How OCOF worked
Through Our Community Our Future, Foundation Scotland supported new and emerging groups to influence change within their community.
The programme assisted groups of motivated community members to explore an issue further, get more people involved, get their group organised, develop a plan of action and move to the next stage. OCOF helped groups to develop more effective structures, be more participatory and representative, plan better, promote themselves, influence planning and link up with others.
A grant of up to £20,000 was provided to groups, primarily to help them develop community action plans and engage with their wider communties. However, groups were allowed plenty of say in how they use this funding, shifting the balance of power from the funder to the community. This fitted with the overall ethos of OCOF, where the team found that it could best give support to bottom-up community-led groups if delivered in a loose, responsive and intuitive manner.
Groups benefited from the experience of the OCOF team, and Foundation Scotland staff were able to give sound advice when needed. Sometimes this was on quite complex matters, such as supporting groups to become registered charities. A common refrain from groups was that it is immensely helpful to have an outsider’s perspective to remind groups of the ‘wider picture’ and what they have managed to achieve so far.
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