Preparation is important, so we work with communities, acknowledging their skills and experiences, to identify and understand their opportunities and explore the choices available. We encourage people to articulate their hopes for the future and develop a positive plan for getting there.
How we make a difference
Scotland’s communities are made up of people giving their time, resources, connections and skills to take care of each other and their surroundings. Whether linked by a common place, interest or experience, communities cultivate opportunities for positive change. Although communities' circumstances are always specific, their issues often share common roots.
Guided by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the concept of the wellbeing economy, Foundation Scotland funds locally-led social, economic and environmental initiatives that create vibrant, enterprising and diverse places.
We support communities by paying attention to the challenges they want to address, understanding underlying causes and building community capacities and resources for achieving change. Foundation Scotland has developed extensive expertise and experience working with communities and donors throughout Scotland for over 25 years, giving us a uniquely-informed perspective.
- Encourages more investment in community action that enables people and places to flourish.
- Embeds wellbeing in everything we do. This enriches our work, strengthening our already deep connections with communities and demands different ways of thinking and operating as a funder.
- Nurtures enduring relationships with communities and local organisations. This requires ongoing care and attention, coupled with the support of a growing number of donors seeking to fund community-led solutions.
Supporting the growth of thriving communities is Foundation Scotland’s focus, so we help people identify opportunities and maintain what works for them. We call this supporting their community ecosystem. Alongside others, we help improve the environment for communities to thrive by assisting people to seed their ideas, grow them, and reap ongoing benefits.
Working in this way, Foundation Scotland encourages truly meaningful improvement and informs wider societal change.
People in communities know what challenges they face and they often have ideas about how these might be best addressed. In addition to tackling immediate need, we encourage communities to understand the root causes of these challenges, supporting them to identify the changes and resources needed for lasting solutions.
We promote participation and celebrate diversity, encouraging people to come together to develop initiatives that are inclusive of everyone.
Committed to community, we nurture co-operation, building trust and confidence through active listening and open and ongoing communication. We recognise that solutions developed with communities work best and encourage them to take the lead, building alliances and partnerships with others.
For a community to thrive it must be able to recognise and address inequity, inequality and exclusion. Foundation Scotland supports communities tackling these deep-rooted problems.
We support work to research community issues, improving understanding of the causes of problems, identifying opportunities for change and developing a clearer picture of the resources needed to help communities thrive.
We bring resources to enable projects to flourish: funding, training, facilitation, and links to other community groups doing similar work.
As ideas developed by communities begin to take shape, we offer practical advice and signpost to additional sources of support. We work with people to identify achievements and sustain and replicate them.
As well as helping to maintain what works, we encourage experimentation in ideas and approaches. Recognising that both failure and success inform progress, we share learning widely.
We recognise that creating change by tackling the root causes of problems with far-reaching social implications can take time, so we commit to working with communities long-term. It is locally-generated learning that informs wider positive action.
We assess progress and monitor impact as activities progress, understanding that anticipated outcomes may change as projects evolve and adapt to local conditions.
As their work develops, communities’ needs may change. Foundation Scotland works with a broad range of donors to provide ongoing and relevant funding and support.
We help communities to appreciate changes achieved and explore what may be needed next. We support communities to share their expertise and learning to encourage others and in turn inform local and national policy development.
We celebrate and promote successful community-led initiatives. This cultivates new perspectives and helps promote preventative thinking more widely.
We collaborate with other groups and organisations that champion support for preventative and more upstream approaches and work with donors to understand and appreciate the value of this perspective.
Evidence matters, both quantitative and qualitative, so we value how people in communities describe the differences funding makes to them.
We gather and share learning – focusing on why things work and why they don’t – to inform and influence the work of others. Innovation is celebrated and success stories are shared to demonstrate what is possible – in a thriving community ecosystem, surprising shoots sometimes emerge.
We continue to work to ensure that more funds address wellbeing and prevention in Scotland’s communities, although we also recognise the immediate challenges many face. We advocate for and inform sustainable change.
Our work contributes to a growing movement that demonstrates the positive impact of wellbeing-focused approaches. This leads to a Scotland where communities thrive, supported by policies that promote social justice and a healthy environment.