Application Process


How will applications be assessed, what factors will be important in the initial stage?

The application process is in 2 stages. In the first, all concept notes will be reviewed and skype/zoom meetings arranged where further clarification is needed. Applicants will be assessed on their submission against the Fund Priorities, Important Factors, and Funding Matters which are all detailed in the Concept Call.


Can I have a chat with someone before I apply?

Calls will be arranged with applicants if further clarification is needed on the concept note submitted.

If successful in the initial stage what happens next?

Outcomes will be communicated from Stage 1 in late 2020/early 2021 with those successfully joining the shortlist moving immediately to Stage 2.


What happens in Stage 2 of the process?

Muirhead Advisory on behalf of the donor will work closely with short listed organisations to develop a full understanding of the plan for the full period of the partnership. During this stage financial and developmental requirements over the proposed period of the partnership will be established.

Who will assess the applications and make funding decisions?

Muirhead Advisory will be responsible for assessment with final decisions made by the donor.


General Matters


What makes an organisation eligible to apply?

To be eligible your charity/social enterprise must:

  • Be registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator/Charity Commission/Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies.

  • Submit your most recent financial report with the Concept Note

  • Be seeking funding support for work which addresses at least one of the priorities listed in the Concept Call


Can charities based outside Scotland who work in Scotland apply?

Yes, if the funds are for social impact in Scotland.

Are there any parameters in terms of the income/size of an applicant organisation (maximum and minimum)?



When will I find out if accepted for the fund, and funding support be available?

By late 2020 a short-list of potential partners will be identified, there is no set date for partnerships to get underway but funding will likely commence from Q2 2021.

Will support be provided to short-listed organisations to develop ideas/plans?

Muirhead Advisory will provide support during this phase, small amounts of funding may be made available to short-listed organisations if specialist input is required.


How do you decide the level of funding to be granted?

Muirhead Advisory will work with you on the numbers and jointly establish the level of grant funding required. This will be different for all potential partners and will be based on the plan developed as above.

How will you gather evidence and learning?

 The aim is to develop learning from all partnerships, but to do so in a way that is reasonable and not overly bureaucratic. This will be considered as part of the planning process, where possible evaluation systems already in place will be used, the Fund will also consider supporting the development of evaluation as part of the on-going grant funding. It will be important to focus on data collection which provides partners with practical management information. The priority is in an evaluation model that will support you in making good management decisions


What happens beyond the 5 years?

This will be different for each potential partner, the plan developed at Stage 2 will consider future sustainability and how to prepare for the future during the life of the grant.

What is Muirhead Advisory?

Muirhead Advisory supports a range of organisations in the charitable and social investment sectors globally, with clients currently in Latin America, the US, Asia, and Europe. Areas of expertise include Strategic Planning, Designing Venture Philanthropy Funds, Start-Ups, Fundraising, Project Management, and Leadership Development.

The founder Andrew Muirhead has extensive experience of the social sector in Scotland having previously led Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland (now Corra Foundation), and Inspiring Scotland.