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History - Inspiring Scotland


We have been working to make Scotland a better place since 2008.

Our history

We work together and get results

When Inspiring Scotland was formed, we wanted to tackle some of the long-term, entrenched social problems faced by Scotland’s people and communities. Problems such as poverty and longstanding deprivation have caused deep-rooted, self-perpetuating inequalities among our communities, leading to long-term unemployment, poor health, and diminished opportunities. We wanted to change that.

We wanted to deliver real and lasting change in areas where, for so long, social organisations and public policy had struggled to have a big enough impact.

To do this we adopted the venture philanthropy model of financial support matched with tailored development support to the charity sector – and pioneered it in Scotland. This model helps charities to increase the scale of the work they do and therefore have a greater impact on the people they help.

We knew to make this model successful we would need to build networks and foster greater collaboration between organisations and the people who work for them, to build long-term strategic partnerships between the voluntary, public, private and academic sectors, and to increase long-term funding and develop skills within the voluntary sector.

We raised money from private individuals, trusts and foundations, and Scottish Government and invested it in funds addressing specific themes, nurturing partnership through shared goals and interests.

We identified organisations tackling these deep social issues and invested time, money and expertise in them, establishing close working relationships and cooperative networks. We helped organisations to maximise their social impact in these areas and rigorously evaluated performance to continuously improve and develop.

We did all this with the aim of helping essential charities to become extraordinary charities, allowing them to deliver the greatest possible social impact and change the lives of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities in Scotland.

And we still do.


funding programmes managed 21/22


Organisations supported in 21/22


funding distributed 21/22


of lives transformed


Our model works.

Our first five years of working was independently studied and evaluated by Gates Scholar Dr. Noah Isserman.

Read the report

Meet our team

Drawing on expertise from across the private, voluntary and public sectors, our passionate staff are dedicated to a better Scotland.

Learn more

Contact us

We work with experts from the voluntary, public, private and academic sectors. Get in touch if you want to help us build a better Scotland.

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