Sustainability is the theme that unites all of our work. We define it as the capacity to make a lasting difference.
Graeme has been researching and developing resources on the topic since 2012, leading to the launch of ‘A Lasting Difference’, in February 2016. A unique, valuable (and free!) resource, it quickly became the go-to guide on sustaining organisations and impact. Over 2000 copies are now in circulation.
The guide presents the results of four years of learning and discovery, involving work with over 250 third sector organisations. Examples of our activity and partnerships in this area include:
- Paths for All Partnership: Organisational consultancy and workshops to sustain funded projects’ impact beyond the life of a single funding cycle.
- Shared Care Scotland: Leading groups of carers’ organisations in investigating and developing resources on sustaining organisations, services and impact. [Now available on our resources page]
- Voluntary Action Fund: Workshops helping projects to assess and take action on sustainability early in the funding cycle.
- School for Social Entrepreneurs: Training social enterprises in relationship marketing as part of year-long leadership development programmes.
- Coalition of Care Providers Scotland: Action learning sets exploring business development, leadership and the design and commissioning of innovative services. [The resources from these programmes are available on our resources page].
Coming in 2017:
ACOSVO (Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations): Workshop for third sector leaders scheduled for 2017.
CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund (Scottish Government’s Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund): Workshops for funded groups scheduled for Spring 2017.
The ‘Lasting Difference’ guide has already helped thousands of people to understand and take action on sustainability. It’s in its third edition and we will continue developing it and hope that people continue to find it relevant and easy-to-use. Here’s a flavour of how it has helped so far:
- ‘We are more focused on what now needs to be done.’
- ‘The staff became much more aware of the sustainability issue for the organisation as a whole.’
- ‘It made me think about not just the sustainability of (my) work, by all the projects overall in the organisation.’
- ‘Great content, very useful and immediately actionable with my team. Wonderful energy and excellent presentation skills.’
- ‘Brilliant! This workshop was so valuable, informative and inclusive.’
- ‘Fantastic workshop and toolkit. Really exciting stuff.’
- ‘Really good toolkit…especially exit strategies and continuing the lasting difference.’
- ‘Great workshop! Covered everything in a very comprehensive and easy to understand way. The toolkit looks great.
- ‘The feedback we received regarding the event was excellent and we captured some very valuable data which can help us to steer and continue to grow the project.’
- ‘Really enjoyed the opportunity to do the prep work and complete the Sustainability Plan.’
‘Everyone rated the events at the highest possible level and the comments showed that they had been valuable in providing a dedicated time and space to discuss and reflect upon on the issue of sustainability. Participants saw the events as useful in harnessing the support of peers and in gaining the understanding that the issues faced by all were very similar. The project sustainability checklist appears to have resonated with many people and there was a high level of energy and commitment to planning for the future in a different and exciting way.’ Voluntary Action Fund sustainability workshop 2015