Publication - Research and analysis

Evaluation of the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund: interim report

Published: 23 Apr 2019
Housing and Social Justice Directorate

Iconic Consulting is conducting a formative evaluation of the core funding awards made by the CYPFEI & ALEC Fund.

Evaluation of the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund: interim report
Appendix 3: Sustainability Case Study

Appendix 3: Sustainability Case Study

LGBT Youth Scotland 

LGBT Youth Scotland’s mission is to play a leading role in the provision of quality youth work to LGBTI young people that promotes their health and wellbeing, and to be a valued and influential partner in LGBTI equality and human rights. The organisation’s work takes a community learning and development approach to working directly with young people and with organisations and professionals to promote its aims. LGBT Youth Scotland has received £75000 infrastructure funding in each of the three award years, working towards outcomes related to improved access to non-formal learning opportunities for LGBTI young people; increasing the numbers of learning environments that are welcoming to LGBTI young people; improving understanding and knowledge of professionals and organisations and inclusiveness of services; and ensuring that LGBT Youth Scotland is an effective and enterprising charity.

Receipt of core funding has been ‘hugely helpful’ for LGBT Youth Scotland: this type of funding is difficult to obtain and although the organisation has a diverse range of funders (local authorities, trusts, NHS Boards, etc.), most are more focused on front line services and direct impact on young people.

“To run an effective organisation, focused on the quality of what we do, we need to support the core of the organisation and this funding is very important, even essential”. (Chief Executive)

The recognition of the importance of core funding strengthens the link between the strategic ‘space’ and outcomes for young people, allowing resource to be devoted to reflecting on the range of funders and on ways to further develop and explore the sustainability of that model.

Through involvement in the CYPFEI & ALEC funding stream, LGBT Youth Scotland made a connection at the 2017 conference (workshop on sustainability) with Wren and Greyhound consultancy and their guide to sustainability The Lasting Difference, which led to some focussed strategic thinking. Part of this work involved considering the existing funding model, looking at ways to increase unrestricted (core) funding, increasing the focus on fundraising. This led to a significant piece of work involving the Board and whole organisation to develop the recently launched new strategy which has sustainability at its core: one of the four guiding principles of and a key strategic objective for the organisation. The ALEC funding contributed to supporting the strategic team to devote resource to working with The Lasting Difference to think though, develop and consult on this new strategy.

“Sustainability is very much at the heart of it…we learned some things through that consultation and that process…one of which was about how we improve sustainability and sustainability not just being about cash…but also about how we think about the sustainability more broadly of our work and its impact; and that was a real help in how we looked at fundraising across the organisation”. (Chief Executive)

LGBT Youth Scotland is now reaching organisations in a wider variety of sectors and beginning to work with new organisation types, including the corporate sector, to explore the value it can bring to its work with young people. This includes focus on opportunities and skills development for young people that LGBT Youth Scotland might not otherwise be able to link to or offer.

“What the core grant and the work of the Corra Foundation… has done is allowed us to use that in a strategic way - to be a multiplier if you like - to bring greater impact and capacity to what we do as an organisation”. (Chief Executive)

The ALEC funding supports the development of these wider partnerships, by freeing up time of the senior team to build further the capacity for direct provision to young people. The focus on sustainability this has allowed has resulted in an organisation that is moving towards being more sustainable in the future. For example, a greater proportion of overall funding is unrestricted (not linked specifically to project outcomes), than was the case in previous years. This in turn will allow the centre of the organisation to be better supported, compensating for the standstill ALEC funding over the last 3 years.

The involvement of the Corra Foundation in the funding stream has been a very helpful and supportive relationship for LGBT Youth Scotland. LGBT Youth Scotland has good links across teams in Education Scotland, including CLD and wellbeing.