Developing capabilities within Trusts and Foundations

The challenges Trusts and Foundations face today are many and varied, and individuals within these organisations stand to benefit in many ways from time to think, space to reflect and the opportunity to do things differently. Action learning facilitates this process.

As a committed leader within your Trust or Foundation, you are in a unique position to be able to help key leaders in the organisations that you support, so that they can achieve more for themselves, from the teams that they manage and for the people they are there to help.

How could you use action learning within your Trust or Foundation?

Action learning provides a framework for peer development and reflective thinking. Through a structured process of sharing thoughts, frustrations, challenges, ideas and successes, participants are able to work through some of the more difficult circumstances they face, empowering them to take action, make changes and inspire those around them.

The results are significant and tangible, as we have seen through our work with Trusts and Foundations. We’ve gathered lots of evidence along the way of the true value of action learning in this context, and this is available in a more detailed report for further reading.

In brief, examples of action learning for Foundations include:

  1. The Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) financed an action learning set for senior Foundation leaders across the whole sector. The programme was evaluated by ACF and deemed to be very successful; the intention is to run it again.
  2. The Lankelly Chase Foundation works to bring about change that will transform the quality of life of people who face severe or multiple disadvantage. Participants are offered action learning as a tool to support otherwise isolated charity leaders in their work. Our work involves identifying the systemic change needed as well as the action that leaders in the sector can change
  3. The Clore Social Leadership programme – has a fellowship programme for aspiring leaders in the social sector, and part of this programme includes the opportunity for course participants to take part in an action learning set which meets regularly during the fellowship. Action learning has been in place for 6 years and is now being introduced in a new programme for the youth sector
  4. The Lloyds Bank Foundation has just started piloting action learning in two areas – Manchester and Sheffield. Small local charity leaders in receipt of a Foundation grant are being offered the chance to support each other and build their organisations. Lloyds recognised that isolation of Chief Executives in their roles is an important issue and something that can be redressed through participation in action learning sets with peer groups.

As a Trust or Foundation, if you are looking to:

  • Ensure the organisations you support are as effective as possible
  • Support the Chief Executive or senior staff in their development and in learning from each other
  • Broaden the knowledge of staff running small charities e.g. other approaches and models of working in the sector, sharing best practice etc.
  • Reduce feelings of isolation at Chief Executive level
  • Support service users so they reap even greater benefits from a programme
  • Bring people together to see how things can be done differently
  • Network in the sector – Andrew’s Odger’s blog postHate networking? Discover a surprise networking tool expresses this really well

Then action learning is an incredibly powerful vehicle for achieving all of the above and more. If you would like to find out more, please download our detailed report, contact us via email, call 0207 407 1971, or complete our enquiry form and we can contact you.