SD Europe Fund: SD Scotland

This article is the second of six editions introducing the projects that were successfully chosen for  the SD Europe Fund. In this piece, we discuss SD Scotland’s project aimed at gaining a better understanding in the development of volunteers in Scottish football.


Recap: What is the SD Europe Fund?

The objective of the SD Europe Fund is to enable the members of the SD Europe network to establish their own projects that further develop supporter involvement. The SD Europe Fund sees the distribution of €12,000 to its members; €9,000 to fund three nation-wide projects and €3,000 to fund three projects with exchange visits of member-run clubs within the network. Each project chosen was constructed with SD Europe’s four principles in mind; Democracy, Cooperation, Solidarity and Sustainability.

Recap: Who were the successful applicants to the SD Europe Fund?Member-run Football ClubsNational Supporters OrganisationsPAC Omonia 1948 (Cyprus)Israfans (Israel)AKS Zły (Poland)Unsere Kurve (Germany)FC Tarraco, CAP Ciudad de Murcia, UP Palencia (Spain)Supporters Direct Scotland

 Volunteering – Broadening Impact & Strengthening Community Links (SD Scotland)

Who is running the project?


Founded as a democratic Community Benefit Society, Supporters Direct Scotland is a democratic and representative body of Scottish community owned clubs, supporters trusts and supporters in general, working to protect, promote and further their interests with governing bodies of Scottish football and other stakeholders.

Visit SD Scotland’s website here.

What are the project’s activities?

SD Scotland will conduct research into volunteering best practice in partnership with academic and not-for-profit partners. Specifically, the project will look at volunteering in Scottish Professional Football League clubs, two lower league clubs and two community owned clubs. 

The project will also promote volunteering through signposting opportunities for individuals to volunteer with SPFL clubs’ charitable trusts, SD Scotland members, community clubs and other not-for-profit sport-based organisations. 

SD Scotland are embarking on this project because it recognises that volunteers are a vital component in Scottish football at all levels of the game, as a result, clubs need to be properly prepared to manage existing volunteers and recruit new ones, whilst ensuring that time spent volunteering is as beneficial for the volunteer as it is for the football club. 

What are the anticipated outcomes and impact at national and local/club level?

The desired outcome of the project is to build a library of documented best practices and success stories, and a set of simple resources to help clubs overcome common challenges. Developing best practice guidelines will aid to ensure both the host organisation and the individual volunteers are able to benefit and grow from the experience. 

By applying these insights, SD Scotland intends to establish lasting improvements at clubs, through quick wins, solutions to common problems, and an easily transferable framework for clubs to adopt. The project will encourage and enable clubs to engage with their communities and broaden their impact to areas of priority for the people within those communities. 

Through the signposting of opportunities and advocating for volunteer training courses, the project aims to establish more volunteers and better equip clubs, their charities and supporters’ trust in managing volunteers. In addition to the project outcomes, each club taking part in the study will directly benefit by receiving feedback on their current activities, peer support when discussing their challenges and ultimately a closer relationship with SD Scotland. 

SD Europe will be on hand to support SD Scotland throughout the project, and looks forward to the project’s outcomes which will no doubt provide an insight into volunteering that could be applied in other countries in the future. We will bring you updates on this project as it progresses. 

Next week, we will introduce the projects from Polish fan-owned club AKS Zły and Israeli national supporters organisation Israfans. 

Missed the first article? You can find out about Cypriot member-run club PAC Omonia 1948’s project here.