Theory of Change

Our goal is to improve lives in London’s communities. We do this by helping to create the conditions in which London’s funders can thrive.

Our theory of change shows outcomes – from our work with funders and investors across the public, independent, social and corporate sectors, and from their work supporting civil society. Outcomes build on one another as we move towards change in Londoners’ lives. Therefore, this is also a theory of change for London’s civil society as a whole.

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Funders engage in targeted connections/joint initiatives around particular issues

Further along the spectrum of members’ readiness to work collaboratively are funders who engage in targeted connections and joint initiatives around particular issues.

We work proactively to help this happen. We use our convening power to bring organisations together and start conversations, but we seek also to curate action to take forward these conversations, supporting the development of strategy and helping to drive change.

Some of our members have used opportunities created through London Funders meetings and networks to trigger joint initiatives. John Lyon’s Charity, City Bridge Trust and BBC Children in Need combined forces with London Youth to address the issue of inclusivity for disabled young people in young people’s services.

Anna Hoddinott from John Lyon’s Charity, describes the process by which the funders came together. “There was already an existing collaboration between individuals within the organisations, who know each other through London Funders and other networks. Within the Children and Young People’s network at London Funders we discussed the problem of a lack of provision for disabled people within young people’s services, and we decided to co-host an event to address the issue. We talked through our experiences of funding for young people’s services at the different geographic levels our organisations work at (national, pan-London and more local within London), and were able to categorise many young people’s organisations as either successfully working inclusively, seeking to work more inclusively, or not yet engaged with inclusivity.”

Jim Minton from London Youth describes the event. “The event at the Mansion House brought together about 150 people, with a good mix of funders, youth organisations, and young people themselves. This meant that there were some really valuable exchanges. For the young people it is fantastic to feel that they are being listened to by funders, and providers and funders valued young people’s perspectives on the services they need. There is clearly a lot of good practice out there but it provided a good opportunity to try to raise standards of inclusivity across the board.”

Case study: The Way Ahead

The launch of the review of the future of civil society in London, resulting in ‘The Way Ahead’, required the identification of targeted connections and the beginning of a joint initiative. The project was supported by a cross-sector reference group which brought together vital voices from across London’s civil society, including funders, local and regional government, civil society organisations, charities and volunteer organisations.