The Challenge of Fundraising for Cultural Change

Creating a nation where young people have the opportunities and self-belief to achieve their personal best is a bold vision and one that gets right to the heart of cultural change. But finding those unique donors who want to financially support an organisation that focuses on culture change is not without its challenges. 

May 2015

After spending many years working in the private sector, I took on a role fundraising for Winning Scotland Foundation. I have had some fascinating conversations along the way. In a short term world where impact matters and £ signs count, raising funds to support long-term cultural change is a challenge. Today’s world demands measurements and hard statistics. But measuring how beliefs and behaviours have changed is not something we can instantly demonstrate. It takes a long time and it certainly takes more than the efforts of one charity.

That’s why our work is only ever collaborative. Take Positive Coaching Scotland for example, the successful cultural change programme that we adopted from the US in 2007. We pioneered this programme in Scotland, piloting and then developing it. The ongoing delivery of the messages and learnings of PCS have been delivered by organisations with a huge reach across young people in Scotland, notably by sportscotland, Scottish FA and the SRU to name but a few. Eight years later and none of us are finished with this work. PCS is being redeveloped and updated for today’s changing environment and the pressures young people face. Through external evaluation we have evidence that behavioural change is taking place but our work is not complete. We must constantly be innovative and challenge what we are doing to sustain cultural change.

At Winning Scotland Foundation we often use the phrase ‘just the way we do things’ to describe culture change. Wouldn’t it be great if young people achieving their potential in life was just ‘the way things were done in Scotland’’?  If you believe in our long term goal and are interested in helping us to improve the culture for young people growing up please do get in touch. We always need your help!


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