With the cost-of-living emergency facing so many people and families across Scotland this autumn and winter, it is hard to look beyond the next few months. For many families, it’ll be hard to look through the next few days, as budgets get tighter and prices get higher and higher. However, we must not forget that the seeds of the crisis we face today were planted many years ago. To prevent future crises having the same devastating impact in the years to come we must think and act long-term to drive the change we need to see on poverty in Scotland.
The Robertson Trust set out a new ten-year strategy in the autumn of 2020 which established tackling poverty and trauma as our mission to be reflected across everything we do to fund, support and influence in Scotland. In doing so, the strategy placed social change at the heart of our work and moved us explicitly beyond being solely a funder.
That means the Trust becoming more proactive. It means us picking out, based on our research, the burning issues, individuals and organisations where there’s the greatest ability to deliver impact. It means bringing our internal expertise together from across the Trust with external expertise – amassed through both lived experience and job experience – to guide our priorities and how we deliver on them. It also means the Trust building our own positions and influence too to try to reshape the systems and structural factors that make tackling poverty, trauma and inequality the wicked problem it is.
We are now launching our first open call for proposals through a new set of funds focused on long-term change, what we’re calling Programme Awards. Our Programme Awards will be focused squarely on delivering big change that lasts on poverty and trauma and will allow us to work alongside some of the organisations best placed to achieve impact on poverty and trauma in Scotland, allowing us to learn from them and them from us as we go.
Our first open call for proposals is now live. Our aim is to fund ideas and projects that have the highest potential for delivering big change that lasts in relation to tackling financial insecurity in Scotland. This will include feasibility projects, and projects designed to test and demonstrate new ideas or interventions, through to change-focused research or policy, campaigning and influencing work. It’s open to charities with an annual income of more than £100,000 and to partnerships and will aim to complement not duplicate the funding available through our existing funds. This is a new and big commitment from the Trust, with an initial budget of around £2m for this call. If you would like to find out more please see here for our priorities for this call and the types of work we will seek to fund.