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 use knowledge to improve their funding decisions and practices

Knowledge of support needs, available provision and how other funders have worked in a sector, enables funders to improve their funding decisions and practices. 
 
Our work primarily aims to create the space in which this can happen, through sharing information, facilitating and convening conversations. However, we are starting to work in a more direct way to support practice. 
 
For example, we have supported the development of a framework for independent funders who want to fund in a specific place. Many of our statutory members already operate in this way, but some independent funders wanted support to help them to begin place-based funding in an effective way. We chair a steering group that looks at this issue, and worked with IVAR, the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, to explore practical ways to support funders to proceed with place-based funding. 
 
Eliza Buckley, who led the fieldwork for IVAR, describes the first phase of the work: “We interviewed 21 trusts and foundations across the UK about their motivations for place-based funding, and the challenges they have experienced. This enabled us to develop a framework of questions for funders to ask themselves when considering this type of work. We’ve since tested the framework with groups of funders, and it’s helping them to make decisions about whether to begin place-based funding, and how to begin to do so.”
 
The next phase of the work will look at how independent and public funders can work together effectively in a local area.