SCOTLAND’S growing Yes movement has a powerful new weapon in its armoury from today which has 120,000 reasons to succeed.

The National can exclusively reveal the beginning of the Scottish Independence Foundation, a new organisation that will help promote the cause of independence by offering financial support to grassroots campaigns and projects.

WATCH: The Proclaimers explain why they’re backing huge indy fund

The Scottish Independence Foundation (SIF) has already attracted donations of more than £120,000 and is now inviting applications for funding from pro-independence organisations and individuals. It is also looking for more donations – you can find out all the details at its website,

SIF is the brainchild of Dr Willie Wilson, pharmacy owner, retired academic and convener of NHSforYES, who told The National: “The next independence campaign will be won on the doorsteps, in the communities and workplaces, and through networks, real and virtual.

“A great hunger exists among YES groups all over the country; we want to feed these grassroots”.

The organisation has already helped to fund several projects in the run-up to its public launch today.

The National:

These include the first episode of National columnist Lesley Riddoch’s new ‘Nation’ documentary film series made in collaboration with @PhantomPower.

Riddoch said: “Without SIF funding, the film I’ve just made in the Faroe Islands simply wouldn’t have happened.”

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Business for Scotland also attracted SIF financial support for its Independence Ambassador Programme, which aims to train individuals to explain the benefits of independence in their own communities.

National columnist and Business for Scotland founder and chief executive Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said: “SIF is a great idea and much needed at this stage in the new drive towards independence.

“The seeding donation from SIF for our Independence Ambassador Programme helped to accelerate our campaigning preparedness.”

The money so far donated to SIF has come from “a small number of dedicated indy supporters,’’ said Wilson, who added that anyone wishing to give money can do so through the organisation’s website, Anyone who wants to apply for financial support can download guidelines and application forms from the website.

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Wilson said: “Applications will be considered in the light of their value or potential value to the cause of independence.”

SIF has already attracted support from several high-profile independence supporters, including Charlie and Craig Reid of The Proclaimers, who have recorded a video to welcome people to the website and encourage them to donate or apply.

The Proclaimers’ support for independence has never wavered in their 35-year career. Charlie says in the video: “Hi this is Charlie and Craig and we are supporting the Scottish Independence Foundation.”

Craig continues: “They’re helping fund Yes people from all around the country starting to come together to get ready for the next independence referendum whenever it comes.”

Charlie adds: “The Scottish Independence Foundation needs donations to its fund so it can help grow the grassroots of that campaign.

Craig then says: “Please give what you can. Let’s get this done. Thanks and aw the best.”

The new organisation says it will not be commissioning projects as such but has instead issued broad guidelines for suitable projects for funding. These include the education or training of activists; the design and production of campaign materials; an event or series of events to raise the profile of indy and the development of infrastructure and/or processes to support a future campaign.

Applications should be from a recognised independence-supporting group or groups, possibly affiliated to the Scottish Independence Convention.

Grants would normally be for £500 or more, although consideration is being given to a smaller grants scheme.

The SIF board will include convener Wilson, vice-convener John Hunter-Paterson (an insurance broker) and treasurer Dr Ian Grant (a retired A&E consultant).

Advisory board members are Dan Macdonald (chief executive of Macdonald Estates), Elaine C Smith (convener of the Scottish Independence Convention) and George Kerevan (journalist and former MP for East Lothian). The chief executive of SIF is Greg McCarra (a former academic, councillor and trade unionist).

SIF says it is not aligned to any political party and is not part of any other pro-independence grouping. Its aim is to be “a trusted custodian of funds generated by individual contributions, large and small, channelling them, without prejudice, into projects which will benefit the movement”.

Wilson said: “The opponents of independence, supported by a compliant media, can use massive funds from the vested interests of the UK establishment.

“But Scotland’s greatest asset – our people – is more than their match and SIF dedicates itself to investing in their ingenuity, resourcefulness and talents to take our country to independence.”