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Alternative funding models for public services in Scotland

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

Since 2012 we have been arguing for a greater focus on alternative models of funding for Public Services in Scotland. It is interesting to note the increasing focus on Social Impact Bonds in England. Of particular interest has been the new partnership between the Cabinet office and the University of Oxford to create a new centre for excellence called the Government Outcomes Lab.

This partnership will promote new ways for the public sector to commission services while achieving better Social Outcomes which “align the interests of local communities, social investors and charities”.

The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson recently said of the centre that it will give local authorities the support they need to develop more Social Impact Bonds from the current 32 to a sector worth £1 billion within 3 years.

In Scotland we have a focus on improving Social Outcomes, but it has so far proved difficult to align the interests of local authorities, social investors and charities.

As such might it not be time in Scotland to explore how alternative models can be applied to innovative government commissioning?

At the Trust we would welcome developing discussion around this area. 

Read our paper, Social Investment in Scotland: One Year On.