Inspiring stories of success and the practical tools to meeting challenges were the order of the day at the latest 14:19 Fund portfolio day in Edinburgh this month.
The day was an opportunity for 14:19 portfolio charities to network, reflect and celebrate their last few months’ work. The aim of all the charities is to help young people into what are known as positive destinations; employment, training and education.
Matt Fountain, the founder and managing director of Freedom Bakery, a social enterprise teaching baking in Scottish prisons, gave talk on how his organisation has grown and developed in its first year.
Peppered with individual success stories of those Freedom Bakery is helping, Matt detailed his pragmatic approach to securing a sustainable funding model which would allow the organisation to stay true it vision and maximise its social impact – rehabilitating prisoners through employability and reducing reoffending.
In addition to Matt, 14:19 Fund charities Impact Arts and SHMUTrain presented their journeys and case studies including films and sound bites with great stories of the young people they have helped. Innes Brynes, a young person from Impact Arts, was able to stand up and show that thanks to the Creative Pathways programme he has now been accepted to college and enjoys getting out bed in the morning - something that wasn't the case before he embarked on film-making with them.
Fiona Doring of Impact Arts talks about the good, the bad and ugly things the charity has faced
The afternoon session focussed on some of the practical tools which can enable success and increase organisations’ social impact.
Catherine Alexander, an Inspiring Scotland performance advisor, talked through presenting cost-benefit analysis as a measure of impact to potential funders and Kirsty Mitchell of Digital Connextions explained how her company’s skills and training app can help young people better demonstrate their skills and connect with employers.
The Inspiring Scotland 14:19 fund started in 2009 and since then has worked with a portfolio of 24 charities throughout Scotland, helping over 20,000 young people aged between 14 and 19 into positive destinations. Inspiring Scotland provides a 'wraparound' support which includes both funding and a type of management consultancy to help the charities to further improve their practice in order that they can transform more lives. It also provides a pro bono service, matching a charity’s specific needs with professionals who can advise them, a service they provide for free. So far this has included HR, legal support, and board and governance.
To date the 1419 fund has attracted investment of £40m, comprising individual investors, Scottish Government and Trusts & Foundations.