration of one year or less.

This short-term funding cycle forces charities into a cycle of grant applications and reporting, diverting precious time away from their core missions. It also limits their ability to plan long-term, think strategically, or tackle complex issues that require multi-year investments.

Multi-year grants, though still relatively uncommon, provide breathing room and stability. With future funding assured for 2-3 years or more, non-profits can spend less time fundraising and more time on the ground delivering impactful activities. Operationally, a multi-year award can also enable trustees to set multi-year objectives and develop strategy.

Recognising the benefits of multi-year giving, the Essentia Foundation launched its first multi-year funding round in 2022. Through this initiative, organisations can submit applications for three-year projects, with grants of up to £9,000 (£3,000 per year) available. The focus of these projects is to benefit young people up to the age of 25. In the last two years, a wide range of activities have been delivered through this programme, with everything from digital media skills workshops and therapeutic play programmes to art clubs and mental health support services. To date, 21 organisations have been supported through this multi-year funding stream of the Essentia Foundation. This month marks the launch of the third year of this successful initiative, continuing the Foundation’s commitment to providing sustained support for impactful projects aimed at youth development and well being.

For the Essentia Foundation, the benefits of multi-year giving have been tenfold. Multi-year grants have strengthened the relationships between the Foundation and its grantees. With longer time horizons spanning three years, there have been ample opportunities for ongoing dialogue, sharing of insights, and even project visits. Through this extended engagement, the Foundation has gained a deeper understanding of the work being done by the grantees it supports as well as the young people who have benefited from funding.

“As a funder, I appreciate multi-year awards because they enable me to chronicle the full journey of the groups we support. With a multi-year grant, we get so much more data and stories out of just one grant period. It allows us to track their progress, see how they adapt to challenges, and celebrate successes over a longer timeline. Multi-year funding also gives us the opportunity to provide additional support beyond just the financial resources. We can often signpost grantees to other relevant funding opportunities or make connections that benefit their work along the way. Multi-year grants foster deeper relationships that ultimately lead to greater impact.”

Mercedes Jones, Fund Adviser for The Essentia Foundation

If you are interested in applying for this years, multi-year round, please find the funding page here with applications being invited from Monday 13th May 2024.

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