Rural groups in Scotland 'need better information on funding'

Charities in rural areas cannot compete with their urban counterparts, says academic

Philomena de Lima, director of the University of the Highlands and Islands Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, will present the findings of a study by the centre at the Scottish launch of the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy on 13 February.

Rural voluntary organisations in Scotland feel they do not have sufficient information to compete for funding with those in urban areas, delegates at a Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations seminar will be told.

De Lima will call on the CCGAP to carry out research into the work of charities in rural areas to help them gain access to more sources of funding.

She said funding was often tied to population levels and rural groups struggled to demonstrate the need for their services compared with those in urban areas.

"They could be losing out on large sums of funding because they can't provide firm evidence," she said. "They don't have the capacity to keep up with what's available to them."

De Lima added that the current lack of information could exacerbate the effects of the recession because organisations would be unable to prepare for and react to changing trends.

Stephen Osbourne, co-director of CCGAP's research base at Edinburgh University, said little research had been done into rural voluntary organisations and charitable giving in the UK and Europe. "We would be happy to collaborate on research like that," he said.


The Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy was launched at London's Cass Business School in October.

Edinburgh University, a research partner of the centre, is holding a separate launch in Scotland to raise awareness of its work.

The centre will receive £2.2m over five years.

It researches and promotes effective giving and philanthropy.

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