Our work is mainly centred around the following main themes:
- Supporting law, campaigning, and journalism for social impact
- Backing ideas to achieve change
- Tackling the climate emergency
Supporting public interest law, campaigning and journalism for change
We’re funding initiatives and also building the infrastructure to enable lawyers, campaigners, and journalists to work more effectively together.
Law for Change
Launched in 2022, Law for Change offers financial support to legal actions that can contribute to lasting social change and tangible benefit to the public good. The fund was set up in conjunction with philanthropist Stephen Kinsella and law reformer Charles Keidan to address real societal harms through legal actions in the public interest.
The Tenacious Awards support campaigners with true tenacity, working to right injustice. The purpose of the funding and support is to help campaigners be more effective in moving their campaign forward. In 2023, six awards were made to campaigners tackling issues ranging from racism to health and the environment to human rights. A further round of grants will be given in mid-2024.
Link for Change
Changing Ideas is working with Breakthrough Impact to support grassroots campaigners and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to enhance the social impact of its journalism and deepen connections to promising campaigns and legal actions.This initiative Link for Change is holding a series of events throughout 2024.
Backing ideas to achieve change
Research for Change
In 2023 we made a series of "Changing Ideas" grants to help frontline charities be more effective. We make grants to organisations to validate their methods and support them to advance their work in collaboration with others. Further fuller information is available here.
Below are examples of inititiatives we have previously supported through these grants:-
- Early year education in refugee camps - validation of a new idea through research exploration
- Disability and mental health - cost effective mental health solutions for people with spinal cord injuries
- Increasing patient recruitment success for clinical trials - Building a framework for researchers
- Human trafficking -an exploration of the effectiveness of partnership models in improving the identification of victims of human trafficking in Scotland
- An innovative prosthetics programme responding to the severe lack of comfortable, affordable prosthetics for people with disability in northern Syria
Tackling the climate emergency
As the climate emergency is the biggest issue facing us all, we make occasional grants that we hope will have some impact.
SOS-UK – Teach the Parent
We provided the seed funding to develop this initiative. It's aim is to encourage schoolchildren to work with their parents to make pledges around climate. It has been evaluated in several countries and there are currently plans for it to become a major initiative which we are supporting.
Other funding of note
We give occaional grants in support of other initiatives that do not readily fall into the areas outlined above but show some of our interests.
Issue: Theatre for social impact / Partner: Sit-up Awards
We have created an annual prize at the Edinburgh Fringe to support theatre companies, before, during and after their productions to achieve greater impact. Every year, there are fantastic plays that delicately and powerfully tell stories about important social issues, but most companies do not engage with their audiences beyond the production itself. The purpose of the Sit-Up Awards is to encourage and support them to do more.
Issue: Human Rights / Partner: Burma Campaign
We annually support the Burma Campaign to produce the “Dirty List” – a list of companies conducting business with the regime. I visited the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh in 2018 shortly after nearly one million people had fled from Myanmar and, on my return, I wished to support campaigns against the regime. The list was widely circulated, particularly following the coup in 2021, and many of the companies listed stopped trading with the regime.
Issue: Human Rights / Partner: Children on the Edge
We provided essential funding to enable Children on the Edge to get their campaign off the ground to introduce a law in the Ugandan parliament to bring an end to human sacrifice.The law was passed in 2021.
Issue: Online harms / Partners: Foxglove, Good Law and Cease UK
We have made several donations to initiate research into legal action against tech companies for the harms caused to young people and further supported legal action in this area. This funding would now be provided via the standalone initiative we established Law for Change.