“When our trustees established The Wood Foundation, it was with a commitment to address social and economic inequity through systemic, transformational, sustainable, and scalable solutions.
“Those founding principles have remained unchanged. How we deliver upon those has evolved and grown, deepened and flourished.
“The Wood Foundation commitment has gone beyond simply funding. As a venture philanthropic, value-add partner, we share our time, expertise and network, act as a programme manager, a convenor, and develop solutions in collaboration with our partners.
“Rewind 15 years when the Foundation sought to invest in a programme which gave young people the chance to better understand their communities and have the chance to make a real difference. There was a gap in what was available to students in Scotland so YPI, an international programme, was adapted for our context.
“Today it is in 280 secondary schools and has empowered 310,000 young people in their stewardship of £6.8m unrestricted funding to local charities. And while many of the central tenets of the programme are the same, there has been significant change in how we engage with teachers and what we offer to ensure the investment is reaping maximum benefit and legacy for all participants.
“The learning from our experiences establishing, growing, and embedding YPI in Scotland has informed how we’ve moved forward as a foundation.
“A major lesson has been striking the right balance between stability and flexibility. For instance, RAiSE is a programme led by a permanent national officer but delivered by dedicated local officers to address their local context from within a consistent national framework.