Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about the Go For It Fund, the following FAQs may be helpful.

If you need further information, please contact the Go For It Team via e-mail at goforit@churchofscotland.org.uk or phone: 0131 225 5722.

Section One: The Go for It Fund and other funding sources

What level of funding will Go For It provide?

For Research Grants, the maximum award is £1,500.

For Pilot Grants, the maximum award is £5,000.

For Step Grants, the maximum award is £5,000.

For Training Grants, the maximum award is £1,500.

For Help Grants, the maximum award is £2,000.

For Main Grants, the maximum award is £45,000 over a three year period (£15,000 per annum), which should represent up to 50% of your project costs.

For Continuation Grants, the maximum award is £20,000 over a two year period (£10,000 per annum), which should represent up to 50% of your project costs.

If your application has demonstrated that your project will predominantly support people who are among the poorest in Scotland, then you may apply for up to 80% of your project costs, with a maximum of £90,000 Main Grant funding (£30,000 per year), or £40,000 Continuation Grant funding (£20,000 per year).

What levels of match funding does Go For It require?

No match funding is required for Research, Training or Help Grants.

For Pilot Grants, it is expected that organisations will be able to demonstrate an appropriate investment of their own money or resources into the pilot.

Organisations will have to provide 50% match funding for Step, Main and Continuation Grants. However if you can demonstrate that your project will predominantly support people who are among the poorest in Scotland, then Go For It will provide up to 80% of your overall project costs and you will have to find an additional 20%.

Can I count “in kind” contributions as match funding?

We will not count this as match funding, but we are always pleased to see “in kind” contributions, as they often bring more connections and get more people supporting the work.

How can I find out about projects already in receipt of Go For It funding?

There are stories and videos from supported projects on our webpages.

You can also download a Directory listing all the projects we Fund.

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Will Go For It fund building renovation?

Unfortunately Go For It cannot award grants for the overhaul and modernisation of buildings as we were not established for this remit. We were set up to fund the direct delivery of project work within local churches and communities; that is, work with local people that will make a quantifiable difference to people’s lives. An application to Go For It must be focused on a project. So for example, if you want to refurbish your church kitchen, that isn’t something that Go For It would be interested in funding. However, if you were coming to us with a project that intended to run a community café, and fitted with Go For It criteria, then of course we would consider refurbishment as part of that project.

Go For It funds projects that will bring about change in at least two of the following areas:

  • Meeting identified needs, or strengthening assets, in the community
  • Nurturing Christian faith within and beyond the church
  • Tackling poverty and/or social injustice
  • Developing new ecclesial/Christian communities
  • Creating work which is genuinely innovative and shares good practice with others

We are particularly interested in projects that can demonstrate good partnership working.

Will Go For It fund retrospective purchases?

No, Go For It will only provide funding for future expenditure.

Will Go For It fund applications from voluntary sector projects?

Voluntary sector projects who are working in partnership with a local Church of Scotland congregation are welcome to apply. However if you are a voluntary organisation applying in partnership with a local Church of Scotland, please check carefully with the Church which is supporting the application. If they are in receipt of Go For It funding, you are not eligible to apply. Go For It will only fund one project per church at a time. Consequently you can only submit one application per church at any given time.

Will Go For It fund applications from national organisations?

In keeping with Go For It’s ethos, we will only fund projects originating from local Church of Scotland congregations, or from voluntary sector projects working in partnership with a local Church of Scotland congregation. However, part of a successful application to Go For It will be the demonstration of a commitment to good partnership working, and we would welcome applications from Church of Scotland congregations who are working in partnership with national organisations.

Can a Linked Charge apply to Go For It, for funding for two different projects?

Go For It will only fund one project, from one church, at any one time. Consequently you can only submit one application per congregation at any given time.

In the case of a linkage, each congregation within the linked charge would be able to make a separate application to Go For It, at the same time, with the caveat below:

A linked charge is permitted to submit separate applications because each congregation within the linkage is a separate entity with a separate OSCR number. However, the charge would have to determine if they had the capacity to run more than one project. In addition, the projects would have to be discreet and different, and have separate Management Committees, i.e. people could only serve on the Management Committee of one project. Given that a linked charge shares a minister, it would be permissible for them to be involved in more than one project, but again, the minister would have to determine if they had the capacity to do so.

What other funders could our project apply to?

There is an “Other Sources of Funding Resource” on our webpages, which offers information about potential funders your project may wish to consider.

Section Two: Making a Go For It Application

We are completing the Main Grant application form, and it asks us to state our outcomes and activities. What’s the difference?

Outcomes are the specific changes you would like to see as a result of your project. What difference do you want to make for your beneficiaries? Think about the core needs or opportunities that have driven you to develop your project, and the impact you want your project to have. Use verbs that express growth when setting your outcomes, e.g. increased, decreased, improved, changed etc.

It’s helpful when thinking about what outcomes you want to achieve, to think about what it would look like if you had met the needs you’ve identified.

Activities or "outputs" are what you will actually do to meet your outcomes and bring about a difference. Think about how will deliver your project, and what you will provide. Remember to think about why each activity will help you achieve your outcomes.

Our project is employing paid staff. What should our budget allow for National Insurance contributions and pensions?

The current National Insurance employer contribution rate (2018-2019 tax year) is usually 13.8% for employer contributions, above a monthly threshold of £702. NI contributions are based upon the period it is paid out (weekly, monthly etc.), so for example, if the salary is being paid on a monthly basis and is above £702 per month, then the employer will have to make provision in the budget for contributions at 13.8%. Go For It expects Grant recipients who are employing staff to make a minimum 3% employer contribution to staff pension plans.

Further information on National Insurance, pensions and salaries is available in this document.

What recruitment process does Go For It expect our project to have in place?

Generally we expect projects to run an open recruitment process which would include:

  • drawing up a job description and person specification
  • advertising online, through local papers, posters in church, etc
  • having a closing date allowing for 2 weeks minimum from the time of advertising
  • appointing a small recruitment panel (two or three) who will shortlist, and then interview

It’s a model we want to encourage at whatever stage the project is at, because it is good management and employment practice. We appreciate that at the early stages of a project this would be a simpler model e.g advertising on the church website, rather than at the Main Grant stage, where we would expect more rigour.

How do I find out about Go For It Learning and Training events?

Information about our Learning and Training events can be found on the Learning and Resources section of our webpages. Booking Forms are released six weeks in advance of each event.

Our project has submitted an application to Go For It – have we been successful?

In the case of a Small Grant Application, a small group of Go For It Committee members will assess your proposal, requesting further information if necessary. Small Grants are assessed outwith Committee meeting times, and you will receive a letter informing you of the Committee’s decision within six to eight weeks of submitting your application.

In the case of a Main/Continuation Grant Application, the submission deadlines are in February and September each year. Current Main/Continuation Grant deadlines are updated on our website.

Your application will be considered by the Committee at their Spring or Autumn Grants meeting, along with two assessment reports - one from a member of staff, and the other from a designated Committee member, who will arrange a telephone interview with the main contact person named in your application. You will receive a letter informing you of the Committee’s decision within 5 working days of the Committee meeting.

Section Three: Fairness and transparency in Go For It funding

To ensure fairness and transparency, we cannot read over an application prior to submission, but we are happy to answer specific questions about your application, or to provide pointers in relation to certain parts of the form that your project is unsure about.

You are very welcome to contact the Go For It Team via e-mail: goforit@churchofscotland.org.uk or phone: 0131 225 5722.

You may also want to come and speak to us in person – we are based in the Ministries Department of the Church of Scotland Offices, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN. Please contact us by phone or e-mail beforehand, to arrange a mutually convenient meeting time.

If we have received a Main Grant from Go For It, or from the former Parish Development, Priority Areas Staffing or Emerging Ministries Funds, can we apply again to the Go For It Fund?

If you have received a Main Grant from Go For It, or from the former Parish Development, Priority Areas Staffing or Emerging Ministries Funds, you may only apply to Go For It for Continuation, Training or Help funding, for the same project.

You may only apply to Go For It for funding for a new project, once any existing funding has ceased.

Can we apply for two Grants for two different projects at the same time?

No, Go For It will only fund one project, per church, at any one time. Consequently you can only submit one application per church at any given time.

You may only apply to Go For It for funding for a new project, once any existing funding has ceased.

If several congregations are involved in one project, does this debar each congregation from applying to Go For It for a completely different project, until the existing funding has ceased?

If one church was the lead applicant, with responsibility for management of the project, and if the other churches in the partnership were providing volunteers (so perhaps receiving a small portion of the award for volunteer expenses) then we would think that it would be unfair to disbar the other churches from applying for a Go For It Grant in their own right. On the other hand, if the other congregations had greater involvement, running activities jointly, and benefitting from a higher proportion of the income from the Award, then we would take the view that they were more equally involved in the project, and therefore would not be able to apply for a Go For It Grant whilst the project was being funded.

Will Go For It support projects that are managed by a Presbytery or another organisation?

Go For It will support well managed organisations that are either the projects of Church of Scotland congregations, managed by a steering group/Kirk Session or are well managed voluntary sector organisations but with a clear link to a local Church of Scotland and with explicit Kirk Session approval. Go For It was established to support local projects and generally does not support Presbytery wide applications.

Section Four: After Receiving a Go For It Grant

Our project is a Go For It Grant recipient and would now like to become a Registered Charity – what information does Go For It require?

Your project should submit the following information to Go For It:

  • An extract minute of Kirk Session approval that you have sought/are seeking charitable status
  • The name of your Safeguarding Coordinator (if appropriate)
  • Confirmation of your Scottish Charity Number
  • A copy of the OSCR Trustee Declaration Form
  • A copy of your Constitution or other governing document
  • Confirmation of the names of your Chair, Treasurer and other office bearers
  • Details of any financial changes – for example new bank account details if payments are to be made into a different bank account