Foundation Scotland was established in 1996 as the Scottish Community Foundation before changing its name to Foundation Scotland in 2012. Throughout that time, it has been committed to addressing the challenges individuals and communities face in Scotland.

The Foundation brings donors and local communities together, supporting people to direct their giving to issues and causes important to them and where it’s needed most. Foundation Scotland is recognised for its ability to combine knowledge, finance, and the expertise to engage successfully with a community. This blend lies at the heart of its role. It enables funders to support the building blocks of a community: grassroots groups; charities; anchor organisations and enterprises; and focuses on communities of place, and of interest.

Trusted by over 300 communities, from Shetland to Stranraer, and Portree to Dundee, it has over 400 funders counting on its services. From a standing start the Foundation has now invested over £100m into communities. As Scotland’s community foundation, it’s part of a movement of 50 similar foundations in the UK, and of a global field of 2,000 foundations, each inspiring change in their community.

As an independent funder, it has the privilege to think and act differently:

  • testing new ideas and ways of working
  • taking risks which state funding cannot
  • taking the initiative, alongside responding to immediate and vital demands
  • having a long-term view, not limited by short-term cycles
  • enabling citizens to gather around a common vision and provide the fuel to take action

Foundation Scotland has built knowledge from its commitment to communities and funders. It has crafted expertise in strengthening community leadership and governance, and has generated know-how in guidance and support for funders, such as philanthropists, enabling them to develop their plans and to deliver the ‘why, where, how and what’.

Over the last year, on behalf of donors, the Foundation distributed over £18.1m, making them one of the largest independent funders of the voluntary sector in Scotland. The knowledge of the sector allows the Foundation to find lesser-known charities, including community groups, ensuring that the awards make an impact and create lasting change.

Our Ambitions

  • Harnessing finance for investment into communities
  • Working at the heart of transformational philanthropy
  • Sharing knowledge gained from experience to inform policy and practice
  • Achieving excellence through our people, practice and systems

To read more about what we do – please visit