Ethnic Minority Development Fund (EMDF) 

Area: Scotland 

Suitable for: Ethnic minority-led third sector organisations 

Funding size: £500 to £15,000 

When does the fund launch this year? Monday the 12th February 2024 at 9am

Application deadline: Monday the 15th of April 2024 at 11:59pm

The Ethnic Minority Development Fund (EMDF) is available to any ethnic minority-led third-sector organisations in Scotland.
Please note, by ‘ethnic minority-led’ we mean that your organisation / group must have at least sixty percent representation of people from an ethnic minority background on your board, including in decision-making roles.

The EMDF has been developed in partnership between CEMVO Scotland and The National Lottery Community Fund.  

 Organisations interested in applying to the EMDF will be required to submit an application that must do at least one of the following: –  

  • Bring ethnic minority people together and build strong relationships across communities 

  • Help more ethnic minority people to be the best they can be, by supporting them as soon as possible 

  • Improve places and spaces that matter to ethnic minority communities 

Organisations can apply for up to a minimum of £500 up to a maximum of £15,000 for their project idea. 

How to apply

You can make an application to the EMDF by using one of the application forms below. There is a standard application form as well as an Accessible version application form available. 

Standard Application: Click to download the application

Accessible Version: Click to download the application

We will try to tell you our decision as soon as possible, this usually will take around 18 weeks. 

Send your completed application via Post

CEMVO Scotland (EMDF),
95-107 Lancefield Street
G3 8HZ 

 Send your completed application via Email 

Who can apply

You can apply if your organisation is a:  

  • Unregistered voluntary or community organisation 

  • Not for profit company 

  • Registered charity (unincorporated) 

  • Charitable incorporated organisation (SCIO) 

  • Community interest company (CIC) 

  • Faith based group (like a mosque, gurdwara, temple, church, synagogue etc.) 

Who we can’t accept applications from  

  • Individuals 

  • Sole traders 

  • Companies that can pay profits to directors, shareholders or members (including Companies Limited by Shares) 

  • organisations based outside the UK 

  • organisations that have already sent a Ethnic Minority Development Fund application and are waiting for a decision

  • organisations that don’t have at least two people on their board or committee who aren’t married, in a long-term relationship, living together at the same address, or related by blood 

  • one organisation applying on behalf of another. Be careful of businesses or consultants who say they can support you with your funding applications. They might even say they’re acting on the Fund’s behalf, or they’re a preferred supplier of the Fund. They could even offer to write an application for you. We wouldn’t accept applications from these types of businesses or consultants. But you can get support and advice on writing your application from your local CVS (your local council for voluntary services). 

If you’d like a comprehensive checklist to ensure you’re eligible, click here to download the Pre-Funding Application Checklist.

If you’re not sure if you can apply, please contact us. 

 The projects we fund

A good application must do at least one of these three things: 

  • Bring ethnic minority people together and build strong relationships across communities 

  • Help more ethnic minority people to be the best they can be, by supporting them as soon as possible 

  • Improve places and spaces that matter to ethnic minority communities 

Your project also has to involve your community
We believe that people understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone. So it’s important to us that you involve your community in the design, development and delivery of the activities you’re planning. 

What can you spend money on?

This list doesn’t include everything. So, if you’re not sure, contact us. 

We can fund:

  • equipment 

  • one-off events 

  • small land or building projects (but make sure you own the land or building, have a lease that can’t be ended for five years, have a letter from the owner saying the land or building will be leased to you for at least five years, or an official letter from the owner or landlord that says you’re allowed to do work on the building) – you should also think about getting planning permission for the work too 

  • staff costs 

  • training costs 

  • transport 

  • utilities/running costs 

  • volunteer expenses 

We can’t fund: 

  • alcohol 

  • contingency costs, loans, endowments or interest 

  • electricity generation and feed-in tariff payments 

  • political or religious activities 

  • profit-making/fundraising activities 

  • VAT you can reclaim 

  • statutory activities 

  • overseas travel 

Support available

Funding support sessions

CEMVO Scotland is inviting you to attend one of the funding support sessions which will allow you to:

  • Find out more about the EMDF fund
  • Learn how to write successful funding applications
  • Hear about common pitfalls & what to do instead
  • Ask us any questions you might have

This is a great opportunity to learn in more detail about the EMDF fund, speak to us directly and ensure you are in the strongest position to secure funding for your project.

To sign up for a session click here:

Project & application feedback

If you would like to speak to us about your project and its eligibility for the EMDF Fund, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: We are also offering informal feedback and advice on draft funding applications. We have limited capacity in relation to this and will prioritise small, grassroots and new groups/organisations. This is available until 1st of April.