Note from the founder of Changing Ideas, David Graham

“After a varied career in business, my life had an about turn after my son became paralysed in 2003. I originally qualified as an accountant, and have been involved with many different businesses including property, consultancy, technology, retail and manufacturing, including holding a royal warrant as shoemaker to the Queen. I am now based in London and Scotland.

I formed Changing Ideas as a charity in 2007, shortly after completing an MA in photojournalism. My original intention was to provide support to both charities and photographers to help them work together and make the most of photography in their communications. I also had other ideas including an outside gallery for humanitarian photography - this never succeeded, but I would still like it to! Some ideas worked well, including workshops in Calcutta for overseas and local photographers. I also travelled extensively, helping several organisations in Europe, Africa and Asia. Most of my early philanthropy relates to this work.

However, the direction has changed in recent years as I saw how charities operate on the ground, and gained an insight into the lives of the most vulnerable in society and learned how difficult it is to achieve change.

I found that although charities are not in competition with each other, there is untapped potential to share knowledge and pursue global best practices. To do this, they need resources to be able to take risks, try things out, and discover how things can be done better, as well as support to conduct research and devote attention to advocacy and communications.

Over the years, I have supported charities to hopefully be as impactful as possible, as well as developing a plan for our own giving that can now be rolled out."

"The only thing you should have on your bucket list is to make a difference in the world". Andrew Tait (my father-in-law)

David Graham
David Graham 2020