Glossary of terms

The following terms are used on our website and in our publications:

Balanced score card

A performance management tool for measuring whether the smaller-scale operational activities of an organisation are aligned with its larger-scale objectives in terms of vision and strategy. It covers not only financial outcomes but also a range of other inputs to these, providing a more comprehensive view of an organisation.


The grouping of investment and non-financial support round a particular theme of work.

High net worth individual

In personal finance, net worth (or wealth) refers to an individual's net financial position. This takes into account the value of all assets minus the value of all liabilities or debts. A person with investable assets (financial assets not including primary residence) of between £500,000 and £5 million is referred to as a ‘high net worth individual’ or by the acronym HNWI.

In-kind support

Giving resources such as time or material as opposed to direct financial support.

Landscape change

The concept of delivering major change as opposed to smaller less noticeable changes.


The change that results from doing something. For example, the outcome of a workshop might be improved behaviour of the people who attended.


Something that is done or delivered, for example a workshop or publication. This is a useful indicator that things are happening, but is not a measure of the difference they actually make.

Performance Advisor

The name given to the role within Inspiring Scotland that works directly with ventures to deliver support for their work and to monitor performance.


Individuals committed to using their resources to help promote good or improve human lives.

Pro bono

Derived from Latin meaning "for the public good". The term is generally used to describe professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment as a public service.

Social change

All the issues tackled by Inspiring Scotland are ‘social issues’ which have a big impact on society in Scotland. By addressing these social issues we aim to bring about change within Scotland’s society, or ‘social change’.

Social investment

When the main aim of an investment is to help beneficiaries as opposed to generating financial return this is referred to as ‘social investment’.

Venture philanthropy

the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) calls this ‘a field of philanthropic activity where private equity / venture capital models are applied in the non-profit and charitable sectors’. There are many different forms of venture philanthropy but the EVPA believes it can be characterised as:

  • The active partnership, or engagement, of donors, volunteers and/or experts with charities to achieve agreed outcomes such as organisational effectiveness, capacity building or other important change;
  • The use of a variety of financing techniques in addition to grants, such as multi-year financing, loans or other financial instruments most appropriate for a charity's needs; The capability to provide skills and/or hands-on resources with the objective of adding value to the development of a charity;
  • The desire to enable donors to maximise the social return on their investment whether that be as a financial donor or as a volunteer of time and expertise.


The charitable organisations in which we invest.