Corra Foundation has launched a three year strategy setting out new ways in which it will support people and communities in Scotland. Two new areas of work mark a major development for the Foundation and will sit alongside progressive grant-making. An innovative approach to community empowerment will complement grant-making activities and a social enterprise will be established to manage a support service for other grant-makers.
Speaking about the new strategy Mary Craig OBE, Chief Executive of Corra Foundation, said: “The last few years have been difficult ones for the Foundation, but we are very firmly here for the future. Our new strategy which has been developed through consultation with the voluntary sector and we’re excited about what we can deliver by maximising the impact of our funding, experience and skills.
“Grant-making remains our core activity, and our existing award programmes will continue with the Foundation committed to having a progressive approach. We believe our face to face engagement with the voluntary sector is vital, and are challenging ourselves to look at ways to deliver an even better service for Scotland’s charities at a time when many are struggling to raise the funds they need. Our engagement has always been about more than money, and we believe we can deliver considerable added value to the sector by the progressive way we deliver our funding programmes.”
“Our community-focused work is a radical departure from our grant-making, and will involve co-production with local communities using no funding criteria, application forms or deadlines. We’re doing this because some communities access little or none of the funds available through traditional grant-making and we believe a new approach is needed to fill this gap. By building on local assets to develop belief in the collective power to shape surroundings and effect change, local people will be able to bring about the development they want at their own pace. We are finalising the details of this sustainable approach to community empowerment and will be launching it later in 2014.
“The final strand of our strategy is focused on sharing our expertise with fellow grant-makers. For many years we have been asked for advice by other funders or for support with their development work, and we are formalising this approach through a social enterprise. Any income generated through our accessible, flexible support for grant-makers will be used to support our work with grassroots charities, which has been a hallmark of the Foundation since it was set up in 1985.”
The Foundation is well known for innovation, having been one of the first funders to develop a separate capacity building programme and been involved in the development and set-up of organisations including Evaluation Support Scotland and Inspiring Scotland. It runs face-to-face funding surgeries, providing opportunities for charities to get tailored advice before they apply for funding, and these are also delivered using Skype to allow maximum access regardless of geography and cut down travel time and costs for small charities. In 2013, in response to the increasing incidence of isolation among older people, it set up a pilot programme to fund innovative, preventative work with 50 to 70 year olds.
Corra Foundation currently runs two main funding programmes:
• The Henry Duncan Awards which support grassroots charities.
• The Partnership Drugs Initiative, run in partnership with the Scottish Government, which supports children and young people affected by substance misuse.
It also administers the Scottish Government’s International Development Small Grants Programme, having successfully tendered for this work in 2013.