JRF on becoming a 'social change organisation' | Rethinking Poverty

JRF on becoming a ‘social change organisation’

Posted on 31 Jul 2019   Categories: News Related Tags:  

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) last week published a blog titled ‘Creating a social change organisation from a leading foundation’ sharing their ‘story so far’ of the ‘process of organisational change’ that they embarked on eighteen months ago.

Claire Ainsley, Executive Director of JRF, cites the ‘rapid change in our political, economic and social environment’ seen over the last decade as the catalyst that made the organisation recognise ‘that if we wanted to bring about serious reform, we needed to radically rethink how we worked’. Eighteen months ago, having just published the report ‘We can solve UK poverty: a strategy for governments, businesses, communities and citizens’, they reflected that however good their solutions were, they wouldn’t succeed unless the organisation ‘embarked on a long-term campaign to build public and political will for change on UK poverty’. Alongside this was the recognition that policies could not be made on people’s behalves; instead the organisation would have to ‘stand alongside people with lived experience of poverty and become partners and allies together for change’.

Taking inspiration from foundations and think tanks in the US in creating their ‘new outcomes-orientated social change operating model’, the staff and board secured their mission: ‘to inspire action and change to solve UK poverty’. Four outcomes for JRF to work towards over the next decade were also agreed:

  • More people want to solve poverty, understand it, and take action.
  • More people find a route out of poverty through work.
  • More people find a route out of poverty through a better social security system.
  • More people live in a decent affordable home.

The strategy for achieving these outcomes is based on three elements:

‘Building public and political will for change; working with others to create credible solutions; and using our historic role in monitoring poverty to hold governments in the nations of the UK to account for their actions on poverty.’

As part of their shift from foundation to social change organisation, JRF is also evolving how they work with other people and organisations, meaning that their ‘relationship with partner organisations is often as collaborator and co-commissioner, rather than as funder, which changes the nature of the relationship and even the kinds of organisations’ they work with. They list the organisations they have been funding over the last year, and welcome the opportunity to connect with others.

Read Claire Ainsley’s full blog here.

Posted on 31 Jul 2019   Categories: News Related Tags:  

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