Who We Are

Inspiring Scotland is a highly engaged venture philanthropy organisation designed and developed to transform Scotland’s charities and change lives. 

Inspiring Scotland has drawn on experience in Australia, the USA and Europe to develop a new model of venture philanthropy tailored to Scotland which:

  • Deploys funds raised with strategic partners to maximum effect.
  • Tackles key social issues in Scotland in a logical and thoughtful way, achieving positive and long-lasting social impact.
  • Offers concerted and sustained support to voluntary organisations capable of addressing these issues.
  • Attracts new money to the charities we work with, by effectively evidencing need and then delivering clear social benefits.
  • Develops learning through rigorous evaluation, sharing successes and failures.

This is the first time a venture philanthropy model has grown from within the voluntary sector. Its initial development was led by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, an experienced and respected grant making trust, and at the start of 2009 Inspiring Scotland became a fully independent organisation.

Applying our in-depth knowledge

We have in-depth knowledge of the voluntary sector and the challenges facing these charities, which are typically small, local organisations.

A significant challenge that has huge impact on their work is the way in which funding is delivered at present. This is typically short term – often for no more than a year at a time – which leads to problems such as:

  • Inability to plan beyond the available funding, leading to difficulty in delivering strategic work.
  • Too much bureaucracy, which decreases the time charities have to deliver their services.
  • Funding is often for projects or capital, rather than to sustain the core business of the charities.
  • Inspiring Scotland seeks to address these challenges with long-term funding, delivered in parallel to organisational development.