Frequently Asked Questions

What does VAF do?

VAF manages a range of grant programmes including Volunteering, Promoting Equality and Cohesion, Violence Against Women and Girls, Social Isolation and Loneliness and Tackling Sectarianism and a range of community grants and engagement funds. We also provide development support to our projects to increase capacity and build relationships.

Where does VAF get its funding from?

The majority of the grants we manage are funded by the Scottish Government but we also distribute money from private donors.

Does my organisation need to have charitable status to apply?

An organisation does not need to be a registered charity to apply for a grant. However, groups that are not charities must have a constitution and activities that could be considered charitable and must not allow any assets or funds to be distributed amongst its members.

What's the definition of 'volunteering'?


Volunteers are not simply members of a club, or service users or participants in a community event. Volunteers are people who help things happen for other people. They are not themselves the main beneficiaries.

If we have received a grant from VAF in the past can we can we apply again?


Yes, you can re-apply.

Who can act as a referee on applications to VAF?


The referee should be someone who is independent of your organisation but who knows about your group and its activities, and is aware of the subject of your grant application.

What form of annual accounts are acceptable to VAF?


The annual accounts submitted with your application should meet all the requirements of your organisation's regulators. For example, if your organisation is a charity the accounts must be acceptable to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). 
If your group has no regulator, for example it is not a charity or a company, the accounts should, as a minimum, show the:

  • Name of the group;
  • Period covered by the accounts;
  • Opening and closing bank and cash balances; and
  • Income and expenditure for the year and any surplus or deficit.

The VAF application form asks for our organisations' annual income.

What do you mean by annual income?


Your organisation's annual income is the total amount of money your organisation received from whatever source over the last financial year. This will be the total income reported in your latest annual accounts.

Are VAF training sessions and events only open to funded projects?

Our training sessions and events are primarily aimed at organisations that receive funding from a specific VAF grant programme, unless stated otherwise. However, if you do not receive funding from VAF but would like to attend please contact us: we may be able to put you on a waiting list in the event that spare places become available.