The Scottish Parliament has passed legislation restricting expenditure from dormant bank accounts in the country to third sector organisations that promote a "strong, resilient and supportive community".
The Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts (Scotland) Order 2010 came into force last week.
Dormant bank accounts are expected to produce about £24m for distribution in Scotland over the first three years, and about £1.5m each year thereafter.
The money will be distributed through the Big Lottery Fund Scotland.
The Scottish government has asked BLF Scotland to look mainly at opportunities for children and young people, increasing activity to improve health, improving connections between generations and creating community-based employment.
It is also considering creating endowed trusts to serve deprived communities in perpetuity.
Funds will be available for the sector in about a year’s time, the Scottish government predicted.